Fashion, Style, Design and the odd glass of Champagne.

Art, Decor & Design

Design Indaba Expo 2013

March 5, 2013

The beauty of Design Indaba is that you’re entertained or wowed from arrival to departure. Like this DSTV poster in the entrance hall. From a distance its eye-catching in its simplicity.

DSTV ad at Design Indaba 2013
Ok, so what’s the deal here.

Up close you’ll find yourself engaged in a little ‘guess the movie or character’ pop quiz.

DSTV ad at Design Indaba 2013 - 02
A is for American Beauty, B for Bond. Get it?
DSTV ad at Design Indaba 2013 - 03
How are you doing so far? The W has me stumped.
DSTV ad at Design Indaba 2013 - 04
I only got the M. And I’m guessing the Z is Zombie Apocalypse related.

Pretty clever marketing if you ask me. Keep them entertained so they won’t notice how long the queue to enter the Expo, is.

And so began the highly anticipated DI Expo 2013, which opened last Friday at the CTICC. Here’s where beautiful objects and a nasty one or two, vie for your attention; some in the hope of making it into their own store one day. And where you also pick up little titbits of info like this.

Design Indaba 2013 -04
She took the ‘bloody shot’ at mohair silk?! *clutches pearls*

First I need to tell you about the winner of the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa. Magazine editors had minated pieces by new or established designers across any field from clothing to architecture with the public voting in an overall winner.

Cape Town designer Gavin Rajah emerged the winner of MBOISA for his gold ostrich leather pebble dress. It had been nominated by Visi mag editor Malibongwe; that lovable, acid-tongued blogger from Skattie What Are You Wearing.

Two pieces I also loved was a printed shift by textile designer Sindiso Khumalo and an umbrella, ella, ella;) by Gavin Cowden.

Design Indaba 2013 Most Beautiful Object in South Africa finalists
(l to r) Pebble dress by Gavin Rajah (winner), Aretha dress by Sindiso Khumalo and the Zanzan umbrela by Gavin Cowden (Photos from

You may think it unfair that an up ‘n coming designer would have work pitted against the successfully entrenched establishment which is Gavin Rajah. Treat this as you would the Oscars.

It’s an honor to be nominated, then whittled down to the best 10 Most Beautiful Objects in South Africa. Add to that the publicity from an exhibition of this magnitude followed by the accolade of being in the company of amazing designers and I’d say the big time is calling. Congrats to all and the ‘Raj, himself.

Moving on.

My company for the day were Duncan Pape and Kirsty da Costa who were on a buying trip for their new spa and lifestyle centre opening in April or thereabouts. The Dirty Funka baseball caps and limited edition t-shirts sold under the Dirty Collective label got their attention.

Dirty Collective
Comfortably in the middle is Duncan Pape flanked by Durban-based Chad and Devon from CT. Kirsty was strategically positioned in front of an ATM at the time.
Dirty Collective Tees & Dirty Funka caps.
Cool stuff by Dirty Collective.

Owners Chad and Devon will commission an artist to design a piece for a t-shirt, then only print 30. Each T will be numbered so you’ll know exactly where your station in life is. I have to admit I don’t do funky t-shirts but I would gladly wear one of those boys, any day. Oops, did I say that out loud;)

Always love meeting up with Katia. She leaves nothing but positive energy in her wake.
Always love meeting up with Katia. She leaves nothing but positive energy in her wake.

Before actioning aforementioned dirty thought, I bumped into good friend and longtime colleague Katia Beeden from back in the Jupiter days when we slaved away on the Woolies account. She’s currently at Woolies along with my ex-CD Fred Benistant so I asked that she send him my love. Wait, I’m lying. I didn’t send my love. Personal reasons :-/ but it’s always great seeing KatStar. Yes, we will hook up for a drink, I promise!

While Duncan was bending the Dirty Collective’s ears, I quickly grabbed a pic of this pink blouse and studded leather shorts by a label which the boys were probably showing for a friend.

Bianca Kim 'Florals and Lipstick' Blouse and shorts . both ZAR340 each.
BiancaKim ‘Florals & Lipstick blouse and shorts, both ZAR340 each.

There were so many names on the tag; BiancaKim / Florals and Lipstick / I’m Waisted, so not sure where or how to find the designers but the outfit was cute. See.

Pick a name and it's yours.
Pick a name and it’s yours.

Also loved these handmade brooches by Rosabella. Contact designer Miranda Barnard on +27 84 4222 441 or email

Rosabella Accessories.
Brooches by ‘Rosabella.’

Feat. Sock Co makes some awesome socks and the name is pretty cool too. Contact designer Chelsey Wilson on +27 72 384 9189 or email Nice work, lady.

Feat. socks co
Feat. sock co

Then, if you missed the red & white stripes which I absolutely adore, here are some pieces under the Spaza Store and Flying Down to Rio labels. All in stripe. Love! But once again too many lables by designer Julia Schaffer. Thankfully she had a business card so I could link to two websites.

Home decor under the label, The Spaza Store; make-up bags are called Flying Down to Rio.
Home decor by The Spaza Store; make-up bags by Flying Down to Rio.

Then, these funky clocks also got our attention. I embarrassingly have to admit, I battled to wrap my head around. Smart, ‘Boutime. Very smart.

Design Indaba 2013 clocks
Love the name, ‘Boutime even tho it took me a minute to tell the time.
Design Indaba 2013 clocks
Took me awhile.

Next, the fashion show called. I positioned myself perfectly at the end of a runway which in fashion terms is considered a prime location. Sadly, the poor choreography left me photographing more back and side views.

Design Indaba 2013 Michelle Ludek

Design Indaba 2013 Michelle Ludek 02

Design Indaba 2013 Michelle Ludek

After the  Michelle’s Ludek show, we left.

At this stage you’re probably thinking I’m having a lousy time, right? Contraire!

This year, the jewellery and handbag designers blew me away. For bags, you wanna go with Ashanti Designs and luxury goods from the Neo group. Local designer Adriaan Kuiters has a really cool collections of finely tailored menswear including satchels, totes, clothing and sandals.

Leather tote by Richard Lewis
Leather tote from the Neo Group
iPad & Laptop bags by Ashanti Design
‘Tana’ iPad & laptop bags from Ashanti Design
Gents satchel by Adrian Kuiters.
Gents satchels by Adriaan Kuiters.

For jewellery, Meraki Jewellery Design by Megan Keyser is absolutely beautiful. And the ‘vertebrae’ necklace by Famke Koene is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Simply exquisite.

Design Indaba 2013 Meraki Jewellery Design
‘Meraki’ by Megan Keyser
This bracelet should have come home with me.
Also by Meraki, this bracelet should have come home with me.
Famke Jewellery Design
Famke Jewellery Design

Now I’ve left this piece for last. Intentionally. I have to contend it was incredibly beautiful.

Tiffany Marx
Bracelet by Tiffany Marx

But! When propositioned by Duncan for her work to be featured in his business, designer Tiffany Marx‘s comment went something like, ‘My work has to be displayed in the right environment.’

He smiled politely and walked on as he’s lifestyle centre is being built in Camps Bay. I, on the other hand, was more like; lady, you’re sitting in a cardboard box right now. Let’s talk when you progress to a brick building, shall we? Pfft! Sorry people, I’m not a fan of snobbery. Aspiration, yes; ‘tude, no. tsk, tsk.

Maybe the grumpiness was borne of a drop in sugar levels. Enter the sweetie pie cupcake! Now I know there are cupcakes and then there are cupcakes but these were made by fallen angles. I failed to secure the bakers info so called on Karisa from My Love Affair With Cape Town to aid. She’s been as well, and knows everything hot ‘n happening in CT.

The heavenly treats are by Tina Bester from Queen of Tarts. Frankly, I think she should promote herself to Goddess or Archangel or something. Wow!

made by fallen angels.
made by fallen angels.

All too soon, I had to take leave of this bastion of SA talent, convinced yet again that South Africa has talent.

But before I go, allow me one last moment of displeasure.

I get the whole ‘be yourself, dude, art is like non-conformist, hey’ stuff. But! If you’re there to get your work noticed in the hope that a consumer will take your seriously, surely image projection is as important as your work.

Lady, pull your pants up!
Lady, pull your pants up!

Anyoo, cheers for now folks. thanks for visiting Design Indaba 2013 with me.

Happy days in the Mother City.

love & light

Clouds xxx

Photo credit: All pics my own unless otherwise captioned.

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