A new, innovative space for the city’s creative talent

Fashion, art and emerging design talent come together at Cape Town’s newest fashion collective, AKJP Collective

Conceptualised by fashion designer Keith Henning of menswear label Adriaan Kuiters, and artist Jody Paulsen, the new AKJP Collective in bustling Kloof Street in central Cape Town is a forward-thinking, well-curated space. The pair handpick the emerging designers and creatives showcased here, all of whom are carving a niche for themselves in the local fashion industry.

The space reflects the energy of the local fashion design scene and all the ranges are created with exceptional attention to detail, passion and a common theme of well-crafted tailoring.

The featured designers include jewellery brands Pichulik and Steffany Roup Jewellery, as well as ladies collections Take Care and Hannah Collection, both of which exude soft lines in mainly neutral colours. The Drotsky label is somewhat more avant-garde, with a nod to long, tailored Victorian dresses with contemporary style and materials.

The founders’ own Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen inaugural collection is a fusion of contemporary tailoring and fabrics with some eccentric, bright graphics and is definitely for courageous dressers with androgynous appeal. “We have used women’s items on men and men’s items on women. The fits are spacious and forgiving. We have introduced fitted women’s trousers and shirts and paired them with boxy and loose garments to retain an effortless, easy-wearing look,” says Keith Henning.

The AKJP SS16 Collection was the toast of 2015’s Cape Town Fashion Week, with  Paulsen’s recognisable patterning and use of bold primary colours proving the perfect foil for Henning’s expert tailoring.

Cape Town’s coolest things this week (14 – 20 March 2016)

If you only do one thing this week, make sure it’s one of these…

1. Coldplay…like you’re never heard them!

New school music goes old school as professional string quartet Co/Mission plucks, swipes and bows their way through your favourite Coldplay songs. Co/Mission’s last concert, Radiohead Reworked, was jaw-dropping and still has Cape Town’s hipsters talking. So expect their Coldplay concert to be sizzling hot! Read more

2. VIP passes for Nora en Pure at Shimmy anyone?

Yeah, we thought you’d be keen on All About Cape Town’s latest Go Beyond experience! You stand to win a VIP table for you and three mates at the sexy Shimmy Beach Club, where you’ll party in A-lister style with international indie dance and house sensation Nora en Pure on the decks. And you’ll look the part too, thanks to an R800 voucher from hip-and-happening online boutique clothing store ontrendSA. One more thing: because All About Cape Town cares, we’re adding a return Uber trip for you and your friends to make sure no one drinks and drives. Click here to enter.

3. Vans is having a birthday party, and you’re invited…

International skater brand Vans is turning 50 this week and Cape Town is one of the 10 cities worldwide the brand has chosen to host an epic party in. The best part? You’re invited? There’ll be three days of skater and street art, DJs, parties, new Vans gear, giveaways and, of course, some sick skating demos by the pros. Here’s where it’s at.

High fashion, low cost: where to get designer clothes at half the price

You don’t have to spend a fortune on haute couture thanks to 2nd Take, a boutique store that sells next-to-new international labels like Prada, Zara, Armani and Jimmy Choo at bargain-basement prices.

Want legit designer shoes, clothing and sunglasses but balk at the price tags? You’re in luck: 2nd Take, a second-hand boutique store with two outlets in Cape Town and an online store, offers affordable alternatives that won’t force you to compromise on authenticity or style.

2nd Take owner Bettina Berlep says the idea for a boutique franchise selling previously-owned international labels stemmed from owning a closet full of “designer duds”: outfits by top brand names that didn’t quite fit anymore or were bought on impulse.

“I decided that those beautiful designer clothes deserve a place in the light again – to find a new home with someone who will appreciate and wear them,” she explains.

2nd Take sells designer clothing for men, women and children at up to 70% off the regular retail price.

The online shop makes it easy for people who live outside Cape Town or don’t have time to visit the boutiques in Sea Point and Rondebosch to buy clothing they can’t find at other South African stores.

And if you’re looking to cull any of your own designer labels, 2nd Take will help you sell your used high-end fashion items. While you won’t make a fortune (the shop takes a percentage of the final sale price), it’s a great option to make a little spending money to put towards your next designer buy.

Hit these streets in Cape Town’s city centre for awesome design

Cape Town’s city centre is easily explored by foot – and that’s the best way to seek out the local design talent, whether you’re looking out for art, architecture, jewellery or fashion…

Cape Town’s city centre is a treasure trove of creative expression. The main streets and seach have their own distinct character and, together with the neighbouring suburb of Woodstock, have secured Cape Town’s place – after being named the World Design Capital in 2014 – on the global design map.

“Cape Town’s design scene is vibrant and diverse. We have tackled creativity in a varied way and in doing so are able to offer it on many levels, be it interior design, architecture, interior products, food, art fashion,” says Robert Sherwood of interior design consultancy Robert Sherwood Design.

You heard the man: get out there and spend a day trawling the city centre! Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes…

Bree Street

In the last few years many interior and fashion designers and architects, have opened shops in Bree Street, elevating it to Cape Town’s “Designer Mile”. Robert Sherwood Design, fabric house Skinny La Minx and Avoova – which specialises in interior products made out of indigenous ostrich shells – are but a few. These are set in and amongst architects’ practices such as Inhouse Brand Architects and Van der Merwe Miszewski Architects, accessories designers and fashion boutiques, and a number of gourmet restaurants and well-known art galleries.

Loop, Long and Church Streets

If you head down into Loop and Long Streets make sure you go there via Church Street. Long famed for its outdoor antique market, it’s a narrow street full of art galleries and jewellery design studios, and is also home to designer showroom and shop Chandler House. Further down is the Ceramic Factory, which produces bright and quirky ceramic home accessories in a range of interesting designs.

African Image, a well-known seller of African crafts and products from across the continent is further down Church Street. Nearby, in Loop Street, is Stable, a design emporium featuring innovative local brands such as Dark Horse, Indigi Designs and James Mudge Furniture, amongst many others. Next door is fine art and design gallery Ebony.

Kloof Street

Further up the city grid, heading toward Table Mountain, is Kloof Street – an extension of Long Street and home to a host of established local design shops. Lim, Klooftique and Loft Living all specialise in furniture design and home décor, while newcomers Ashanti Design specialise in vibrant home furnishings from the African sub-continent. The Lifestyle on Kloof centre hosts the popular loved Present Space, a design collective that represents close to a hundred local designers.

How to get the cameras clicking at the J&B Met

Fashion designer Richard Huisamen offers some pointers on how to pull off a winning look at the annual J&B Met, the most glamorous horse racing event on Cape Town’s calendar.

The J&B Met is one of the most over-the-top events on South Africa’s fashion calendar. Where other events tend to build on a rather low-key style, the Met has, over the years, developed into an event where people really experiment and push some boundaries in fashion. The clothes tend to be brighter, the dresses shorter and the hats bigger! This is one event where no one wants to fade away and everyone competes for attention.

So you’re guaranteed great fashion hits — and maybe even a few misses… If you want to make a grand entrance in a winning ensemble that’ll get you noticed, remember that it’s all in the fit, and how you pull it off.  But don’t even think of rocking up in your matric dance dress or a bridesmaid’s dress.  Anything in taffeta is also totally inappropriate. It is a special fun day — get something new and work with the theme!

Remember, a dress or suit that fits well is always a winner, so if it’s especially been made for you, you’re good to go… One outfit that stands out in my memory is a very short gold dress Top Billing presenter Jeannie G once wore that looked like it was made out of feathers — almost like she had wings coming out of her back — and that was quite striking.

Don’t neglect the finishing touches like shoes that complement your outfit, and carefully chosen accessories like great sunglasses, well-styled hair and a fantastic hat is almost essential in finishing a look. Top that with a great smile and you, too, can knock them out!

Make this designer’s studio part of your Cape Town style tour

The collections of the ever-stylish Stefania Morland stand out at Cape Town fashions shows for their whimsical yet elegant appeal. It all comes together in her small studio in Cape Town’s Kloof Street

Cape Town is renowned for being quite fickle when it comes to shopping for fashion, food and anything trendy. So the fact that Stefania Morland’s studio and shop has been open for a decade is testament to the staying power of this local luxury fashion and ready-to-wear brand.

The petite designer’s equally petite corner studio on Kloof Street, set amongst trendy restaurants, cafés, antique stores and hairdressing salons, is overflowing with some of the most detailed and luxurious designs in Cape Town. The dreamlike pieces, studded with intricate beading, sequins and other dazzling adornments, are hand-stitched in the studio that adjoins the shop.

There’s a sense of fantasy in her designs, like the stuff of ethereal queens and princesses, brought to life every season at the various fashion weeks she participates in. From colourful full skirts, to luxurious silk and tulle garments, Stephania Morland is known to design timeless, playful pieces that can be worn in various ways, giving customers the freedom to get creative.

The first floor of the shop showcases the slightly less formal yet still utterly glamorous garments, while the gowns, dresses and stand-out pieces can be found up the curved staircase. The rails of beautiful garments will have you browsing for ages – a perfect morning out if you’re in the market for a show-stopping piece.

This boutique brings the best of Europe’s fashion to Cape Town

Designer concept boutique Maison Mara specially curates international fashion for sophisticated Cape Town women with a unique sense of style.

It’s hardly surprising  that international designer boutique Maison Mara, inspired by similar concept stores in Paris, is located in De Waterkant, one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in Cape Town. As a maze of cobbled streets and homes whose architecture reflect the centuries-old Dutch and Georgian homes of Europe, the setting for Maison Mara looks like it’s straight out of the French fashion capital.

The three-storey heritage building that houses the boutique has been thought out with great attention to detail. The designers featured read like a European Fashion Week itinerary: Jil Sander, JW Anderson, Proenza Schouler, Maison Margiela, Acne, Balenciaga and Kenzo, amongst others. Owner Kelly Withey groups the various ranges by garments from across the collections that work well together.

You’ll also find a host of lifestyle products from well-established international brands, such as Phaidon Books, Malin + Goetz cosmetics and Ligne Blanche candles, to name a few. Walking through the space from one floor to the next – eventually coming out on the rooftop – feels like one has entered a dream, or fallen down a rabbit-hole lined with some of the most sought-after international designer collections. The sense of luxury that Kelly Withey has created is comforting rather than intimidating, inviting you to unwind and relax while browsing the rails and exploring the nooks and crannies.

This is where to find couture in Cape Town’s commercial hub

Situated in Bree Street amongst high-rise office blocks, the all-black façade of Kluk/CGDT’s flagship store stands out from the crowd – much like their distinguishable gowns at important social events.

The three-storey Kluk/CGDT flagship store is on a part of Bree Street that is more business than pleasure. Launched in 2014 as part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, it was replicated to look like an early 20th century building, typical of Lower Bree Street. The refreshing black façade, dotted with contemporary floor-to-ceiling glass windows and populated with leggy, black-painted mannequins, is enough to make anyone, even those whose interests don’t include fashion, curious to wander in.

It’s the duo’s third store in South Africa – and no expense has been spared in presentation. A grand staircase designed by Cape Town-based artist Rodan Kane Hart is a focal feature; bottles of sparkling wine await guests arriving for their appointments and, of course, there’s the beautifully designed couture, ready-to-wear, bridal garments and gowns that the duo are renowned for. A sense of luxury emanates from every corner of the three storeys, which comprise a bridal parlour, lounge, change rooms, shop area and at the top, the studio.

It’s quite rare that a local fashion house has a stand-alone store in arguably Cape Town’s most exclusive commercial address, not to mention their other stores around South Africa. This is testament to the duo’s stellar success over the years, that has seen them featured in every local fashion magazine as well as leading international publications such as Wallpaper, Monocole, American Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and I-D, amongst others.

Kluk/CGDT’s latest offering is their SS16 ready-to-wear collection entitled Pop, inspired by Anime and the Pop Art movement. For a fix of colourful Cape Town designed original fashion and an all-round luxurious experience, head to the alluring black-painted building in Bree Street.

Tips for men who put fashion first at the J&B Met

Fashion designer Wayne Govender offers his tips on how fashion-forward men can hook a winning look at the annual J&B Met, the most glamorous horse racing event on Cape Town’s calendar.

Horse racing and couture have always been a great mix and men’s fashion at the J&B Met is way more daring and exciting than compared to other great race days like, for example, polo events or the Queens Plate cup, which are more classic and conservative. So when dressing for the Met, men tend to shrug off boundaries and want to make a splash with what they pick to rock up in.

At the J&B Met, we are lucky to witness some of this country’s top menswear brands, like CSquared, Viyella and Carducci, as well as a host of very talented up and coming newbies.

If you’re heading to the Met and hoping to make a favourable and lasting impact, remember that a winning ensemble consists of your chosen look that captures the theme correctly, with a twist to make it your own personal style. Go for something that draws the right kind of attention to you, something that you can wear from day to night, from event to event afterparty, and still look ultra chic.

Go with what works for you, and that includes planning and investing in your look. A great style statement at the Met could cost absolutely nothing if you are really clever, all the way up to maxing out your credit card if you’re feeling splashy. Whatever you do, do not copycat an outfit from any famous international designers, do not show up in casual attire — save that for the beach — and never wear a bad attitude to the races!

Also, don’t forget the sunblock – lots of it – and a hot date as arm candy of course!