Fashion

Leather & Suede Care | Crepe Protect

 

There’s a certain kind of romance in wearing your shoes down to the stitching. Cities leave marks, memories make holes, and your feet become a kind of scrapbook; a shrine to all the things you’ve seen.

That time you stepped in a puddle and splashed an old lady who later told you not to ever bite your tongue, over a cup of too sweet tea. Or the time you stumbled up the stairs at 125th street dizzy with Whiskey and landed in the lap of a Spaniard with a guitar.

Buffing your favorite Stan Smiths feverishly as you peel them off coyly at your desk in favor of the 2006 Suede Chanel boots you had to save 2 seasons for.

Yes, shoes have stories, and histories and memories; the trouble is, some don’t last long enough to gather enough evidence to prove that they actually meant something to you. I had a pair of shoes I only got to wear twice because the suede scuffed the first time I went dancing in them, and never came out. It’s hard to walk confidently into an interview with marks on your Aldos, so you retire them and eventually forget about them, and chalk it up as a waste.

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My closet is full of missed opportunities. Leather and suede that could have taken me on a myriad adventures, but instead, sit rather meekly gathering dust because I’m too afraid to ruin them. Hiding them, and occasionally visiting them just to gaze upon them, but never daring to take them out into the world. I’m so clumsy, I might take one step out of the car and end up with my foot stuck between a tire and a beer can, and suddenly my Lilac Suede Sling backs aren’t Lilac anymore. Tragic, I simply can’t bear it.

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Cue knight in shining armor. He’s a sneaker kind of guy. A Dessert Rat, Off White collab, Converse of the Commes Des Garcons variety wearing kind of guy, and this I discovered is the key to saving all the sling backs of futures past. While conducting my routine snoop of his guest-bedroom drawers, I discovered a very well kept secret amongst sneaker heads and street-wear aficionados; the Golden Goose my friends, is a handy little product called Crepe Protect. It’s a magical spray that forms a silicon guard between your leather or suede and the outside world, that is basically a liquid repellant. Puddle? Fear not. An unexpected drizzle? Don’t fret. I wonder if it would protect against the ill wishes of Internet trolls, the research isn’t strong on that front but I’ll keep you posted. While we’re talking about the internet, I Googled Crepe Protect and DJ Khaled swears by it, so don’t play yourself.

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Although used predominately to care for sneakers, the DIY princess in me discovered that not only does the spray make your favorite boots last an extra 2 seasons, but all the products in the range work equally as well for handbags a like. Not only is there a spray, but the range consists of a scuff eraser which essentially buffs out the little marks on your leather, fragrance pills that keep your gym shoes smelling fresh enough to sit next to that really hot guy from the 5:30 spin class, shoe trees to keep the shape of your more structured pairs, but also these handy individually wrapped cleaning wipes that I may or may not have wiped my laptop down with after polishing my new White Leather Vans for the third time. This is innovation I tell you. It’s time to break out that super cute patent leather Fendi pump that my mom bought me for my birthday, and finally unleash that Nude suede mule I’ve been hiding since my last trip to New York. It’s a brave new world. Buy your Crepe products at Archive in Braamfontein or any Sportscene store near you and join the movement. A fearless footwear revolution!

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Seven Days With | Spree

Shop the looks here.

Ph x Anthony BIla

#ConsciousExclusive | H&M

H&M CONSCIOUS EXCLUSIVE 2018 BRINGS TOGETHER POWERFUL FEMININITY AND SUSTAINABLE FASHION INNOVATION WITH RECYCLED SILVER AND ECONYL®

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By combining the latest in sustainable fabric innovation with designs inspired by the creative home of the Swedish artists Karin and Carl Larsson, the 2018 H&M Conscious Exclusive collection is a thoroughly modern expression of beautiful craft and powerful femininity. For the first time two new sustainable materials, recycled silver and ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated nylon fibre from fishnets and other nylon waste, are introduced to the collection. Launching on 19 April, the Conscious Exclusive 2018 collection will be available in selected stores worldwide and online at hm.com.

All garments H&M, Photography Niquita Bento

All garments H&M, Photography Niquita Bento

For its seventh edition, the H&M Conscious Exclusive collection comprises of beautifully crafted womenswear clothing, lingerie, shoes and accessories that balance strength with softness. This year, along with organic linen, organic cotton, organic silk, TENCEL™ and recycled polyester, H&M introduces the two new materials recycled silver and ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated nylon fibre made from fishnets and other nylon waste.

“It is a great thrill to introduce two new sustainable materials into the collection. By creating gorgeous lace made of ECONYL® and beautiful jewellery crafted from recycled silver, we continue to stretch the boundaries of sustainable fashion. Also, the work of Karin Larsson in particular took on a lot of significance, her stylised motifs, bold compositions and use of colour throughout the house were ahead of its time. She was such a strong woman and it’s that spirit that we channelled.”

                                                                                 Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M

 


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Handcrafted tapestries and needlework made by Karin, her love for their garden and contrasting characteristics of the rooms in Karin and Carl’s home were the key inspirations for the 2018 Conscious Exclusive collection. They were cleverly translated by the design team into the stunning floral jacquards, abstract embroideries and prints based on specific objects in the house.


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There are several statement pieces, such as a white ECONYL® sleeveless full-length dress with organic cotton embroidery and a green floral metallic jacquard full-length dress made from recycled polyester. Meanwhile, a black floral jacquard trouser suit features an open slit at the back of the blazer and cropped flare trousers for a contemporary touch. Overall, the colour palette consists of greens, white and black with touches of dusky blue and powder pink. Accessories include delicate yet striking tulip-motif jewellery made from recycled silver, elegant satin slip in shoes made from recycled polyester, beautiful printed scarves in a TENCEL™ blend and a delicate pouch handbag made fully embellished with recycled plastic beads and sequins.

“Ever since I learned about this collection I’ve been really impressed by what it stands for and the designs are equally appealing. Fashion and sustainability is no longer a contradiction in terms and I think re-using and recycling is an important initiative across fashion. It’s really inspiring to see such fashion-forward designs being made from recycled materials,”

                    Christy Turlington Burns, this year’s face of the H&M Conscious Exclusive campaign

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The 2018 print campaign was shot by fashion photographer Mikael Jansson and stars Aamito Lagum, Giedrė Dukauskaitė and Christy Turlington Burns, world-renowned model and founder of the maternal health organisation Every Mother Counts.

As part of the social campaign promoting the new Conscious Exclusive Collection, I was invited by H&M to create three looks around one garment from the collection. I chose the longline tuxedo blazer, and my three looks are pictures above!

Workwear to Weekend: Clean Lines & Modern Suiting | Witchery

Transitional seasons call for smart layering solutions, lightweight fabrications, clean lines and modern twists on classic tailoring. The Autumn color palette moves towards brighter, lighter, cooler colors for a fresh Spring feel. Contrasting and complimentary shapes are a new way to elevate the simplicity of a work-wear wardrobe into the edgier and more casual weekend wardrobe.

Photography x Anthony Bila

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LOOK 1: Monotone Ease

Breaking up your modern suit into separates gives your wardrobe more versatility. Take the trousers and pair them with an off the shoulder shirt, a low slip on mule and an oversized bag with metallic hardware, for a sophisticated weekend restaurant look.

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Style tip: The look works with the jacket and without for varying degrees of coverage and elegance. The off the shoulder detail under the double-breasted blazer adds an interesting contrasting element.

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LOOK 2: Day to Night Suiting
Keeping your modern suit whole can still be an appropriate look for away from the office. Pair with a monochromatic graphic t-shirt like this one made in collaboration with French illustrator Quibe, for an edgier more relaxed look. To take it into after work drinks, or girls night, add an architectural heel for a little glam.

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Style Tip: Use your hairstyle to play with the high/low detailing elements when wearing a full suit. Loose hair feels more relaxed than an up-do or intricate style. Use your hair and your shoes to dictate the formality of your suit styling.

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LOOK 3: Casual Color Blocking
Solids on solids are an easy way to elevate a simple look from casual to elegant. Add another neutral coloured jacket or blazer to your basic suit trouser, with a t-shirt or blouse underneath finished with a suede mule for comfort, and your look becomes a clean yet comfortable take on the age old colour blocking trend. This look relies on the cape style of the jacket to bring an element of newness to an otherwise easy look.

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Style tip: Choosing a shirt with a long and interesting sleeve detail to go underneath the cape jacket accentuates and highlights the shape of the layers and is a dynamic way to bring contrast into a monochromatic ensemble.