The thing about style is that at its most basic, bare and elaborate; the root, core, and blossom of it, is that style is personal and self-defined. It is like fingerprints, similar but very different. However, individualistic, when a similar style starts to form a pattern it can be grouped to represent part of a collective. Thus a particular form of style can define a particular subculture or tribe, but not an individual.
Tempting as it can be to debate if a certain individual(s) is stylish on not. The discourse is as futile as pissing against the wind. The question is what barometer do we use to scale; if not our own subjective point of references? Case in point:
Fashion designer, Craig Jacobs says that for him “style is memorable and never flashy, like a collection of your favourite books that you can never tire of reading. A dress that brings an inward smile every time you put it on or a pair of shoes which becomes even more precious the more you wear it.”
Rea Khoabane, the South African writer asserts the concept of style having to do with self-exploration and being part of subcultures. She defines style as “is being able to explore your different personalities through clothes. And tomboys have the best fun.”
Midst conversation last night I overheard someone say “you already won, you should have really come wearing a t-shirt and a pair of jeans” and I thought to myself you are actually right. This is a night about celebrating style within the dress framework. Style has no rules, no theme, no restrictions because then where is the individual expression in that?
One woman who arguably is one of the most stylish people in Johannesburg, Yasmin Furmie also believes that style has to do more with one’s sense of self, exhibited outwardly through dress. Furmie states that “style is the creation of an image that positions you in a space, that speaks of complexity and creativity. It’s a barometer of self-concept and self-confidence.”
On the other equally stylish opposite end of the wand. Wendy Tlou echoes that style is personal and fluid asked what is her definition of style she said: “style is decadence. A quintessential expression of me; my voice. It is always luxurious, elegant simplicity, clean lines and it flows.”
A pair of well cut, fitted, good colour wash and wear denim paired with a crisp white (t)shirt, is iconic. Yes, that was meant to induce a quick image flash of James Dean. Name a more iconic reference – more is welcomed we are not married to one, change the narrative.
The annual SA Style Awards celebrated the 11 individuals they consider to be the most stylish people in South Africa in 2018 as voted by their elected jury. The formalities rolled out at Sandton City Diamond Walk with the after party and floating dinner held at Sandton Sun rooftop.
Lee-Anne Liebenberg, Temi Ofong, Nicky Van Der Walt, Felipe Mazibuko, Penny Lebyane, Kerishnie Naicker, Peta Eggiert-Symes, KB Motsilenyane, Naledi Mabuze, Tamara Dey, Pnina Fenster, Vanessa Carreira-Coutroulis, Zuraida Jardine and more were in attendance.
You know it has been an eventful year in Johannesburg when you on a Sandton rooftop bar, a flute of bottomless bubbles in hand, kiking, and hissing around a bornefire whilst shimmy-shimming to the sound of DJ Kimmy K.
And from the corner of the eye, you can see Gill Gregor ruling and working the room in a black floor-sweeping Saint Laurent number that boldly declares, skinny legend. Then you think to self, all elements considered, I cannot wait for the next fashion Christmas party to end the year with the legions.