A peek behind the scenes at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2014

28 Jul

So Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town has finally come and gone. Sjoe!

Is it super sad that the killer bobotie in the media lounge was one of the weeks' biggest highlights?

Is it sad that the killer good bobotie in the media lounge was one of my weeks’ biggest highlights? I had four of them and wouldn’t even put it down for pictures. (Speaking of which, if you want to make my collages bigger, just click on them.)

On day one, Clouds and I dropped by ghd’s pop up studio who were kind enough to treat us to a new do. I’m always so impressed by anyone who’s able to make curls using a ghd. I’ve tried this myself often and just never gotten the hang of it so big up’s to the stylist who gave me a full set of gorgeous waves in five minutes flat. This is the joy of using the brand’s top of the range Eclipse styler. As it’s space age plates distribute the heat so evenly, it works lightning fast and gets the job done right with just one stroke so you don’t have to go over your hair repeatedly and subject it to excessive heat.

How zexy is that white Eclipse on the left? It looks like something out of Star Wars.

How zexy is that white Eclipse on the left? It looks like something out of Star Wars.

Show-wise, I didn’t view the whole shebang this year but caught a few of the biggies. From an ‘entertainment’ point of view, I enjoyed Gavin Rajah’s show. From the evocative music and sexy fuchsia lighting to the way billions of pink confetti showered onto the ramp during the finale… I just felt like I’d been treated to a real ‘show’.

By the way, I don’t have any decent runway piccies to show you. My camera’s simply too slow to capture movement. But if you pop on over to SDR Photo you’ll find all the best images from all the shows.

Later that eve I nipped backstage (thanks Caterina!) to chat to Michelle-Lee Collins, MAC’s senior make-up artist, and was thrilled to see that our behind the scenes really does look like the backstage you catch a glimpse of on Fashion TV. Everything was ‘glamorous chaos’, with tattoo-bedecked, heavily-pierced make-up artists shrieking stuff like ‘Pass me a 217!’ and ‘I need that chair in two!’. The whole place was strewn with make-up as far as the eye could see, intermingling with half-drunk energy drinks and jelly sweets. Then, in between the chaos, serene-looking models calmly scrolled through their Instagram timelines while their pretty faces got painted to perfection.

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Beautiful, organised chaos backstage back with MAC Cosmetics.

Michelle told me, that of all the zillions of cosmetics and beauty tools they used that day, the hero’s where MAC’s 168 Large Angled Contour brush (‘I’ve been using this for everything – applying and buffing in foundation… sculpting cheeks… doing eyes… everything’), her eye lash curlers and MAC Prep + Prime CC powders. (‘They just set everything to perfection…’)

To celebrate the end of day one and the kick off to the week, PR co Vivid Luxury hosted a Belvedere vodka ‘Illuminate the Night’ VIP party at Coco’s, a club in town. This involved mooi meisies issuing vodka shots poured from a giant ‘Belvedere bear’.

Like all good parties, this ended up up the 24-hour Woolies Engen on Orange.

Like all good parties, this ended up up the 24-hour Steers at the Woolies Engen on Orange.

As far as day two goes, I skipped out on that due to other commitments but was never going to miss the KlukGCDT event on day 3. This was the one show that didn’t actually take place at the CTICC like all the others. Instead, it was held at the designers’ new store on the corner of Bree and Waterkant streets in town and the ‘show’ took the form of an installation, with models strewn around the venue in various poses. This particular event was fashion week’s hottest ticket in town so it was jam packed with fashion folk and peppered with a host of local celebs that included comedian Marc Lottering, TV’s Jen Su and radio’s Elana Afrika.

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Jen Su and socialite Thandie Kupe sitting pretty at KlukCGDT up top and our slick ride down below on the left.

I actually didn’t stay long as Jen had to appear at Shimmy Beach Club later to host a party for a limo rental company called Limousine Extreme. They’d given her one to play with for the night and she invited me to hitch a ride back to the CTICC to catch the Fabiani show (hot boys in suits, yes please!) This is how I ended up cruising around town in a big, pink, champers-filled limo. This turned out to be an awesome way to pick up hot, (gay) model boys (‘Hey baby! Wanna ride in my big, pink car?’) and we all agreed hiring one would be a super fun way to add a little excitement to any bachelorette or matric dance. Hardly a bad way to end a fun, crazy week.

Love, love

Leigh

Ooh la la, bietse! Societi Bistro launches yet another delicieaux Tour Through France

24 Jul

Societi Bistro’s Tour Through France is back once more and yesterday saw it kicking off in Paris. For those who don’t know, Societi’s ‘trip’ sees the restaurant featuring ten delicious three-course menus paired with ten exceptional wines, each inspired by a different region of France, that change every week.

I was thrilled to be invited to a little pre-party to celebrate as this meant I got to sample a bunch of the dishes as well as the wine (oh, the wine!) while chatting to the winemakers themselves. Chef Stefan Marais was there too, of course. He’s the man behind each menu and totally knows his shizz as dude spent a good two years cooking in France. Rustic, hearty, non-frilly French cuisine is something this man can do in his sleep.

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Top right is the Gratinee des Halles (French onion soup, R45) from region 1: Paris. Karisa and I thought it a perfect match for my region 2’s Rupert & Rothschild Classique. 

Of everything I tried, I most enjoyed the Fricassee de poulet a la crème (R105), a wickedly creamy free-range chicken dish served with gratin dauphinois, from region 6: The French Alps. (This is me making a mental note to pop into Societi in the week starting on the 27th of August. FYI, the suggested wine pairing is Hartenburg Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz  – a spicy, peppery, berrylicious blend.)

I also really enjoyed region 9’s Salade Nicoise (R60), a tuna salad served with boiled eggs, olives, capers and anchovies.

My dishes du jour.

My dishes du jour.

Other dishes on the menu? These babies…

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Going clockwise you’ve got a cassoulet of pork, duck and beans (R118, region 2), Quiche Lorraine (R45, region 5), Beouf Bourguignon (R115 – region 7), chocolate profiteroles (R40, region 6) and warm oysters (R52, region 3.) 

FYI, the charcuterie starter (R75) from region 10, Corsica, is also excellent.

Seen anything to temp to? If you want to get your French on, pop on over to the Tour Through France section of Societi’s website. You can browse the menus, make note of those that float your boat and make a reservation.

A big thank you to Societi Bistro, owner Peter Weetman and the rest of the team for a lovely afternoon out (that was totally worth the kilojoules).

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Emjoi’s Micro Pedi is the coolest beauty tool I’ve used in ages. Chances are you’re going to want one

23 Jul

I’d never heard of Emjoi’s Micro-Pedi before but, as it turns out, it’s a super popular beauty tool that’s sold millions of units worldwide and won several awards. Now, having given it a bash, I can totally understand why.

Emjoi's Micro Pedi, R399 from Micropedi.co.za.

Please forgive the flash drive taped to the front. I was worried that ripping it off would tear the packaging.

To bring you up to speed, the Micro-Pedi’s a battery-operated handheld device that holds a little ‘sandpaper’-covered cylinder that spins at 30 revolutions per second in a bid to buff your feet to perfection. Essentially, it does what a foot file-wielding pedicurist can do but at the rate of knots and without getting tennis elbow, requiring a tip and blabbing on about her cute and funny and amazing her ten thousand cats are. (‘Do you want to see my Pinterest board about them? OMG, Sparkle is suuuch a diva…’)

But ja, let’s get back to the device. Using it is beyond simple – you literally just switch it on and then run it over any dry, rough or hardened skin on your feet. It’s as easy as that.

The Micro Pedi comes with a cleaning brush and protective roller cover.

The Micro Pedi comes with a cleaning brush and protective clip-off head cover.

The first time I touched it to my heel, I totally winced, worried it might hurt but – surprise, surprise – it didn’t even tickle. Phew! But then I just felt disappointed. There was no way this big ole softie was going to tackle a nasty ass callous. Not that I had any. My feet are in pretty good nick – but I do have a ridge of thicker skin running on along the back of my heel and just under the ‘ball’ of my big toe… but then I suddenly noticed something – the skin I’d just run the machine across was now covered in a layer of microfine white ‘dust’; almost like translucent setting powder. Could that be…? Oh my God, it was – my skin! Skin that had literally just been eviscerated in the blink of an eye and without a drop of discomfort. Jinnnnne!

With that, I blew off the dust and set about using the Micro Pedi on the hard bit of skin just under my big toe and BOOM – within five seconds it was gone. Gone! I almost wish I’d taken before and after piccies to show you but I’m not comfy with slapping my feet up on the internet. However, a quick Google reveals lots of hideous to look at yet fascinating ‘real person’ before and afters as well as a slew of excellent reviews. Personally, I’m super duper impressed and, should my own device break tomorrow, I’d happily buy a new one that same day with zero hesitation.

Want one too? They’re going for R399 a pop from Micropedi.co.za, a local site offering delivery nationwide. You’ll find they sell replacement rollers too at R199 for two-pack.

Love, love

Leigh

Asoka’s got a hot new cocktail and food pairing menu and this is me giving you a look at the Stoli vodka one

22 Jul

If you’re a fan of killer cocktails and generalised kiffness, you’re going to want to get to Asoka in Kloof street and try their new special. Every Wednesday, they’re teaming up with a different alcohol brand and use their booze to create two very zexy cocktails and a three course meal, the food also being booze-infused for just R350 a head. (Now I don’t know about you but I work like a demon child so that’s the kind of meal Auntie Leigh appreciates after a long day in her virtual office.)

I was invited to pop in last week Wednesday’s by Asoka’s lovely Mel Hinrichsen to try the Stoli vodka menu along with Ritza from Luxo, Clouds from AndLollipops, fashion designer Rachel and model/actor/Clouds’ new crush Devon Currer.

Cheers guys!

Cheers mense! (And Mel, why didn’t we get a shot of you?!)

I brought Dev along to replace another boytjie who’d dropped out at the last mo and provide male company for Luxo’s Elrico who also ended up not being able to come. Thus, poor Dev ended up trapped in a world of terrifying chica convo involving eyelash extensions, the shagability of James Spader, spider veins and cellulite. To be fair, he actually managed pretty well but mostly ‘cos Asoka’s Mel Heinrichsen kept plying our table with Stoli vodka shooters. But ja… let’s get back to the menu, shall we?

We kicked things off with a starter that consisted of five spoons of vodka and beetroot salmon spoons served with lemon aioli. When it was first put down on the table, I thought we were all getting one spoon each and then realised it was five for everyone. Yayness! And a very, very good thing ‘cos it was utterly delish. If you’re a sushi fan and big into salmon roses like I am, this is going to impress you.

Yum

Yum to the power of five, yo!

This was paired with a Burned orange and rosemary cosmo (made with Stoli vodka, but of course) and honestly folks, it was the nicest bloody drink I’ve had in ages. Mel says it’s probably going to become a permanent part of Asoka’s menu and when that happens you can expect to find me there on Friday’s, possibly blacked out under a table but with a big smile on my face. Just don’t steal my blerrie cell phone while I’m out, okay? I’ll need it to call a taxi when they switch the lights on.

As for the main course, this was a plate of butter soft, impressively large prawns all dressed up in crispy tempura batter and served with a vodka-infused tomato, basil and chili dipping sauce. Very, very nice!

These babies literally melted in your mouth.

These babies literally melted in your mouth.

For dessert, we all got presented with a huge strawberry-topped vanilla panna cotta that was served with a shortbread wedge.

Yumness

Everybody agreed that this was the business and Dev was in second heaven as shortbread is his fave thing in the world next to boxing and bacon.

Cocktail-wise, this was paired with a super sterk Very Vanilla martini. And when I say sterk, I mean it could’ve easily stripped the gelish from my fingertips. Fortunately, Mel managed to tame it with a generous squeeze of lime and then it went down the hatch like a dream. I still preferred cocktail nommer een though. In fact, just writing about it now is making me want one with a passion of a thousand fiery suns which may or may not be a good thing, considering it’s not yet 11am.

Thanks Mel, this was a seriously fun (and delicious) evening out.

For more info on Asoka’s special, visit their Facebook page or give them a ring on (021) 422 0909. Dinner bookings are essential.

Love, love

Leigh

Are you a busy girl like me? You’ll want to know about The Fox Box, a new mobile nail

21 Jul

Last week I was invited to a home pamper party for local media to learn more about The Fox Box. A mobile nail service that comes to your home after hours, using the The Fox Box means you don’t have to stress about getting to and from a nail salon on your lunch break or having to give up a Saturday morning to get your nails done. (Unless of course you want to – and in that case it’ll be done in the comfort of your own spot sans potentially hideous spa pan pipe music.)

Held at a private home in Constantia, guests got treated to bubbly, Teapigs tea and an array of wickedly sweet treats.

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Seriously – how gorgeous are those biccies?

But to get back to the service – a home visit isn’t nearly as expensive as you’d imagine it to be. For example, a magical mani is R350 and involves a soak, exfoliation, hand mask, buff, deep tissue massage, cuticle work and a shape and shine of your nails before a few slicks of either Essie or Morgan Taylor nail polish. Alternatively, you can add a gelish application for an extra R150.

Yes, it’s pricier than some salons, but the fact that they come to you and work up until 9pm kind of justifies the price – especially if you’re in a pinch and all the nail bars are closed. There are less expensive services too – a simple file and paint is R180 and an express mani and pedi in which the nails are simply filed, shaped and painted is R400.

I've forgotten who's nails I photographed in that pic. Apologies!

I’ve forgotten who’s mani I photographed. Apologies!

The company also offers pamper parties, caters for corporate functions and even sells their own The Fox Box branded nail products. (Sherbet-scented cuticle oil, anyone? Or maybe a Peach Melba hand mask?)

To learn more about The Fox Box, visit their website or find them on Facebook. Also, company co-founder Tove De Chazal, says to keep an eye out for The Fox Box app launching soon. One of the many functions it’ll serve up is phone call-free booking* so you’ll never have to scream your deets over the hustle and bustle of a busy salon to get an appointment.

Love, love

Leigh

*Girls, you have no idea how much I love any business that phone-free bookings. Half the time, Debonaires is the only pizza delivery service I use only due to the fact that I can order up via their website and not have to spend five minutes shriek-spelling my utterly impossible to dictate name  and addie to people. Anyone else feel the same way?

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