Friday, March 26, 2010

Chef, Make-up Artist, Stylist Gives Us a Glimpse of South Africa Street Fashion

What has a qualified chef, a vendor of a personal clothing range, and an up-and-coming make-up artist, stylist that is now being featured in several prestigious magazines, such as Oprah, SL, Fairlady, One small Seed have in common - the name NADJA SEALE – 23 year old founder of LILY BLOOM make-up artists and stylists.

Nadja is based in South Africa and she kindly shared with us the following article that she wrote as well as photos that she took in South Africa so we can get a glimpse of the South African street fashion.

Imaginative and Creative. Leopards and ingenious spots.
- By Nadja Seale

South African fashion has grown into a colossal industry showcasing some of our marvelous unique style and culture. My assignment was inspired by leopards and spots and I was not disappointed.

The legend says that the South African Leopard got his spots with the help of an Ethiopian.

Then the Ethiopian put his five fingers close together (there was plenty of black left on his new skin still) and pressed them all over the Leopard, and wherever the five fingers touched they left five little black marks, all close together. You can see them on any Leopard's skin you like, Best Beloved. Sometimes the fingers slipped and the marks got a little blurred; but if you look closely at any Leopard now you will see that there are always five spots -- off five black finger-tips.

'Now you are a beauty!' said the Ethiopian. 'You can lie out on the bare ground and look like a heap of pebbles. You can lie out on the naked rocks and look like a piece of pudding-stone.’

My night spent at Audi fashion week, made me think that there had to be Ethiopian participation behind it. The fabrics were rich and the designers made an effort to combine earthlike- tones and hues with texture that felt tangible as I watched the fashion show from a distance. The crowd and audience had to be my most memorable jiffy. They dressed up in street fashion combined with high-class elegance. I loved the contrast.

That distinction inspired me to go from Audi fashion week to Pretoria/ South African based shop ‘The steam room’. Formed, shaped and created by fashionista herself Mischa Els. It is in the centre of a venue for renowned South African Bands and a prominent Music abode. It has got to be the personification of street fashion and the African vibe. The walls have eye-catching graffiti and an atmosphere of pattern, print, striking and salient. The clothes are a combination of boho, vintage and street. The shoppers are trendy and chic with an expert eye for inventiveness in clothes.

My month of fashion left me thrilled and daunted. I felt like we are all Ethiopians in our own right. We are the ones that can let our fingers slip and create spots and blurrs that gave the leopard his beauty.

A few additional interesting facts about Nadja: She tends to be a blog addict and when she is not searching for inventive ideas you will find her in quirky second-hand shops saving valuable old clothes from non-appreciative hands.

For more photos of this series, check out:

To learn more about Nadja, visit