Film Locations – Around the World in Southern Africa

on location near Cape TownSouth African ex-pats living in Canada may get a sense of déjà vu when the next Canadian ILC Lotto Max lottery campaign is released.

The commercial shows an idealistic world tour that a lottery winner might dream of, with picturesque scenes depicting  India, Japan, New York and Mexico among other destinations, and yet the whole production was shot on location in Southern Africa. Have fun spotting which scenes were shot in Namibia, which around Cape Town and which Mexican ruins were actually shot in Zanzibar!

It seems that Southern Africa’s diversity of film locations together with the fact that it is English speaking with first class film production infrastructure made it the top choice for this wide-ranging production, as it has been for many other top commercial productions before it. Guaranteed to make South Africa ex-pats nostalgic for home whenever a commercial break comes on!

Artemis Wragge For Exquisite Cashmere Scarves

artemis-wragge-cashmere-scarvesThe most stylish of cashmere scarves in a gossamer lightweight weave, Artemis Wragge’s beautiful creations are an absolute must for this winter.

South African designers, Diana Wragge and Roy Curitz, restore an inimitable mystique and cachet to the cashmere scarf, creating masterpieces in this luxurious yarn that you will treasure for years.

The Artemis Wragge collection is made from the finest quality cashmere from Inner Mongolia and is woven exquisitely. The gossamer collection is so fine that it will easily pass the ultimate test of slipping through a wedding band. artemis wragge-cashmere-printed-scaves

Also look out for the label’s gorgeous printed scarves in a rich cashmere and silk blend.

Groundbreaking Foodie News or Stylish Leg-pull?

Fairview-coffee-goatsThe most expensive coffee in the world is reputed to be Kopi Luwak or civet coffee – this rarefied form of coffee is distinguished by its aromatic and mellow flavour without the usual bitterness of many coffees – these qualities are a result of its unusual process the coffee beans are first eaten and then passed by the Asian Palm Civet. While this may be a total turn-off for many, gourmet coffee drinkers pay a premium for this delicacy…

And now here in South Africa local gourmets have been promised a new coffee experience. Inspired by Kopi Luwak that he experienced in Indonesia, innovative Fairview owner Charles Back is reported to have experimented on some of his prize goats with the same coffee bean eating process. Apparently it worked beautifully – the goats love the coffee beans and their digestive juices have a similar effect to those of the Asian civet, producing a wonderfully mellow and aromatic coffee.

Hesitant would-be gourmets are assured that the coffee beans are extremely well washed before being dried and roasted. The resulting coffee is said to have wonderful health benefits, rejuvenating and promoting a positive outlook on life. The goats are loving this new project too and are full of energy! The aptly named Goffee can be tasted at Fairview’s restaurant The Goatshed from 1st April….

Unfortunately the excitement is short-lived as the reader notes the tags on this ground-breaking announcement and turns to the date of the post… 1st April… a creative and compelling foodie April Fool. Such a shame, I could imagine quite a queue of local foodies queuing for this rare and wonderful goat coffee!

This Seasons Hottest Jacket

IRO-Agnette-Red-Distressed-JacketHot fashion item of the moment, this stunning IRO Agnette jacket is flying out of stores worldwide. Fashion fundis are seeking far and wide to get their hands on one, so if you’ve been lingering over your winter wardrobe decisions now is not the time to hesitate.

South Africa’s top online designer fashion store ShopLabel still has stock in red, cream and black, so get there before the secret leaks out and these coveted IRO jackets all wing their ways overseas!

Johannesburg Steals the Location Limelight

Johannesburg-location-film-productionCape Town is everyone’s favourite South African location for film production, so much so that Jo’burg often gets left out in the cold, but the very fact that it is less in the limelight made it the top choice for two recent film shoots that couldn’t be more different from each other.

A new thriller set in Syria, for obvious reasons, could not be filmed for real on the streets of Damascus, so Johannesburg has proved to be the perfect double – a varied cityscape that isn’t instantly recognisable as itself and yet has the smooth operating infrastructure that South Africa is renowned for in the film industry. The movie Inescapable is the story of a father searching for his missing daughter in the middle of Damascus.

At the other end of spectrum is the latest dramatic commercial for Opel. The producers needed city streets that were wide enough for several cars, streets that could easily be closed to regular traffic during the filming and where they could use dramatic smoke effects. Johannesburg proved to be the perfect location with a co-operative municipality and film office providing the extensive lock-offs needed. Look out for the final cut in the next Opel Corsa ad.

So don’t forget about Johannesburg for both gritty and beautiful cityscapes when you are searching out locations in South Africa.

Is Floral the New Cheetah?

Katie Holmes in Current/Elliot floral skinny jeansDesigner jeans trends seem to skip through so fast that you blink and you miss it. Spring in the northern hemisphere has inspired a rash of blossom – floral look skinny jeans have stolen the limelight from the leopards, cheetahs and reptiles of last month.

There seem to be two camps – those who think that the new florals look like their grandma’s taste in interior decor, and those who love the fresh colours and designs.

Plenty of celebrities have been snapped in the Current/Elliott florals already, like Katie Holmes in the picture, and they look great with heels and plain Ts or long cardigans.

What’s perfect for spring over there, looks set to go down a storm for autumn and winter over here too and Current/Elliott’s Stilletto Skinny in Red Rose are available online  from ShopLabel, so we can get ahead on the latest fresh fashion trends in designer jeans.

Designer Fashion Gearing Up For Winter

IRO leather jacketSo the beach weather isn’t quite over yet, but an autumnal nip in early mornings in the Cape has us looking towards our winter wardrobes in anticipation.
The winter staples are just arriving in designer fashion stores all over SA and here are a few essentials to look out for:

Cashmere scarves
Soft and luxurious a beautifully crafted cashmere scarf will see you through chilly winter mornings and evenings in style.

Jackets
Tailored blazer or chic and edgy with a distressed feel, the jacket is an essential piece this winter. IRO have some great options in red, black or white. Make sure you have a leather jacket ready to wear for a casual and edgy look too.

Equipment label silk shirtSilk Shirts
A silk shirt can uplevel your whole winter wardrobe in one move. Dress up some skinny jeans for a more formal day look or pair one with skirt and boots for work wear. Plain neutral colours in white, grey or taupe are versatile but you can also have fun with the statement making prints available this season – think leopard print or star spangles.

Textured knits
Keep warm with an elegant textured knit – perhaps a slim fit cardigan.

Skinny Jeans
Skinny jeans are still de rigueur and come in an even wider choice of prints, colours and finishes. Check out JBrand’s latest range for some useful winter staples, or Current/Elliott for some fancy leopard prints in pastel.

Grab these and other upcoming trends in designer fashion from ShopLabel –some of them are still only available on pre-order, but you can make sure of the best pieces now, so your winter wardrobe is ahead of the game.

South African Movies Latest Top 3

Safe House - on location in Cape TownSouth African movie fans were delighted to find three new movies filmed at home to choose from this weekend. The top three box office draws in South Africa this weekend were all filmed here, on location in and around Cape Town and Johannesburg.

First place was taken by Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds  – an international production filmed both on location in and around Cape Town and at Cape Town Film Studios. It opened in SA this weekend to gross R4.1million. It did pretty well in the US as well, grossing $40m in its first weekend when it opened there on 10th February.

Next on the SA top 3 list is Afrikaans romantic comedy Semi-Soet, filmed on location in the Cape Winelands and in Jo-burg.

And only just beaten into third place is South African comedy, Material – The Movie, a story of a Muslim boy in Fordsburg, Johannesburg, who discovers a talent for stand up comedy, which received rave reviews.

For more details of all three movies read here.

We’re loving the fact that we can go to the cinema and see our own streets and landscapes on screen, as well as the fact that the South African movie industry is thriving so well. Looking forward to seeing many more movies filmed at locations in South Africa over the coming years.

Leopard Print Jeans Go Pastel

Pastel leopard print designer jeans in peachThe hottest new take on the leopard print trend, is these pastel leopard skinny jeans from Current/Elliot.

These designer jeans are part of the latest SS12 collection aimed at those heading for spring in the Northern hemisphere.So pretty and they come in peach or cashmere blue. Perfect with a slouchy knit or a simple silk shirt.

For us in South Africa they are just in time for the last months of summer, heading into autumn, but there’s no reason that they shouldn’t also look good as part of our winter wardrobes, once summer finally loses its grip.
Pastel leopard print skinny jeans in blue
Which do you like best Cashmere blue or Dusty Peach?

They are just in at ShopLabel if you want to get your hands on some of these irresistible designer jeans right now.

Printed Jeans – Are You A Snake Or A Leopard?

Leopard print designer jeansSnake print designer jeansIf you haven’t yet latched onto this season’s animal print jeans trend then it’s time to make the tough decision…

Are you a snake or are you a leopard?

Sinuous scales or sophisticated spots?

 

Both go perfectly with skinny jeans, which can be paired with a silk tee and statement heels for a cocktail party or dressed down for day wear.

The secret to styling these jeans for elegance rather than overkill, is to keep tops and shoes plain and simple – let the jeans be the focus of your look… and don’t mix your animals!

Track down J brand animal print designer jeans in snow leopard or matt boa.

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