Glitz and Glamour at the Fire and Ice Hotel
Kumari (right) with Elizabeth Arden consultant
I had been reading Kumari’s (who tweets as @CapeTownFashion) tweets over the last few months about the Style Society’s Pop Up Boutique featuring fashion and accessory designers, hair and beauty make-overs and more.
When she announced that it was going to be held at Cape Town’s trendy Fire and Ice Hotel my interest was piqued and a half.
Kumari had invited a few of the fashion forward twitter community to attend the Pop up held on Saturday 27 November 2010, and I was delighted to oblige, since I intended going anyway. (Not that I am particularly fashion forward, as my Twitter bio would try to suggest. I’m more of an appreciator and collector of beautiful things, not necessarily a compiler of the right combinations on myself. If that makes sense).
Parked outside the Fire and Ice Hotel, was a cool in silver Mini Cooper Coupe, emblazoned with “Style Society” across the body and setting the scene for things to come.
The event also showcased the newly released Mini Countryman, making it’s very sporty first public appearance.
Clothes, bags and more!
Throngs of ladies, and the odd gent too, with complimentary drink in hand, could be seen browsing the rails of clothing, and tables of handbags, shoes, jewellery stands, touching, trying on, chatting and lounging comfortably awaiting their turn for an Elizabeth Arden make-over or attention for their tresses by the top Wella hair-stylists in the hair zone. Beauty and hair products were also on sale, with knowledgeable staff from Arden, Sebastian and Rivage on hand.
Morgenster had a stand too, with their olives, tapenades and olive oils on sale. I, for one am a big fan of their tapenade- so this pleased me immensely!
bags and clothes on display
If you were after a gift for a fashion savvy special someone this Christmas, or treats for yourself, chances are you would have found something here- a range of products, with price tags from inexpensive (a jar of olives) to mid range (a hand-crafted pair of ear-rings) to completely over-the top (the Countryman).
I had a chat to three of the stand holders:
Maria is an Italian born designer, who has made Cape Town her home. And who could blame her? She specialises in hand made bags, crafted using organic leathers, sourced as far as possible locally. Her designs are classic but different. She beamed as she said she’d love for her customers to “re-discover” one of her bags 10 or 15 years down the line and still find them fashionable, in much the same way she has had the pleasure of using her grandmother’s handbags many, many years after her gran carried them.
My absolute favourite find of the day was her crocodile leather clutch in olive green, with rough black crock leather down the centre. Perhaps Santa is reading this blog!
The owner Alka Martine explained that the clothes, bags and jewellery that belong to the Island Lily label are made by indigenous communities in Mauritius (their main factory is based there), Fiji and some items come from India. The range comprises luxurious but comfortable leisurewear. Island Lily is about to release a local collection, made by locals as part of their empowerment philosophy.
Alka flanked by Island Lily girls
Local representatives of Israel’s largest costume jewellery manufacturers had a gorgeous display of on- trend jewellery (made specifically for each season), made of nickel-free plated metals, semi- precious stones and fabrics. The pieces have an “ethic” gypsy feel to them and invite a lot of touching and holding tightly against one’s self. I found them to be playful and different from the norm, tributes that make them very desirable.
Chit- Chat with Kumari
In between manning the registration desk, liaising with exhibitors and answering clients’ questions, Kumari, soft-spoken and ever so lady-like, sat down with me for a chat.
- I asked how she conceived the Pop up Boutique idea. Kumari answered that she follows the retail trends, especially those pertaining to fashion closely and this was definitely one that has been steadily gaining popularity. It affords new and up and coming designers an opportunity to show-case their work without hiring shop-space, which is a necessary innovation in these post-recession times. I also got the feeling that exhibitors are more likely to discount their wares, with friendly competition from fellow exhibitors, making it a win-win situation for seller and customer alike.
- In terms of total preparation involved to pull off this event, Kumari said she began her research in May this year and began the analysis and planning of logistics in August.
- As for selling a R50 ticket, whilst giving a very generous goodie bag [Arden samples and vouchers, hair and make over vouchers (each worth R500), a fashion magazine, a slab of Lindt chocolate ] – let’s just say that there’s a very interesting psychological reasoning behind it and I will not be the one to spill the beans!
- Kumari’s Christmas picks:
1. The Morgenster olive oil and tapenades for a food loving friend (easy on the budget),
2. Shoes by Birinbau (an Italian brand- mid range prices and amazing designs)
3. A Maria Lamanna bag (a splurge item, for one’s self, of course!)
The Pop up Boutique was a fun afternoon out, followed by a veggie burger and shake at the Fire and Ice’s trendy dining room, and I can’t wait for the next one!
Fire and Ice- dining area
Come Christmas morning, I got the biggest surprise! But I shouldn’t really have been: after all I blogged the hint to Santa. Who knew Santa actually read it and colluded with the lovely Maria Lamanna – the gorgeous croc clutch is now mine! What a year- having eaten crocodile for the first time, then having had the opportunity to cook it, now to take it out to dinner! Isn’t she lovely? The answer, is yes!
Love to hear your thoughts!