Skermunkil Designs

I recently visited a store in Melville called Superella. This was a great experience because the store had a totally unique vibe which was a mash-up of retro and modern, traditional and funky, organic and original. The one brand they stock which particularly caught my attention is Skermunkil.

As soon as I got home I did my research and this is what I found on the Skermunkil page. “Skermunkil Design Studio is a small jewellery design and manufacturing company based in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Our studio and shop is located in Muizenberg and is open to the public from 9 til 4 every week day. Everybody is welcome to come and see where we work, how we work and what we make. You are also most welcome to buy some lovely things… or just come for tea. Done deal.”

The notion of being open in this way really impressed me, as obviously these guys realise that their work is awesome and that people should get to see them in action. Next time I am down in the mother city I will be sure to visit the studio. I have never seen anything like this before, so I thought it important for me to share this beautiful brand. I sourced some pics from the Skermunkil blog, so check them out below and click through to visit the Skermunkil page.



Freedom of Movement

CARGO KILTS ARE A FRESH ARTISAN COMPANY THAT DOESN’T JUST OFFER KILTS, THEY OFFER FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT…

There are times when I find myself straying away from the university library and out of the gates into marvelous Melville in search of a little adventure. This little suburb is Johannesburg‘s bohemia – a little village of cafe culture and boutique shopping, where one will find the most interesting characters. I feel that my trips to Melville are sort of like mini-adventures, because everytime I go there I end up spending time with people who take me on a journey through the stories of their colorful lives.

Enter Sean McClymont – a kind, bearded South African Scottsman who plays the bagpipes and rocks the kilt. As I was scouting for interesting encounters, I came across a store which seemed to have evaded time. Cargo Kilts has no glitzy, digital, 21st century elements – it’s all pure old school, analogue and tradition. The lure of this time-warp was what drew me into the store, where I struck up a coversation with manager Sean. Innitially, I assumed that the kilt is for men who play bagpipes….but Sean soon showed me how wrong I was.

Sean explained to me that the whole concept of the kilt revolves around freedom of movement. It is about being functional and comfortable, as well as making a statement. I was right about the bagpipe players though – they are indeed a big part of the cargo kilt customer market, but there are many other cultures which have embraced the kilt. Farmers and non-city folk, homosexuals and activists, rockers and hippies all buy kilts from Sean. The mini kilt is a kilt made for ladies (can’t wait to get my own) so there goes my misguided perception of kilts being for men only. Sean had me try on a couple of the kilts he had in stock, so that I could get a feel for the freedom of movement concept – as he insisted that the only way to understand the concept is to feel it. I can say from experience now that the concept of freedom of movement really is the only way to describe the feeling of wearing a kilt.

So, naturally, my first query was “what is the dirffernece between a kilt and a skirt?” Well, Sean showed me that the kilt has pleating at the back, and is fastened with three small buckles whereas skirts are not made in this way. The kilt also has a number of spacious pockets, a few attachments to hook keys onto, and belt loops – which all ladies know are rarely features on a skirt. Obviously, the traditional history of the kilt is also a major difference, as kilts have had an interesting hisory – having origins in Europe, going through a period of being banned by English royalty and making a statement on rugby fields for generations.

Tartan kilts have been iconic in Mc families as the various clans had specific tartans which represent their lineage. The tartans at Cargo Kilts are all handmade by the company and are not imported (as I would have thought). This artisan craft is beautiful and incredible, as the fabrics are truly top quality and the some fifteen varieties are strikingly impressive. The kilts are made to measurements, so if you buy one you are getting a one-of-a-kind tailored masterpiece. The most impressive tartan that these guys make is the only one of it’s kind in the world – the South African tartan (which Sean is pointing to in the above photograph). The store also stocks jacobite shirts, sporrans (hide pouches), flat caps (cheesecutters),  Tam O’Shanter hats, traditional Irish dancing shoes and (my personal favourite) drinking horns.

Another great thing I spotted in the store is the African Celtic Jewellery. These beautifully crafted rings, earrings, broaches, tiaras and necklaces are unique and attractive. There are also a number of interesting functional display items including a gramophone, an original singer sewing machine, a whiskey cabinet, a Gestetner printing press, and a large jeweler’s magnifying glass for customers to use when checking out the jewellery.

Visit the store on Melville’s popular 7th Street, or see their website (click here). You could also find out more from the Cargo Kilts Facebook page (click here).

RUBY Lingerie and Accessories

FAIR-TRADE AND JOB CREATION INITIATIVES BY SOUTH AFRICAN DESIGNERS.

Robyn Lidsky is a South African designer who is responsible for creating the well-known brand RUBY – a specialist, independent lingerie and jewellery label. Currently, RUBY’s signature includes fashion-forward lingerie and hand-crafted accessories.

 RUBY accessories and lingerie are designed and hand-made in Cape Town, where the expert hands of the RUBY Beading Circle are combined with the work of a talented in-house engraver and goldsmith. The RUBY Beading Circle is a fair-trade and job creation initiative that has been running for ten years and employs up to 35 women from the impoverished area of Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

RUBY lingerie ranges from comfy cottons for everyday use, to the most decadent pieces made with imported lace, velvet, silk and stretched satin. Besides lingerie and accessories, RUBY also brings us gorgeous sleep-ware, street-ware, men’s ware (MEN UNITED), shoes (STILETTO) and unique printed hosiery (in collaboration with Falke).

Above is a picture of RUBY at South African Fashion Week. For more information, product photographs and contacts click here to visit the RUBY website. To buy RUBY products you can visit YDE stores nation-wide. Follow YDE on Facebook (click here) for the latest updates on new stock and cutting-edge South African fashion.

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