There is a betting shop on every corner. Every single advertising segment has at least one betting ad in it and there’s a yung slot machine at almost every pub. I stay imminently bewildered at the gambling culture that seems be on every strata of the United Kingdom. Which is not to say nothing of the kind existed in South Africa, but it is certainly not as obvious. On one of my more explorative ventures into the city, I saw an old man with one of those grey, plastic, government issue type walking sticks with three little legs on the bottom struggle his way into the darkened interior of a William Hill. Hot on his heels was a coated up youth, one pocket jingling with coins. It seemed so part of their day to day that I couldn’t even really find some kind of rationale for how jarring it was to me. Before I left, a couple of people had a bunch to say about culture shocks, which is not a phrase I like. Still, this feels like one of those moments when the sheer difference and unfamiliarity of how people do things leaves one feeling overwhelmed and a bit gobsmacked.
It is important to understand that Karla Deras has always, always, exuded sexiness with a kind of unapologetic effortlessness and defiant confidence that has enthralled me for years. In a time when I really couldn’t have cared less for such things as fashion and style, I remained enchanted by both when woven together by Karla’s indomitably elegant eye. So when THE LINE BY K launched some years ago, I approached the whole endeavour with a sense of childlike wonder – dressing like Karla is a goal, but wearing something she designed? Iconic, in my eyes.
The first thing to note about Edinburgh is that it is an incredibly Instagram-able city. I like to sing about time warping in the shower, but this truly feels like I’ve stepped into another era, cars and modern things like tattoo and piercing shops aside. The whole place is soaked in history, down to the way it looks and the curving, cobblestoned streets and pokey, tiny little pubs that seem to have been here since the old town joined with the new.
For these first few days, I did a serious amount of walking. Anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that walking is really not my steez. I do it, but only because it gets me from here to there. The pleasurable evening strolls many people enjoy, and that idea of just wandering around somewhere with no real destination in mind, or any kind of purpose has never impressed my stay-at-home self. Yet just two days ago, I saw Stu off at work and then walked and walked until I had absolutely no idea where I was. Miles. I walked for miles. With no real purpose beyond getting to know the streets. And finding a coffee shop where the lattes didn’t cost the earth and tasted better than coffee-flavoured hot water.
My first dance instructor was the gorgeous, graceful and remarkably talented Christopher Kindo. There are so many things I could say about the man who arguably changed my life in one afternoon, but for the purposes of this, I reflect on the way he moved, for I have never seen anyone move the way he does. Yes, it was grace, but it was also a superb control over every muscle, a mastery over his body, a surety of skin and form that remains unmatched by any to this day.
Andrea Cammorosano, an Italian born designer, clearly appreciated this special kind of beauty, and saw it in André Atangana, a wanderer who improvised movement through Andrea’s spring/summer collection of 2016. According to all who witnessed the show, it was a gorgeous sensory experience, an intimate connection between audience, movement and fashion. Photographer André et François used his camera to capture the sheer emotion of the human form wrapped in luxury and stitching.