Painted Love: The Photographic Art of Marguerite Oelofse

Clare Wiese BlogWith news of the recent fires breaking out in Knysna and Cape Town, I’ve often caught myself wondering, “what would I save”? If I was told by authorities that our home would soon go up in flames, which items would I struggle to imagine my future without? The answer is easy: photographs, photographs and more photographs.

Why? Firstly, because I have the memory of a scatter-brained gold fish and rely heavily on photographic evidence to remind me of past events and, secondly, because, well, time just flies by so damn quickly & photos are a precious, invaluable way to capture those fleeting yet magical moments in life that we wish to have “emotional access” to forever.

I am always the one arranging a professional photographer at special family occasions, anniversaries or birthdays. I have also had the somewhat challenging (read “impossible”) task of begging for and co-ordinating group family shoots in the past: everyone ALWAYS moans at first (we do enjoy a good moan) and, then, years later, cannot thank me enough for having persevered;)!

So, fires and families aside: if you – like me – are a sucker for sentimentality or just otherwise completely photo-obsessed, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to someone whom I believe to be one of Cape Town’s leading portrait photographers, Marguerite Oelofse. Marguerite was one of the official photographers at our wedding last year and, most recently, I asked her to take the final Big Reveal photos of our makeover contestants on the popular television show, Mooimaak (as seen on kykNET in South Africa & on Showmax in the USA).

Here are some examples of Marguerite’s exquisite photos that have a signature “fine art” or painterly quality to them & a cool, avant garde edge:

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…and here are some examples of her awesome black & white work (I need to cuddle that pony):

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Emmie, as captured by Marguerite, for MOOIMAAK

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS INCREDIBLY AMAZING, LIMITED & EXCLUSIVE OFFER

Two days only: Sunday 29 Oct 2017 & Sunday 5 November 2017.

Studio shoot for kids or adults at Buchanan Studios, Woodstock, Cape Town.

Special price: R 2, 900.00 per family [you save R2, 100.00].

 

Duration: 1-2 hours.

Package includes: 10 retouched images by Marguerite Oelofse and hair & makeup by Gorgeous2Go.

Book now – first come first serve: email studio@margueriteoelofse.com or call 073-316-8588.

Fashion styling is not included in this package, but can be arranged via Marguerite.

(PS these types of photos would make for awesome holiday cards)

 

With love & (good) light (ing),

Clare x

 

 

Inside My Wardrobe (& The Silo Hotel) Part 3 | Dancing On The Rooftop

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So, this is our final instalment in the fabulous Silo fashion series, which award-winning New York based photographer Jean-Pierre Uys lovingly shot & directed for us at Cape Town’s hottest new hotel (you guessed it, The Silo). Don’t miss Part 1 Part 2 of this editorial, if you didn’t catch them previously.

As I type this, it’s 23h22 at night and I can’t sleep. It might have something to do with the Very Exciting But Nerve-Wracking Project I am about to embark upon this week or it could just be because my body likes to keep me from sleep when I really, really need it (you know, just for fun and, of course, to annoy my poor husband who already puts up with so much and has to get up at 05h00 every morning for Lunatic Gym Hour).

Due to the necessary planning & preparation that has gone into the above-mentioned Project, you might have noticed that I (embarrassingly) failed to post anything this week at the usual 09h00 on Thursday time slot. I do sincerely apologise for this, as I can’t stand it when people make me wait! So, I figured, now is as good a time as any to catch up on my bloggin’ backlog.

Anyway, here are some wonderfully happy photographs that my incredibly talented team (details below) and I created for the last part of this series. We took these photos at the end of a (very long but super fun) day, after Gilbert and Renee’s phones had run out of data space (due to the unprecedented amount of selfies taken between them), all of us had had a bit of champagne, the sun was setting over Lion’s Head & a crowd of Cape Town’s high-society cocktail drinkers were observing this bunch of crazy kids with what could only be described as bewildered amusement. (I can’t wait to post the behind-the-scenes pics of this day, as they are just too good not to share in a separate post).

All shots were taken on the breathtakingly beautiful rooftop of the Silo hotel – probably the best place in town to get a 360 degree panoramic view of the Mother City, in all its glory.  (FYI: The rooftop bar is not open to the public on a walk-in basis, but bookings can be made in advance. And, believe me, you should make one!)

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WHAT I WORE

Dress | this floaty, dreamy full-length silk gown (which we almost ended up submerging in the pool, due to having an “impulsive arty moment” which thankfully passed) is from one of my favourite Italian fashion houses, Etro. I originally bought it in London for my Kitchen Tea last year, but never ended up wearing it.

Layered necklaces | the rose gold Double Disc Diamond Initial Necklace is from Sloane & Madison (my own jewellery company, based in South Africa. Our doors are temporarily closed, but if you are really insistent, like some of our dear clients have been:), you might be able to find us at clare@sloaneandmadison.com). The longer rose gold vermeil and diamond necklace is from Monica Vinader.

Rings | to create a boho luxe look I really loved, I layered some (rather expensive) fine jewellery Paka Paka yellow gold and rose gold pieces with costume jewellery pieces by high-street chain, Aldo. They often have some well-designed costume items that are so easy to wear.

MY GLAM SQUAD

Photography & (some necessary;) re-touching by Jean-Pierre Uys | Makeup by the one and only Renee De Wit | Hair by Gilbert Mofubelu at Spoilt (moving to Hair soon) | Styling by Clare Wiese & Shari Kennedy

A HUGE THANK-YOU TO THE AMAZING SILO HOTEL FOR ALLOWING US TO DANCE ON THEIR ROOFTOPS.

If you’re enjoying this blog, please don’t forget to Like The Global Critic Facebook’s page or, even better, if you loved this particular post, share it on your Facebook wall (as we know by now, #sharingiscaring;)

Love,

Clare.

Inside My Wardrobe (& The Silo Hotel) Part 2 | In Herve Leger at The Willaston Bar

0756As you might have seen, last week I posted the first of our launching three-part fashion and beauty series, featuring a simple black cocktail ensemble I am currently loving, set inside the marvellous penthouse of the The Royal Portfolio’s brand new Silo Hotel.

For today’s post, I am sharing our second round of photographs by the incredible Jean-Pierre Uys, featuring a super formal black-tie look that is very close to my heart: I first wore this dress at my thirtieth birthday party at our family wine estate, Lourensford, about four years ago. I still remember spotting the dress in Harrods, after a week-long and extremely thorough search in ice-cold London, calling my dad and asking him whether he thought the dress was too expensive. He said “if you really love it, you’ll only turn thirty once, so get it and enjoy it.” And, while I did only turn 30 once (thank heavens for that, because it did not come without its own very unattractive little quarter-life crisis), I have worn this treasured wardrobe item on many subsequent special occasions and, I figure, if I work out the cost per wear, it actually wasn’t that expensive;). You can watch a short video clip of my 30th birthday party here (event co-ordination by The Aleit Group).

As the setting for the second part of this series, I wanted to give you a glimpse into the magnificently furnished Willaston Bar at the Silo. Our (crazy) crew fell instantly in love with the opulent and seductive energy of this particular spot at the hotel, boasting unbeatable views of Cape Town’s city centre in a magically eclectic, jewel-toned environment.

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After ordering a Martini or two, and making absolutely sure that Gilbert and Renee had taken a sufficient amount of selfies in this new setting,  we started creating some images. Here is a selection of a few of my favourits. I hope you enjoy them. And, if you live in Cape Town or are planning a visit soon, go ahead and put “sunsets drink at the Willaston Bar” right at the top of your to-do list.

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WHAT I WORE

Dress | the black full-length beaded evening gown is by Herve Leger.

Shoes | the patent leather black strappy sandals are by Jimmy Choo (my all-time favourite shoe brand. I wore Choos on my wedding night on the dance floor until 05h30 and my feet still had blood supply at the end of it – that’s saying something.)

Diamond earrings | these are my everyday (and pretty much every evening) go-to earrings: a simple pair of 0.80ct diamond studs claw-set in 18 carat white gold. Personally, I prefer smaller diamond studs to larger ones, as I find the bigger ones often look fake and a tad Desperate Housewives. I am thinking of getting some black diamond studs made, set in rose gold claws, which I think will be amaze-balls.

Engagement & wedding ring set | these rings were designed by the lovely Ida-Elsje and myself, as custom-made Paka Paka pieces. The engagement ring features one brilliant-cut centre stone, flanked by vertically- and horizontally positioned baguette diamonds that form a complete eternity band. My wedding ring consists of baguette diamonds only, and all the stones have been set in platinum claws. You can see I have a small thing for baguettes (the edible version too, I’m afraid).

Cocktail ring | the 18 carat rose gold and black ceramic cocktail ring I’m wearing here is from the iconic B-Zero collection by famed Italian jewellery house, Bulgari. It was given to me by my darling younger sister, as my 30th birthday gift, and it’s thus become one of my most treasured items.

Stole by Errol Arendz (my favourite South African designer and an absolute hoot – now that I think about it, I could write a whole blog post just on him. In fact, a video interview (after a few glasses of bubbly) would be best. Watch this space.

Handbag by Chanel (this has been my go-to evening bag for the last decade). “I own too many Chanel bags” said no woman, ever.

MY HAIR & MAKEUP

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HAIR | Gilbert gave my hair a look that was a bit glamorous, a bit messy-hair-don’t-care. We wanted to keep things young and modern and achieved this using Gil’s Kardashian Beauty curling tong, a sufficient amount of old-school teasing and our hands (for a regular old pull-through, to loosen those curls). And, while no volumising mousse, spray or shampoo will, in my opinion, ever achieve the same effects as a good-old-fashioned tease (done right, of course), I am feeling generous today and want to share a little hair-care secret with you: be introduced to Joico’s Glamtex Backbomb Effect Spray (as the name says, it’s basically a backcomb in a bottle). Use this together with a good manual tease and you (and your hair) will be transported to new heights. Believe me when I say, this stuff works. (If you live in Cape Town or South Africa: contact any hair salon that stocks Joico to get your paws on a bottle of Glamtex.)

MAKEUP | Renee used the following key makeup products on me to create some sultry smokiness (I’ve been known to tell Ren not to “under-smoke” me and, as usual, she didn’t disappoint): Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Cool Eyeshadow Palette, MAC’s Smolder Eye Liner (this is a must-have makeup product for any girl who loves a smokey eye), Sensai’s Fluid Finish Lasting Velvet Foundation and, on my lips, Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Moisturizing Glossimer in 172 (a soft peachy pink colour in a translucent gloss finish.)

If you can never get enough makeup tips, read my recent interview with Renee where she generously shares a whole list of her best-kept beauty secrets.

WITH MY SINCEREST THANKS TO THE WORLD’S BEST GLAM SQUAD

Photography & (some necessary;) re-touching by Jean-Pierre Uys | The single photograph of the bar, appearing at the top of this post, is courtesy of the Silo Hotel | Makeup by Renee De Wit | Hair by Gilbert Mofubelu at Spoilt (moving to Hair soon) | Styling by Clare Wiese & Shari Kennedy

& THE AMAZING SILO HOTEL, SUPPORTED BY THEIR WONDERFUL MANAGEMENT TEAM. I WISH YOU ALL THE SUCCESS YOU DESERVE.

If you’re enjoying this blog, please don’t forget to Like The Global Critic Facebook’s page.

Love,

Clare.

Inside My Wardobe (& The Silo Hotel) Part 1 | A View From The Penthouse

0312BLOGI recently decided it was time for The Global Critic’s first fashion & beauty editorial series. It all happened quite serendipitously (which, in my opinion, is how the best things always happen). My dear friend Jean-Pierre Uys let me know he would be in town for a few days and was keen to collaborate.

JP is recognised as one of the world’s best wedding photographers (which is why I had no choice but to “import” him from New York to be the head photographer at our wedding, published in WedLuxe Magazine’s Global Trend Report last year).

A few days prior to his arrival, my father and I had attended the official opening of the Royal Portfolio’s magnificent new Silo Hotel in Cape Town (hosted at its incredible rooftop bar with unparalleled views of the Mother City). The five-star hotel, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, has been built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). I could not think of a location more desirable for this particular blog series.

The Silo graciously opened up one of their penthouses to us, where my glam squad and I spent the day taking an insane amount of photographs, sipping on champagne and gazing at the spectacular sunset over Lion’s Head (whilst Renee and Gilbert were taking about 5000 selfies). If only all my “days at the office” were this much fun!

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WHAT I WORE

I wanted to give you a peek into my very own wardrobe (nothing sponsored, nothing borrowed) for the first of this 3-part series. For this (Part 1) I chose a cocktail ensemble I’m currently loving. I pretty much live by the rule “I’ll wear anything, as long as it’s black” and I always try to wear a variety of textures, when wearing only one colour, such as suede (pointy heels) and lace (crop top by Alessia). The pencil skirt is from Zara, the thin beaten gold vermeil ring I am wearing is from one of my all-time favourite jewellery designers, Monica Vinader, and the statement black cocktail ring is a costume piece from Saint Laurent, which my husband  gave me years ago during a holiday in Thailand (when I thought he was going to propose;).I love the elegant and effortless simplicity of this outfit, which (as long as you haven’t had too many carbs at lunch;) works well for after-work drinks, cocktail parties or date nights.

MY HAIR & MAKEUP

HAIR | Gilbert (thank heavens for this man) gave my hair a soft, relaxed wave to soften this look and lend some romance to it, using his trusty Kardashian Beauty curling tong and his mad skills, of course. He is almost so good I don’t want to advertise him, as I’m worried I’ll no longer get appointments! I always keep loose waves in place with a light misting of the iconic best-selling hairspray, L’ORÉAL Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray. It’s affordable and works like a bomb!

MAKEUP | Renee (no 1 on my glam squad speed dial) used the following makeup products on my face to work some serious Cinderella magic and create a soft, smokey eye with dewy skin: Sensai Mascara, Chanel Espresso Stylo Yeux Long-Lasting Eyeliner, Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Warm Eye Shadow Palette and Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick Highlighting Compact (one of my all-time favourite beauty products). If you’re a beauty junkie like me, read my recent interview with Renee where she shares her best-kept beauty & makeup secrets.

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WITH MY SINCEREST THANKS TO THE WORLD’S BEST GLAM SQUAD

Photography & (some necessary;) re-touching by Jean-Pierre Uys  | Makeup by Renee De Wit | Hair by Gilbert Mofubelu at Spoilt (moving to Hair soon) | Styling by Clare Wiese & Shari Kennedy

& THE AMAZING SILO HOTEL, SUPPORTED BY THEIR WONDERFUL MANAGEMENT TEAM. I WISH YOU ALL THE SUCCESS YOU DESERVE.

Love,

Clare.

My Oscars Best-Dressed List for 2017

I haven’t done a fashion-related post for a while, so I simply couldn’t miss the opportunity of rounding up my favourite fashion moments from this year’s Academy Awards.

Aside from the Best Picture Award mix-up (which I happened to catch live on television, in the early hours of the South African morning…and, yes, it was #superembarrassing) the most entertaining part of the whole event, for me, was of course the fashion.

So, here is a list of my top ten Oscar looks from this year’s red carpet arrivals and Vanity Fair after-party appearances.

No 10 | Kirsten Dunst

The blonde actress rocked the red carpet in a black Christian Dior Haute Couture gown. But, what really got this look onto my list was her incredible choice of accessories (diamond necklace & earrings both by Japanese fine jewellery brand, Niwaka) complemented by perfectly on-point hair and makeup.

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No 9 | Jennifer Aniston 

OK, we all know Jen always wears black. To every event. Always. And, yes, it wouldn’t kill her to deviate a tad. But – because it’s Jen and I am still an embarrassingly-obsessed Friends fan – I simply couldn’t exclude her. Plus, I reckon her body deserves an Academy Award of its own. The girl’s 48 years old, for heaven’s sakes.

PS This plunging Atelier Versace gown was previously worn by Jennifer Lopez at Radio City Music Hall, which makes me love Ms Aniston and her refreshing devil-may-care approach even more.

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No 8 | Amy Adams 

The red-haired fashion maven stunned in this glamorous yet super modern Tom Ford show-stopper. Those curls, reminiscent of old-world Hollywood, were pretty impeccable too.

PS Amy wore a pair of our Paka Paka earrings to the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Premiere in March 2016, so the girl clearly has taste and she’ll have this aspirational South African jewellery designer’s loyalty for some time to come.

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No 7 | Alicia Vikander 

Love this festive black number (by Louis Vuitton). Adore this actress. Obsessed with this Bulgari necklace (and the way she teamed it with that casual, innocent little top-knot). The strappy heels are winners, too.

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No 6 | Hailee Steinfeld 

This dress is dreamy, romantic, ethereal perfection. Nobody does high-voltage evening glamour quite like Ralph & Russo. I particularly love how she’s matched this very feminine dress with fiercely made-up eyes (I make no secret of my penchant for a (very) smokey eye). Just ask my go-to makeup maestro Renee De Wit.

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No 5 | Hailee Steinfeld 

Hailee got into a much more seductive number, also by Ralph & Russo, for the Vanity Fair after-party.  This look was sultry, sexy and sheer, yet just enough mystery remained to keep things elegant and glamorous.

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N0 4 | Thandie Newton 

I must admit I had never heard of this designer before spotting Ms Newton in this glittery rock-n-roll sensation, but Italian luxury brand, Schiaparelli, is now firmly on my (and probably everybody else’s) fashion radar. As the fabulously OTT celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe would put it, “this look is everything”.

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No 3 | Jessica Biel 

This form-fitting metallic Kaufman Franco gown and Jessica Biel’s body were quite simply a match made in Hollywood heaven.  The dress, the body, the necklace and of course her drooling husband, Justin Timberlake…the whole darn package was just one big fabulous feast for the eyes.

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No 2 | Chrissy Teigen

Let me start by saying, I love this girl. Chrissy was one of the first celebrities to buy one of my Paka Paka rings, right out off the floor of our Los Angeles showroom. Let’s just say that gave me (a very humble and grateful) spring in my step for a few days!

I was also lucky enough to meet the insanely talented and delightful Zuhair Murad (who designed this sensational dress) when I was wedding dress hunting in Paris last year. I am in love with each and every one of his designs and this one is no exception.

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No 1 | Emma Stone 

And the award goes to…the girl who got The Award (Best Actress, La La Land). Yes, she is probably at the top of every other best-dressed Oscar list out there, but credit must be given where credit is due. The 28-year-old star owned the red carpet (and the night) in this golden delicious 40’s inspired Givenchy gown, complemented by the perfect Hollywood hairstyle and impeccably painted brown-red lips (she wore NARS Audacious Lipstick in Mona, in case you’re wondering). The height of red carpet magic.

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Hope you enjoyed my best-dressed list! I’ll definitely be drawing some inspiration from these glamorous gals for my next black-tie event.

Love, Clare.

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Who I’m Following On Instagram

I often get asked by friends which accounts I’m following on Instagram and, to be honest, I find this social media platform a super authentic, accessible & useful way to find cool style tips, shopping inspiration & enjoy exquisite imagery. There isn’t always the time to buy or page through a fashion magazine and, sometimes, at the end of a long work day, when my concentration span resembles that of a (lazy) gold fish, there’s no online place I’d rather be.

So, here is my round-up of the best blogger accounts worth following on Instagram.

(1) Sincerely Jules (@sincerelyjules) | 4.3m followers

This hip & happening LA girl knows just how to combine high-end luxury brands like Cartier and Louis Vuitton with all-American high-street labels. Nobody can pull off sneakers & a floaty evening dress better than this social media sensation.

(2) Rocky Barnes (@rocky_barnes) | 887k followers

Rocky has got to be one of the most annoyingly gorgeous girls on Instagram. Her boho-chic festival-inspired “living la vida loca” outfits seem to continuously strike the perfect balance between trends and inimitable originality.

(3) Lolariostyle (@lolariostyle) | 544k followers

For fabulous ripped jeans teamed with iconic designer handbags & chunky knits, Sasha Simon has one classy Instagram account full of great, easy-to-imitate fashion ideas captured in a beautifully edited way.

(4) Blank Itinerary (@blankitinerary) | 600k followers

The style of Paola Alberdi, sultry Spanish fashionista, is sometimes glamorous, sometimes casual and never too contrived or self-conscious. Here are some of my favourite Blank Itinerary looks.

(5) Negin Mirsalehi (negin_mirsalehi) | 3.7m followers

As is evident from the number of her followers, it’s fair to say Negin is a social media icon. Influencers in her league get paid top dollar to advertise some of the world’s largest brands and – judging by her account – it’s easy to see why.

That’s it, guys, those are my top five Insta accounts! Hope you find them just as inspirational. Happy gramming! Follow me on Instagram @clarewiesewentzel.

Best of NYC Fashion Week 2013

david-beckham-harper-beckham-anna-wintourThe week of 5-12 September 2013 saw the Spring 2014 collections of some of the world’s most influential designers unveil themselves to the world. Of course, most of us (including yours truly) would have been been willing to exchange a front tooth for a spot in the front row (or ‘FROW’, to those in the know) at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. Personally, I would have called dibs on the seat next to David Beckham and little Harper (right there where dear old Anna W sat, at the VB show:)

Anyway, back to business, my thoughts on fashion, in a nutshell, are the following: clothes (as beautiful or sculptural or theatrical as they may be) are for wearing, not displaying in a glass case at a museum. Yes, that gets done too, I know. But – at the end of the day – fashion exists as a means for us to express ourselves, hide our flaws, accentuate our assets and feel fabulous.  And, in any event, as the brilliant Yves Saint Laurent once said, “fashions fade, style is eternal”.

So, with that in mind, I have taken the pieces I’d most want hanging in my wardrobe from this year’s September shows and created a little style gallery for you to view and, hopefully, draw inspiration from. Just click on any of the images below to flip through the pics in slideshow format.