Author: Sam Growdon

Palma hues

An afternoon walk in Palma de Mallorca amongst the city’s cobbled streets, sherbet coloured walls, pretty balconies and contrasting shutters called for a simple outfit. Hello denims. Denims are my staple and I probably wear them 60% of the time. I find them comfortable, versatile and no fuss. They’re the “easy going” item that can be made up or dressed down and are always included in my travel wardrobe, coming in very handy when you find yourself exploring a beautiful city such as Palma. Each season comes with its own styles, colours and details and so a pair of denims is not usually an investment item for me – I prefer to buy the high street versions from Zara and H&M, mostly so don’t feel too bad at the end of the season when the new styles take my fancy. Summer has brought with it the shorter ankle grazer with frayed edges and torn knees (the I-don’t-really-care-look!) and while I’m sure this won’t last for too much longer, I love that it screams suuuuuummer, especially in this …

Golden summer days

Paris is the most beautiful city. You don’t have to search very far to find something that charms the eye and it has spoilt me forever. Each time I step out of my apartment I’m greeted by something breath-taking which reminds me not to take each of these moments for granted. The only problem for me is deciding which of the many impressive landmarks is my favourite, and I often hear myself telling whoever is in earshot that “this is my favourite building in Paris” and it’s never the same one – it’s just so hard to decide! In all my shoots I’ve specifically chosen places where a landmark or special place is shown and this look is no different – and yes, ‘It’s my favourite’! The glimmering coupole of the Hôtel des Invalides is truly magnificent and lucky for me around the corner from where I live. The final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte, but commisioned by Louis XIV back in 1670, and is home to the Musee d’Armee (the military museum). It’s impeccably manicured gardens provide a calm place to …

Multiple piercings, it’s a thing.

A few months ago I had a third hole pierced in my ears. The last installment to my trilogy didn’t feel as extreme as when belly rings were en vogue and I had that done, or when I had the top of my ear pierced or the secret tattoo inked. However, I most definitely DID feel like a teenager when I walked into the brightly coloured neon-lit Claire’s Accessories and sat on the cheerful pink high-chair (surrounded by Hello Kitty paraphernalia!) and was presented with a plethora of rainbow coloured earring options by a young nervous working student who was about to shoot my ear with a lethal dart gun (Okay, not that dramatic I guess!). But, yes, it most definitely hurt! If you’ve been thinking about getting another hole done then you’ll be pleased to know that now, more than ever, with earrings and piercings once again popping up on the A/W 2015 catwalks there is no better time than now after all! Erm, okay so not quite what I had in mind as the Givenchy girls, …

The Art of Packing with Louis Vuitton

I have a gluttonous passion for travel and luckily not only do I come from a lineage of equally hungry voyagers but my small, cute family and I get to travel a lot. My first overseas adventure was with my mother and grandfather, I was 14-years-old and it was an unforgettable tour around Europe and the UK – Big Ben, Tower of London, The Eiffel Tower, the Black Forrest, just to name a few of the sights. Growing up, both my grandfather and my mother travelled to Europe a few times a year, they met up with work colleagues, friends and family and explored different cities all over the continent. I listened to their stories, received the postcards they sent, saw their photos and was the spoilt beneficiary of awesome travel gifts and chocolate over the years! My Grandfather has since passed away but what has been passed down is this passion for exploring different locations, the architecture, scenery, culture, food and people, being immersed in and soaking up each unique experience. One of the things I …

Spring into Palazzo Pants

With the change of season and the longing for hot summer days I see no reason why not to wear a pair of ultra wide-legged trousers – also known as Palazzo pants. I love these ‘I’m really a pair of pants but look like a skirt’ pieces of fashion; they have such a cheeky sense of humour. Finding their way onto the fashion scene in the late 60’s, these comfy, practical and elegant pants became super popular because various stuffy restaurants owners at the time didn’t like contemporary fashion trends where womenfolk were wearing trousers, and so they refused to allow these modern gals into their establishments unless they were sporting a dress. And so, some of our awesome predecessors decided to outwit these ‘rules’ and opted to introduce Palazzo trousers into their evening wardrobes (ah ha! Take that you stuffy, sexist so-and-sos). Subsequently a trend arose that reoccurs on the catwalks every few seasons – and here they are again for Spring 2015! They shout relaxed, easy and cool whist being feminine and practical. I …

A career in Motherhood

I do love seeing all the recognition that moms get on International Mother’s day. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are flooded with status updates and photographs of hardworking awesome women who receive their annual high-five from their kids, siblings, parents and other halves. It makes me think of all the skills and talent that mothers need to fulfill this always busy, sometimes annoying, super exhausting, frequently rewarding and always unconditional job. To me motherhood is when I’m assured that my kid isn’t going to end up a complete troll even during those moments of supermarket breakdowns and just-before-bedtime tantrums. Motherhood It’s a good mix of joy, irritation, love and fear and a lifetime commitment to one career. So in the spirit of my lifelong career here’s how my current CV reads … I’m an excellent Fast Food chef. In fact, I make 3-Michelin starred chefs look like amateurs. I don’t see them whipping up 4 different meals in ½ an hour in order to please the head-shaking, famished but fussy customer yelling “No, I don’t like that” – …

Ola! I’m off to ESPAÑOL-A!

By this time every year after a few months of heavy winter coats, cozy scarves, thick socks and hardcore boots I’m itching to get some sun, sea and beach. May in France is full of holidays so gives the ideal time to break away and find some much-needed soleil au bord de la mer – although I don’t need any excuse to explore and travel! Our spring destination this year is Majorca, the ancient and largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago in Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. Majorca has a long history that dates back to the Neolithic period of history, but the Phoenicians were the first to colonise the Island and then it was the Romans who founded the capital, Palma. After being conquered over the centuries and changing hands many times now the Island is part of Spain and attracts plenty of tourists and travellers with it’s beautiful coastlines, interesting history and picturesque architecture. Big blue sunny skies, long hot days, late tapas dinners, sand and sea… So what does a girl pack for such a holiday? Well, I’ve …

It’ll be hard to hold yourself back!

I’m sitting at my desk tonight catching up on a whoooole lot of admin but finding myself distracted by the stream of tweets and IG posts lighting up my iPhone screen with the hashtag #LVjozi (have I mentioned how much I hate admin?) Tonight, the who’s who of my home town, Johannesburg, have donned their best and highest heels to celebrate the newly re-launched Louis Vuitton store in Sandton City’s Diamond Walk – can anyone say “homesick”? Not only is this store the continent’s flagship (and modelled on the new look as seen in the Avenue Montaigne store by architect Peter Marino) but Louis Vuitton was also the first major luxury brand to arrive in South Africa in 2004, which fits perfectly with the maison’s rich history in exploration and travel. In 1865 Monsieur Louis Vuitton even designed the trunk bed, a bed that fitted inside one of his famous trunks which was used by the notorious French explorer and establisher of French colonies in Africa, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza – yup, trust only the French to have come …

#Who made my clothes?

As I watched the top headlines on the weekend, I couldn’t helping being fixated on the footage of the eight-story commercial building that crashed down on top of helpless garment workers just near Dhaka in Bangladesh two years ago. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen the footage, the news stories were to mark the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy which happened on 24th April 2013, but each time I watch the stories of heartbroken mothers who have lost their children, who were probably making something that I have bought or from a fashion brand that I support, it feels more personal. It’s hard to ignore the stories of the workers who were forced to work in a building that was reported to have serious structural damage, that could come crashing down at any minute. This was a factory that produced garments for some of the most well known brands, such as Mango, Primark, Le Bon Marché and Walmart. Due to threats that these employees would not be paid their wages for an entire month …

Going wild for Sophia Webster

Okay, stop the bus! These shoes are screaming what one calls STATEMENT heels! You knows those shoes that spice-up any “I’m having an un-inspired fashion day” outfit? Well Sophia Webster’s designs are those shoes. They are dazzling and you’ll start to notice that celebs, online influencers and fashionistas are all over them. Ms Webster debuted her first collection of quirky shoes just two years ago. Before going solo she graduated from the Royal College of Art in a specialised MA footwear course and has a BA degree from Cordwainers College before being snapped up as a design assistant to Nicolas Kirkwood (also well known for fantasy heels that turn heads). This super-talented gal has not only won numerous awards for her designs but is applauded for creating modern, fun, sophisticated footwear that is both unique in its aesthetic as well as commercially viable. She started by launching her collection in the summer of 2013 in a pop-up shop in Burlington Arcade in London and due to it’s success, she opened a second in Covent Garden which ran from December 2013 …