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JULY 2010












The title of this letter comes from an awesome Strung Out song, and I think it fits perfectly with the VIXXEN team. In a good way though. We are always running around, assembling stuff, and we feel wasted most of the time, but we love what we do and we wouldn’t ever dream of giving this up. This month’s cover girl, Tamara Sun, managed to orchestrate an amazing shoot for Miss Happ clothing. We have worked with Tamara before, on our Dia De Los Muertos shoot back in March, and were super impressed. However, something was bugging me. As talented as this lady is, I was not content with her just contributing on shoots. So, we asked her to be our cover girl, and she graciously accepted. And, we just can’t get enough of her, so we gave her a style column, Kitty Kat’s Tips to do monthly as well. Tamara is a very talented lady, and we here at VIXXEN saw the need for her awesome advice. In her debut Kitty

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Kat column, she writes about how to go about creating the perfect pin-up look. And she should know - just look at our Miss Happ shoot!! In other exciting news, our debut issue’s cover girl (and now VIXXEN team member), Jen Roomes is back in South Africa for a little bit, and we have an awesome surprise coming up involving her (and many others) towards the end of the year. Jen is getting hitched in September, and boy, does she have a rad surprise for you guys following the wedding! We here at VIXXEN feel that, as much fun as fashion is, there are also pressing current issues that we women are faced with, so we have expanded on our editorial – Camilla Rose of The Death Valley Blues Band has written a piece on the privatisation of water, I wrote a piece on weight in the fashion industry, Olivia did one on bullying, and our guest contributor, Jerusha Grierson wrote an article

on Shopping, Not Shoplifting. See? VIXXEN is not just a pretty face. This month’s jam-packed music features include The Mean Steets (shot by the talented Mr Stan Kaplan), The City Is The Desert (In Disguise) (shot by the equally talented Mr Jon Jon) and Billy Talent (who are coming to South Africa in August!!). And we had three very special contributors this month - Greg Tucker asa DJ Destrukto, who gave us the low down on Event Organising, Dave San Paulo who shared his thoughts on current events under The Comings and Goings of the Asshole Your Mother Told You About, and Mr Randy O, who wrote Anarchy 101 But enough of my blabbing on how amazing the team behind VIXXEN is, enjoy the new issue.


Our favourite Suicide Girl has grown up and moved to Israel, where she writes her monthly column, A Suicide Girl In Israel. She is a super cool girl, with a go-get-em attitude who likes tattoos and Marilyn Manson. Hanging out with this girl guarantees a good time in the form of craziness and tequila.

This little firecracker is multitalanted - she owns KITTY KAT MAKEUP & STYLING and is the brand manager for EMILY THE STRANGE in SA. She has previous experience on shoots for magazines and film and she is tiny! Tamara orchestrated our Miss Happ shoot, being involved in every aspect (that’s why it looks so good!). She also wrote a special column, Kitty Kat’s Tips. AND she is our cover girl! Oh, and she recently became a Suicide Girl, so go show her some love! LaTara

Born and bred in Johannesburg, Che unfortuantely did not come with an instruction manual when she arrived, so her parents really winged it with raising her. She was taught how to be a ninja so she has a black belt in Party-Karate, and is a make-up artist and part-time model . Oh, and she also loves pie. Che did our beauty section, and the hair ofr our Miss Happ shoot.


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Jacqui is one kick-ass photographer! She is always out and about shooting bands and is the staff photographer for The Death Valley Blues Band. She kindly let her use her pictures of Tamara.

This legend fronts THE VENDETA CARTEL and cheered us on for the Miss Happ shoot, all the while catering to all our alcoholic and dietary needs and playing awesome music.

The man of cult myth once dj’ed on a beach in Thailand on new years eve to 10 people and then got rained upon... but that won’t phase a cult hero still walking on two legs tall with favourite foods like mushrooms, chicken and Avocadoes and a friendly attitude of “Ask and ye shall get an answer (not sure if it will be to your liking)”. Well Destrukto Radio man and blogger of notes = “Close eyes and dance dance dance to the radio......”. did he write this or did he quote this “There is no try there’s only do”. Greg wrote the piece on Event Organising for our career section.

Camilla Rose is a philosopher by day, a rock ‘n roller by night, and an anarchist punk at heart. She also plays bass for The Death Valley BLues Band, and wrote Water Wars.

With a BA degree in film studies and media & writing for the University of Cape Town, Jerusha writes and models in her free time. She works at Exclusive Books as a book slave, but this is just to pay the bills. Her true passion is creating! Jerusha wrote the article Shopping, Not Shoplifting.

Stan is the photographer of bands and debauchery, always up for a good time and rocking the rolls. Also known to disappear on shoots when being photographed but hey there’s more to life than just jacking in the box... Stan shot the kick ass pics for The Mean Streets.

Dave is a very opinionated copywriter, who got himself a job at a very prestigeous company (that shall remain nameless). Dave loves beer. And punk rock. And not much else. Dave now has his own VIXXEN column, The Comings and Goings of the Asshole Your Mother Told You About. http://assholeyourmothertoldyouabout.blogspot. com/

Jon Jon is a Jozi based photographer, and has been involved in band and other forms of photography for the past few years. Currently finishing his dipolma in photography, he is hoping to become a trophy husband to a highly successful local self empowered african queen, until then he will continue in his photographic quest for

A multimedia designer by day, Lyndi haunts local live music venues on weekends. She is obsessively passionate about art, design, music and books. Lyndi designed The Desert Is The City (In Disguise), Diaz Suicide, and The 24 Hour Plays.

An anarchist/poet since his inception - randyo is an artist aspiring to janitorial greatness. As a shapeshifting shiftshaper extraordinaire he has practiced his subtle sorceric shenaniganzian escapades whilst toiling amidst the innerworkings of church and state - proclaiming, when necessary, “don’t blame me, I’m just the janitor here…” This silly-sophical shouldershrug ploy has served him handsomely throughout the years. Randy wrote Anarchy 101.

Cameron enjoys cool shit, and takes photos of said cool stuffs. He spends his time drifting between the city and the good ol’ outdoors, and occasionally ventures into the deep South for inspiration in preparation for exhibitions. He drinks whiskey, if you’re buying. Cameron wrote Afrika Burn. To see more of Cameron go to

the golden monkey... (He does not really know what to write & wishes it was warmer right now). Jon Jon shot The City IS The Desert (In Disguise)

JULY 2010


MTKIDU php?eid=105273442858594

MTKIDU have currently launched two tracks thus far using intriguing methods of skeleton keys and codes for fans to access their songs for free downloads on soundcloud. Don’t forget to check out the cleverly designed animation and aptly named song titles. Check their FaceBook page out for further clues!/mtkidu?ref=ts

Skate for change

Let’s help get “Skate for change” on the road an iniative to raise money for the Sos Children’s Villages SA by SMS’ing puddy to 38665 to donate R10... Read all about it here php?gid=132333293449069

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Bringing you the ever present “Jagger Truck” and one or two shots of Jagger and Jagger Girls, oh and then some Loud and proud bands : • Fuzigish • Pestroy • All Forlorn • The Cavalier R40 gets you in | php?eid=124110940956502&ref=ts

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The first time that I heard about the formation of this band, I was quite excited. I heard about how they were reminiscent of the early As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand Fokof days, and they became my Fokof substitute. I absolutely enjoyed their first two albums. Skop, Skiet en Donner, their third album in as many years, has confirmed what I have been suspecting for a while now – Electro is the new Rock and Roll (which, depending on your taste in music, is either going to excite or disturb you). Skop, Skiet en Donner sounds completely different from the previous two albums, with an electro aspect manifesting in even the undertones of the more “rock” sounding songs. The album is much more sombre and subdued, embracing many acoustic elements and I, at times, miss Francois’ very distinctive and gritty vocals. Musically this album is progressive and reflects a kind of maturity in its extreme honesty. The album includes three covers; Maniac, Cocaine and the Afrikaans track Skadu’s Teen Die Muur. I don’t particularly like the two English covers, most likely because I don’t associate Francois’ voice with the language and it’s as if there is no power or enthusiasm in the vocals, especially in Maniac. The Afrikaans track is one of the acoustic and more emotionally connectable songs, and is one of my favourite tracks on this album, together with track three, Huissiek Gebede featuring Laudo Liebenberg (from aKING) in a beautifully sincere and grainy harmony with Francois. The album ends with three superb acoustic versions of songs from the two previous albums. This album is sure to win Van Coke Kartel new devotees and add to their list of admirers. Their musical talent is varied and matched by few, but I feel like this album has made 180 degree turn around from what I have come to love about this band; raw and unapologetic, forthright, right hook to the cheek, land you in hospital with and inexplicable, profusely bleeding cut, which will also (as with most artists who dare take risks) cost them supporters.


Shout was originally released in 1984 by the British band Tears for Fears. It became a worldwide rock anthem that expressed political concerns about the aftermath of the Cold War and has now been summoned from the realms of the past to become the mouthpiece of a nation fed-up with its violent and reckless criminal surroundings. The South-African cover of Shout by the elite of the South-African music industry is powerful and effective. The song is relevant to the situation we as South-Africans find ourselves in. “It concerns protest inasmuch as it encourages people not to do things without actually questioning them. People act without thinking because that’s just the way things go in society. So it’s a general song, about the way the public accepts any old grief which is thrown at them,” said Curt Smith about the original song in 1984. They didn’t just merely cover the song but made it truly South-African relevant with the inclusion of a rap/ RnB/kwaito verse in the middle of the song also containing lyrics about the late Lucky Dube. The great number of artists involved in this project is absolutely amazing, and the expressive way they fused so many different vocals from all the different music genres into one beautifully composed song is inspiring. Apart from an album version, the disc also includes a radio edit of the song and the SHOUT music video. The SHOUT Foundation is a non-profit organisation committed to shaping a safer country for everyone living inside its borders. Shout was recorded “to give you, the citizens of South Africa a mouthpiece to unite and eradicate all that is evil and associated with crime. SHOUT and all those involved in making it a reality, hope to encourage everyone in this country, regardless of race or creed to get involved at any level they are able in order to assist in driving this positive message home.” Download SHOUT by Artists for a Safe South-Africa by texting “SHOUT” to 33335 or by buying the disc from your local supermarket for R20,00.



Werner Olckers sings to my heart. Seriously. Capsized has got to be the best songs I have ever heard. The heartfelt lyrcis, the quick wit - this band has it all. And the rest of the CD does not disappoint. I can only describe this album with one word - beautiful. Hands down, the band to watch this year.

Belville has given us some very talanted musicians, and the boys from New Holland are no exception. WIth their second album, they are set to take on the world. Expolded Views showcases the band’s growth perfectly. My personal favourite is Something to Believe In, and judging from the charts, everyone agrees.

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Gainsville punk rockers Against Me! are at it again with their second album on Sire, White Crosses. On this album, Tom Gabel roars with power on the album’s title track. It seems that all Gabel wants is out of the Warped Tour, and a recognition as a powerhouse punk rock band, no longer bubblegum. He achieves it with this highly anticipated record, one that is personal this time. This is my Florida record,” says Gabel. ““I spent a lot of time writing this record while driving directionless on forgotten Florida state roads, highly caffeinated, with albums like [Petty’s] Full Moon Fever blasting on my stereo.”

I Now on their third album, LCD Soundsystem bring you their usual hipster disco. “Dance Yourself Clean,” the opening track on This Is Happening, brings nostalgia of earlier records (Im going to go with 2007’s Sound Of Silver specifically on this one). But this is how we have come to love the band, and what we have come to expect, and so it is. However, recorded in Los Angeles rather than in hometown New York makes for slightly more substantial album – they are sick of commercial success, and they don’t do hits. On this record, they have tried their very best to belt out non-anthemic songs. But they have not succeeded – they have gone back to what they are best known for, which, let’s face it –are hits.

This Toronto trio know nothing of subtlety, as demonstrated throughtout their career. Below The Belt is no exception –loud, in-your-face an punching, this record is Danko at their best. However, the album is rather.. predictive. No new sound, no subtle change, no growth. A must for die-hard fans, but if musical intelligence is what you are craving, give this one a skip.

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The story begins with Russell, played by Jim Carrey, who lives his life in Texas as a happily married police officer who plays the organ at church, prays every night with his wife (Leslie Mann) and spends his off hours searching for the biological mother who gave him up as a child. After finding and being handily rejected by the mother who gave him up as a baby, Steven leaves his life and family behind to go out into the world and be his true, flamboyant self. He has an epiphany: he’s gay and he’s going to live life to the fullest even if he has to break the law to do it. This fact-based romantic comedy has its flaws, but they’re mostly overcome by its consistently sweet, funny tone and one of the best performances of Jim Carrey’s career.

In this film, we catch up with Shrek, who is living back in the swamp with Fiona and their 3 babies seemingly leading a happy life. However, below the surface, Shrek is having some doubts about his current situation. He is an Ogre, after all. What is the point of being an Ogre if no-one is scared of you? Shrek kinda misses the old days when he wasn’t quite as domesticated as he now finds himself. Realizing that he needs to do something about it he sets out to recapture his mojo. However, when this plan goes wrong, Shrek suddenly and mysteriously finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Not just that but he finds Donkey spending his days hauling carts and Puss in Boots an overweight slob who prefers lounging about than swashbuckling. Now, Shrek realizes he’s been foolish wishing for things to be any different than he and Fiona had made them and it’s up to him to undo all he’s done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world back to the way it was and reclaiming his one true love.

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Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. But now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible: inception.

Freddy Krueger returns in A Nightmare on Elm Street, a contemporary re-imagining of the horror classic. A group of surburban teenagers share one common bond: they are all being stalked by Freddy Krueger, a horribly disfigured killer who hunts them in their dreams. As long as they stay awake, they can protect one another...but when they sleep, there is no escape. Visually faithful but lacking the depth and subversive twists that made the original so memorable, the Nightmare on Elm Street remake lives up to its title in the worst possible way.


Viva Van Story is an accomplished photographer who has been hailed as the successor to Bunny Yeager. Her photos photos are portray vivacious sex kittens reminiscent of the kind that populated gentlemen’s mags of the 1950s—with a decidedly modern edge. It’s no surprise, then, that with NYC’s vibrant burlesque scene, she’s the photographer of choice for a wide range of tassel-twirling temptresses, hot-rod honeys, and all rounder naughty girls. This book is a coffee table treasure!

Creating art about people and their odd ways, McPherson adds an element of aesthetic. But her art is not just eye candy – it is thought-provoking and seductive, while imaginary at the same time. Her art portfolio reads like a dream - numerous gig posters for rock bands, including Green Day, Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie, and advertising and editorial illustrations for a diverse group of clients. Her prints and paintings have been exhibited in galleries all over the world. Lonely Heart is the first printed collection of McPherson’s work. A must for any fan of her work, or at least of beautiful illustrations.

In modern day society, nonconformity has This is a decidedly delicate subject with most. In this book, Heath and Potter claim (and I fear their claims might have truth to them) that the so-called rebellion of people desperately trying to be individuals not only perpetuates the market economy, it’s the economy’s biggest driving factor. The main argument is that you can’t “sell out” or be “co-opted,” because you’re already participating in the market, where rebellion is just another word for relentless innovation, fashion and cool. With sharp humor, the two authors make a solid case for consumerism being motivated by competitiveness rather than conformity, while pointing out the hypocrisies and shortcomings of “alternative” lifestyles. Their theoretical underpinnings range from critiques of Freud to French postmodernism, and they layer their philosophical arguments with personal. A thought-provoking read that I believe is a must to any alternative kid out there.

Vice Magazine started out as a lowly newsprint punk zine in 1994 in Montreal. Now it’s this big, weird, famous, smart and stupid magazine that’s published in 22 countries (South Africa being one of them). Their magazine can only be described as… bizarre. But in a good way. This book serves as the best of the magazine that spans 5 years and is truly eye-opening. Vice push the boundaries of the norm, continuously experiment and thrive on controversy. A recipe for success, if you ask me.

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This article will be called: “Mzansi, you blue ribbon fucks”. It follows on from a previous post on my blog, called: “South Africa, when did you grow a vagina?” It starts with a little bedtime story. Meet yourself. Your name is Truman and you’re an only child. You’re not the teacher’s favourite and by some mystery, you have your late uncle’s looks. You’re no Haley Joel Osmond. You’re not a six-year old prodigy come millionaire. Nor are you some pre-teen rim-jobber heart-throb in a boy band that recently got signed by Sony Records. This aside, your parents still love you. Your father works hard but doesn’t own enough smart work apparel to get through a two-day week without smelling like a foot. Your mother has always been too much jelly for one outfit. She is a firm believer in John Lennon’s idea of free lovin’, but her husband, your father, was always more of a Cat Stevens man. You’re father, because he is a decent fucking human being, saves some money so that he can take you to the zoo, make some memories and eat rum and raisin ice cream. You feel excited that your deadbeat dad managed to finally do something right. You go off to the zoo and it seems the world is finally full of possibility. You arrive and it comes to pass that the lions won’t come out, the leopards are being fed elsewhere, all the reptiles are all hibernating and the elephants have some God awful bloody virus. Although the other 327 animals are all fine, the sun is out and you aren’t in a terminal cancer ward drawing with crayons, you are unimpressed and think it typical. Being buried beneath the avalanche of your father’s inadequacies, you scream, pour the contents of your dad’s backpack onto the floor and throw rocks at unsuspecting impala. Truman is someone I hate. Truman has many like-minded friends. I hate them too and they all live in the country I love. “Wow, Dave. You aren’t making much sense. Are you upset?” “My dear reader, let me explain”. We opened this World Cup with a fierce iron fist. There were more South African flags than there were AIDS ridden children in Africa, God bless their deficient immune systems. After that first goal, the pot exploded, 94 500 vuvuzelas strong, every one being blown with every ounce of heart and soul we had. I will never forget what that felt like. We experienced a national high. We were on top of the world. It was the cigarette after the first fuck. Amazing. It was shortly after this point in our story that along came a spider. The spider’s name was Uruguay. The South American’s played a good game of football. We didn’t. We lost this game. This is how soccer works.

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But then you went and lost yourself. Every Tom, Dick and asshole turned their backs on their country like it had sold them into slavery or elected Julius Malema as president. Some ninety odd minutes went the wrong way and you heretics, you blue ribbon fucks, you broke my heart. I don’t know what happened to “Win or lose, we’re behind you all the way”, but I want it back. My kinsman, there is really something wrong with you. Before the World Cup, every second car had a flag or mirror caps on it. Now, I’m hard pressed to find one in twenty paying homage. God, as much as I hate the this-eyeliner-is-so-fucked-it-looks-like-aspider-is-crawling-out-of-my-eyes-soft-cock-rock group, The Parlotones, at least they had the decency to support Germany by writing a song for them. Flaccid commitment as it was, they didn’t abandon their own country half way through the tournament. 5FM took a poll on the vuvuzela, love it or hate it. 70% said they hated it. Some patriotism. I also saw a Yank, of all people, with a sign at one of the games that read: “Fuck you people watching at home! The vuvuzela is amazing”. This coming from a nation we probably hate the most. After our own, I mean. In short, wake and bake, pick up your vuvuzela, funnel some beer through it if you like, and blow it for your country. Stand up proud or sit down, shut up and watch whatever helps you sleep at night (So that you’re not awake when I come for you). Yes, I am aware that I am an asshole. But I have nothing on you. P.S. It is possible that, by the time you read this, one of two things will have happened. We will have been knocked out of the World Cup or be on our way to a flawless victory. It is, however, irrelevant. If we don’t make it, don’t become a Truman. We are still hosts to the biggest tournament in the world and if that doesn’t count for something, then nothing does and we might as well all go and drown with the polar bears in the North Pole. P.P.S Hugs and Kisses, Dave FOLLOW DAVE’S BLOG:

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We hardly ever print photos anymore and decorate our rooms with our friends faces, so here is an idea on how to make a really cheap, not much effort photo frame, to suit our punk rock attitudes... in under 10 minutes. What you’ll need: - A C.D jewel case (clear or black is fine) - Scrap material, ribbon, lace, zippers etc - Photos (I like to print mine with a white border) - Glue & Scissors

First up, take out the paper packaging from the cd case, then break the little plasic round bits on the inside of the case, and any parts that stick up. You want a flat surcace to make gluing them down easier. Grab bits of material, start cutting and gluing. It doesn’t have to be very precise, just go right ahead and do it. We all love that cut & paste look, don’t we? Use ribbon or lace for the edges of the jewel case, as well as to frame the edges of the your photos for extra decoration. You have 4 sides to play with, so if you like go ahead and do all 4, otherwise just pick the insides or whatever you prefer, ofcourse you can move it around to show off your best photos. You could take it a step further and add buttons, plastic skulls or anything that looks good and can be glued, so go mad!! *If you dont have material you could use bits of scrap paper too, any old awesome scraps will do.

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Even though I know how to read the letters it is still hard for me to read words as Hebrew vowels are small dots and lines below the letters that usually are left out in general written Hebrew. It is assumed that you know the word so the vowels are excluded, usually vowels. So as I walk around this beautiful city I read as much as I can but it tends to just be spelling out the letters in my mind as I (most likely) don’t know the word that I am reading (yet). I squeal with excitement when someone says something that I actually understand more often. This is the key to life here in Israel, an

Learning a new language is hard. EspecialI arrived in this country totally illiterate. Hebrew is all backwards, they read and write from right to left. To add to that challenge, all objects have a gender and the way you gender of that object (For instance a banana is a female - should be male in my opinion but anyway...) So not only do I have to learn the word for the object, how to spell it in a fore I can refer to it in a sentence correctly. I am quite surprised how quickly I learned to read and write, it took all of three weeks in total. Like English has capital and small letters, Hebrew has formal and informal letters. The Hebrew you have seen and may be familiar with is most likely formal letters, when you write Hebrew the letters are completely

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Israeli family member said to me shortly after I moved here that even though technically on paper I am Israeli now, I will remain a tourist until I speak the language. It is easy to get by in Tel Aviv without Hebrew, it is a very cosmopolitan city and everyone speaks English. Most Israelis are more than happy to speak in English and a lot of the time appreciate the practice so I can totally understand how a person can move here and simply never learn. I am serious about my life here so I have ber ever being this studious at school (probably because I never was.. I was a total nightmare in school but that is besides the point). So my life has become somewhat of a

routine, this is something I welcome as I was beginning to crave some kind of consistency. I have school from 1pm till 4.30 on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and I work at night on Sunday, Thursday and Friday. This proved to be a challenge for me at the beginning as I was so used to being awake at nights after four months of working night shift. I had three weeks of torturous insomnia trate. I was never fully awake and never fully asleep. Fortunately us human beings are quite adaptable and somehow my body has adjusted to sleeping at night for half the week and sleeping during the day for the other half. Tel Aviv. It is a city full of life, bars and clubs on every corner. Plenty for me to sink my teeth into and relish in the summer heat. I a bunch of people and a few beers, it is completely safe here and there is no problem for me to walk home alone at night. This week I am going to a friends show, They will be playing at Wacken open air festival this year in Germany, its their album launch this Thursday and it should be an awesome show. I also pierced my septum. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time but to be honest I have been afraid of the pain. I am quite happy to sit getting tattooed for hours on end but piercings were something I felt I was only brave enough for in my (perhaps misguided) youth. A friend of mine was getting tattooed so we went to go visit her and I thought, what the hell… so I did it. It really didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would and the healing has been really easy. It looks really good, if I do say so myself. The cool thing about a septum ring is that if I want to hide

it I can just push it up my nose and you can’t see it at all.


size “South Africa??!!!????? Its the WORLD CUP, what are you doing HERE?????” Me “I know, I know, I know ooookkkkkkkkkaaayyyyy!” It is a bitter sweet feeling for me, I am so happy here in my new life, so many new things for me to do and see. At the same time though, the world cup has been the cause of much homesickness. I am and always will be Proudly South African, my roots and my heritage will never leave me. The world cup is a moment of glory for our country and I am so very proud to be South African. AYOBA!!!!

Now for the inevitable conversation about the WORLD CUP. Yes, soccer fever has hit the entire planet. I sat and watched the opening ceremony with tears of pride in my eyes (more accurately rolling down my cheeks). I have the same conversation a hundred times a day at work. Customer “Where are you from?” Me “South Africa” Customers eyes bulge to an unusually large JULY 2010




PSYCHOLOGISTS USED TO BELIEVE THAT BULLIES HAVE LOW SELF-ESTEEM, AND PUT DOWN OTHER PEOPLE TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT THEMSELVES. SCARILY HOWEVER, NEW RESEARCH SHOWS THAT MOST BULLIES ACTUALLY HAVE EXCELLENT SELF-ESTEEM. Many of you may have been bullied when you were children, many of you are still bullied today and may not even know about it, and it makes my heart heavy to say that there is a chance that your children will be/ are being bullied today.

So what is bullying, really?

Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person. Some of the ways they bully other people are: by calling them names, saying or writing nasty things about them, leaving them out of activities, not talking to them, threatening them, making them feel uncomfortable or scared, taking or damaging their things, hitting or kicking them, or making them do things they don’t want to do. These are the subtle ways of bullying people, but there is even more brutal bullying going on without us even noticing it.

Different types of bullying

There are differet types of bullying, such as - Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying is where the stress of the moment causes behaviour to deteriorate; the person becomes short-tempered, irritable and may shout or swear at others. -Organisational bullying is a combination of pressure bullying and corporate bullying, and occurs when an organisation struggles to adapt to changing markets, reduced income, cuts in budgets, imposed expectations, and other external pressures. - Corporate bullying is where the employer abuses employees with impunity knowing that the law is weak and jobs are scarce. Institutional bullying is similar to corporate bullying and arises when bullying becomes entrenched and accepted as part of the culture. - Client bullying is where employees are bullied by those they serve, eg teachers are bullied (and often assaulted) by pupils and their parents, nurses are bullied by patients and their relatives, social workers are bullied by their clients, and shop/bank/building society staff are bullied by customers. - Serial bullying is where the source of all dysfunction can be traced to one individual, who picks on one employee after another and destroys them. - Secondary bullying is mostly unwitting bullying which people start exhibiting when

there’s a serial bully in the department. The pressure of trying to deal with a dysfunctional, divisive and aggressive serial bully causes everyone’s behaviour to decline. - Pair bullying is a serial bully with a colleague. Often one does the talking whilst the other watches and listens. Usually it’s the quiet one you need to watch. Usually they are of opposite gender and frequently there’s an affair going on. - Gang bullying is a serial bully with colleagues. - Residual bullying is the bullying of all kinds that continues after the serial bully has left. Like recruits like and like promotes like, therefore the serial bully bequeaths a dysfunctional environment to those who are left. This can last for years. - Cyber bullying is the misuse of email systems or Internet forums etc for sending aggressive flame mails. Serial bullies have few communication skills (and often none), thus the impersonal nature of email makes it an ideal tool for causing conflict. Sometimes called cyberstalking. So as you see there is way way more than just one type of bullying!

Managers may only see the ‘good’ side of a bully’s Jekyll and Hyde nature. Yet behind the facade, the bully may be quietly ‘killing’ off colleagues. Bullies test colleagues by denying them information, setting them up to fail etc. In trying to find ‘containers’ for their anxieties they develop an overriding need to control others. They often ‘nit pick’, focussing on seeming trivial or petty actions of others, thereby losing the overall picture. When a target has been selected attacks begin in earnest, boundaries are breached. A bully gets rid of his, or her, anxieties on to a victim. The victim becomes a ‘container’, or garbage can, for the bully’s anxieties. Once bullying begins it is very difficult to stop as the behaviour has a deep addictive quality to it. Having projected his, or her, anxieties, on to a target who then becomes a victim i.e. a container of the anxieties, the bully feels better. The victim is now perceived as a failure etc. But the bully’s good feelings don’t last long. As a victim is discarded, others are found to feed the addiction. Bullying will continue until firm boundaries are set around the bully and space given for reflection.

So what triggers bullying?

How to prevent and deal with bullying

Why do bullies bully? Psychologists used to believe that bullies have low self-esteem, and put down other people to feel better about themselves. While many bullies are themselves bullied at home or at school, new research shows that most bullies actually have excellent self-esteem. Bullies usually have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others, and lack compassion, impulse control and social skills. They enjoy being cruel to others and sometimes use bullying as an anger management tool, the way a normally angry person would punch a pillow. Bullying is often triggered by change eg the arrival of a new employee, introduction of new targets etc. It occurs when the emotional needs of a potential bully are not being met in a given situation - bullies being individuals unable to contain and work through their anxieties without ‘hurting’ others. Bullies use a range of defensive actions eg splitting. Splitting is a primitive form of defence in which individuals perceive their worlds in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. They want to keep the good for themselves and to get rid of their inner feelings of ‘badness’.

- Learn how to recognize bullying Educate yourself on how to recognize the signs of bullying and what you can do to prevent kids from being bullied. - Learn to tell the difference between bullying and harmless childhood play. - Help educate others Spread the word by talking to the people in your community who have the power to put an end to bullying. - Stop bullying when you see it By now, you know what to do. The next time you see an innocent child being victimized by a bully, don’t let the abuse continue. Your actions to stop bullying will help victimized children have hope again and will pave the way for others to stop letting senseless bullying harm young lives. - Stand up to bullies It is a well-known fact that bullies are only interested in targets that can not defend themselves. Take a stand, be the better person and rid yourself of the bully.

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August 2nd, 2006 – model Luisel Ramos collapsed onstage during Fashion Week in Montevideo, Uruguay. Reports state that Ramos felt ill after walking the runway and subsequently fainted on her way back to the dressing room. The official story claims that she died of heart failure, due to anorexia nevrosa. She was just 22 years old. In the weeks following Ramos’ tragic death, her father told police that she had gone “several days” without eating. She was reported to have adopted a diet of lettuce and Diet Coke for the three months before her death. At the time of her death she had a body

mass index (BMI) of just 14.5. She weighed 44kg at a height of 1.75m. (The World Health Organization considers a BMI of around 16 to be starvation). Sadly, the story does not end there. On F February 13, 2007, Luisel’s 18-year-old sister Eliana Ramos, also a model, died at her grandparents’ home in Montevideo of an apparent heart attack, believed to be related to malnutrition. Luisel’s death sparked the ‘size zero debate’ of the decade, based on the theory that painfully thin modern fashion icons have a dangerous influence on admiring young women, some of whom are vulnerable to anorexia, in a bid to look like their icons. Singled out for criticism has been Rachel Zoe - an influential stylist, who has worked with the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Keira Knightly, and Mischa Barton. Coincidetly, it is these four that have been targeted in the media (on separate occasions) as being

‘sickly thin’. The Los Angeles Times blamed her for “single-handedly bringing anorexia back.” Reed-slim Zoe refuted the allegation that she affected the eating habits of her clients, telling London’s The Sunday Times, “I don’t think it is fair to say that I’m responsible because I’m a thin person, that because I’m influencing their style I’m influencing what they eat.” But the question still remains – what are the chances that pretty much all of her clientele is as thin and unhealthy looking as her? Coincidence or a little cohesion from Miss Zoe? As a result of Luisel Ramos’ death, coordinators of Madrid’s Fashion Week banned from the event models whose body mass index fell below 18, which was considered unhealthy. The International Herald Tribune noted that many top models had a BMI that was in the 14–16 range. However, fashion bosses in Paris dismissed a ban, while New York’s Council of Fashion Designers of America revealed new guidelines to promote healthier behaviour, rather than rules on their weight. London also refused to follow suit. Designers have said that clothes just look better on thin models and that the curves of more shapely models distract from the clothing they are showing off. They say rules and punishments would only stifle creativity. Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died on Nov. 14, 2006, at the age of 21, in Sao Paulo from a generalized infection caused by anorexia. While in China, in 2004, Ana Carolina was told that she was “too fat.” From that utterance, she began the downward spiral into anorexia, and at the end her diet consisted of only apples and tomatoes. Ana Carolina’s BMI plummeted to 13.4, which is below starvation level. On October 23, 2006, she was admitted to hospital, weighing only 88 pounds (40 kg). When Israeli fashion model Hila Elmalich

died in 2007 after years of fighting anorexia, she weighed less than 60 pounds. Her death sent a shockwave through Israel’s fashion world. Elmalich, who had been in and out of hospitals for several years, collapsed at home and died of heart failure. In 2004 Israel became the first nation to pass laws requiring modeling agencies to hire only healthy models who have a body mass index -- a measure of body fat -- of 19 or above. Isabelle Caro is a French actress who has suffered from severe anorexia since she was 13 years old. Her anorexia was caused

by what she calls a “troubled childhood.” When she appeared on CBS’s The Insider, it was revealed that at the worst of her eating disorder, her weight had gone as low as 25 kilograms at a height of 1.65 metres. In 2007, she appeared in a billboard shot by photographer Oliviero Toscani, for Italian fashion label Nolita, during the height of Fashion Week. “I’ve hidden myself and covered myself for too long. Now I want to show myself fearlessly, even though I know my body arouses repugnance. I want to recover because I love life and the riches of the universe. I want to show young people how dangerous this illness is,” Caro said after JULY 2010


the public’s outcry at the haunting images. So, has the fashion world just refused to listen? Liz Jones, previous editor of the British Marie Clare, who currently writes for The Daily Mail, says of the Fashion Week in 2006: “At the Gharani Strok show on Monday, a clearly dazed model fell onto the front row. Then at the Jonathan Saunders show on Tuesday afternoon, a girl bringing up the rear on the catwalk caused the audience to gasp in shock. Her back was so cadaverous, her arms and shoulders so eaten away (did you know that if you drop below a BMI of 12 you start to consume your own organs and muscle tissue?), that I decided to find out her name (Alyona). Then I phoned her agency, Storm (who also represent Kate Moss, credited for the Heroin Chic), to find out if she was okay, and whether or not they were monitoring her closely enough, but, surprise, surprise, nobody would take my call. Virtually everyone I spoke to thought the whole issue of zero-size models on the catwalk was a great big yawn. The consensus was that Madrid only introduced a ban on models with a Body Mass Index of less than 18 to put themselves on the fashion map. Shall I give you some examples of what people said to me this week, both on and off the record? When I raised this horny subject in a car between shows with a male fashion stylist who works for a newspaper supplement, he said: “Who wants to shoot clothes on someone who is fat and ugly?” Paige Adams-Geller, a former model who now designs her own range of jeans, and has a shop in Beverly Hills says, “I kept wondering why I would see an actress one week and she would look normal, and the next she would look gaunt, and I found out it is

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all down to crystal meth - the latest musthave accessory here in LA.” She also told me the name of the celebrity stylist who is now suddenly so in demand, simply because she also acts as the stars’ drug dealer. “When I became a model at the age of 15 I was slim, I had won Miss California, for goodness? sake, but the moment I signed with an agent I was told to lose the weight. “There is no way that a girl over seven and a half stone will get cast on the catwalk. I used to eat one rice cake a day to stay that way. And this meant I never menstruated.” She told me she could guarantee that very few of the girls on the catwalk in London this week will have regular periods, which means they are storing up problems, such as osteoporosis, for later in life. “I have seen first hand how these girls are treated,” she said. “I would turn up on a shoot and be offered a line of coke; I have even been on shoots where there have been syringes of heroin laid out ready for the models. I always said, no thanks, I prefer to starve myself.”” Jones’ honest article leaves women around the world with little hope of ever being accepted and appreciated with their curves. However, there are some designers who have come to their senses. Jones says of British designer Jasper Conran, “He cast the decidedly thirty-something and bootylicious Jasmine Guinness in his show, and when I congratulated him on taking such a bold step he said: “Listen, I love women. I design clothes for women, not stick insects.”” Last season, Canadian fashion designer Mark Fast made fashion headlines by using plus-size models in his revealing Spring/ Summer 2010 runway show. Then, at London Fashion Week, the designer stayed true to his vision and used curvy models in

his knitwear show again. He famously used Hayley Morley, who wears a British size 12 (US size 10). “Hayley is a wonderful, sexy, gorgeous woman,” says the London-based designer. “It is important for me to continue using curvier models because there needs to be an understanding that my clothes are for all body shapes. There are real women out there that want to be able to escape into the fantasy of fashion just like everyone else regardless of their size.” Fashion giants Prada, also cast Dutch-Frisian model Doutzen Kroes, who once said, “I don’t do runway shows because I don’t fit the sample size,” to walk the catwalk as well. According to Italian Vogue’s page dedicated to curvy women (http://www.vogue. it/en/ vogue-curvy/), a Tweet by Christopher Michael from 1 Management, states that that “Calvin Klein has discontinued their use of the size 0-2 models and traded them in for a 2-4 … a sign of the times indeed”. In effect Francisco Costa who designs for Calvin Klein has said that they want to use models who appear more like real women, like their customers, those who actually walk into the shop. In Arpil 2010, the French Elle surprised everyone by putting plus-size model Tara Lynn on its cover, nd in May, High fashion V Magazine’s issue focused on the size debate, highlighting a very voluptuous and very barely-there dressed burlesque star, leaves readers with mixed reviews. Where many are celebrating, others are questioning the intentions behind the inclusion of plus size models. http://www.vmagazine. com/2010/05/curves-ahead-2/ One of London’s biggest department stores is using a size 12 model to launch its new range of swimwear. John Lewis will also

change all its mannequins to a size 10. The store said its decision - which has been seen as a victory in the campaign against unhealthy size-zero models - was about being “honest” with its customers. Photographs of South African model Lauren Moller in a selection of swimsuits, sarongs and bikinis will be used in John Lewis. At 5ft 8in, Moller has a body mass index of 19.8 which falls within the healthy range. John Lewis spokesman Mark Forsyth said: “We wanted a realistic image and body shape in our shots. The photographs show you can be size 12 and be healthy and beautiful. The store had problems finding a suitable size 12 model for the shoot - when it contacted regular agencies they said they did not represent such “large” models, and referred them to agencies specialising in “plus size” women.” We were astonished,” said Mr Forsyth. “Size 12 isn’t big. It’s still quite slim.” Although there has been a surge of plus-size loving, a large part of the fashion world is still very much reserved for the unhealthy, waif-like models. Watch this space for more.

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In the seventies, rock ‘n roll was a man’s affair of hard rock, drugs, sex and late nights turning into early mornings in mansions, waking up next to a pair of Playboy bunny wanna-bes. Enter The Runaways, all girl rock ‘n roll band of the decade, set to forever change the face of rock n roll and pave the way for later artists, such as Hole and The Donnas. In 1975, Drummer Sandy West and guitarist Joan Jett had, on separate occasions, introduced themselves to producer (and later The Runaways’ manager) Kim Fowley, stating their respective intentions to form an all-girl band. Fowley, who was always looking for the next big thing, gave Jett’s phone number to West. The two then met on their own, discussed their visions and ideas, and after rehearsing together, the pair contacted Fowley to let him hear the results. Fowley then helped the girls find the other members. Starting as a power trio with singer/ bassist Micki Steele, The Runaways began the party and club circuit around Los Angeles. In 1975, they added 16-year-old lead guitarist Lita Ford and lead singer Cherie Currie to the lineup. Singer/ bassist Micki Steele left the group, later resurfacing in The Bangles. A local bassist named Peggy Foster took over on bass but also left after a month. Finally, Jackie Fox (who had originally auditioned for the lead guitar spot) was added on bass, and the line up was complete. In 1976, The Runaways were signed to Mercury Records, and their debut album, The Runaways, was released shortly after. The band toured the U.S. and played numerous sold out shows. They headlined shows with opening acts such as Cheap Trick, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Van Halen. The documentary Edgeplay: A film about The Runaways, directed by former Runaway bassist Vicki Blue aka Victory Tischler-Blue revealed that each girl patterned herself after her idols: Currie patterned her look after David Bowie, Jett after Suzi Quatro and Keith Richards, Ford as a cross between Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and Jeff Beck, West after Queen drummer Roger Taylor, and Fox after Kiss bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons[. Although modeled on male rock stars, the girls brought in their own personalities, for a look and feel that was revolutionary in those times. Their second album, Queens of Noise was released in 1977 and the band began a world tour. The Runaways quickly became lumped in with the growing punk rock movement. The band (already fixtures on the West Coast punk scene) formed alliances

with mostly-male punk bands such as Blondie, The Ramones and The Dead Boys, as well as the British punk scene by hanging out with the likes of The Damned, Generation X and The Sex Pistols. While on a tour of Japan, bassist Jackie Fox left the band shortly before the group was scheduled to appear at the 1977 Tokyo Music Festival.[4] Jett temporarily took over bass duties and when the group returned home they replaced Fox with 17 year old Vicki Blue. Singer Cherie Currie then left the group and Jett, who previously shared vocals with Currie, took over lead vocals full time. The band released their 4th album, Waiting For The Night and started a world tour with their friends The Ramones. Currie released a solo LP Beauty’s Only Skin Deep, produced by Kim Fowley, and began a separate U.S. tour, which included her identical twin sister Marie. Due to disagreements over money and the management of the band, The Runaways and Kim Fowley parted ways in 1978. The group quickly hired new management, who also worked for Blondie and Suzi Quatro. When the group split with Fowley, they also parted with their record label Mercury/ Polygram, to which their deal was tied. In the Edgeplay documentary, members of the group (especially Fox and Currie) as well as the parents of Currie and West, have accused Fowley and others assigned to look after the band of using divide and conquer tactics to keep control of the band, as well

as verbal and sexual abuse of the band embers. Bassist Vicki Blue left the group and was briefly replaced by Laurie McAllister. The band reportedly spent much time enjoying the excesses of the rock n’ roll lifestyle during this time. They partnered with Thin Lizzy producer John Alcock, after Jett’s future partner Kenny Laguna turned down the job, to record their last album And Now ... The Runaways. The band played their last concert on New Year’s Eve Day of 1978 and broke up in April 1979. There is no doubt that The Runaways were a young band with a highly influential vision back in the days of male-dominated rock and roll. After their enormous success, everything had changed for female rock musicians. The Runaways’ success paved the way for many successful female artists and female bands over the past 30 years.

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Not to get confused with AssplAy...its pronounced ‘Assplee’, when asked how she came up with the name, this is what the foxy lady had to say: The term ‘T&A’ means tits and I wanted to use that and create a name that sounded like some sort of posh clothing brand (like Sass & Bide) but with a tongue in cheek aspect, and that is how Titmore & Asspley was born, but you get the odd silly sod that likes to shout ASSPLAY at the top of their lungs. I just put them down to being a tad frustrated in a certain department! Hahhaha... How old are you? Old enough to know better! Where did you start? LONDON, UK How did you get into designing pasties? I was working in a lingerie shop in Soho around 7 years ago and a

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girl used to supply us with tassels. They weren’t really that good, so I told the owner I thought I could make better ones. So she asked me to make some. What started off as a few pairs ended up in the shop I was working in ordering from me regularly. Stylists would come in and ask to use them for magazine shoots. A few famous people came in to buy them too, like Madonna who was with her stylist (her credit card had ‘BOY TOY’ embossed on it...really!). It was frustrating, because at that point I was just a shop girl serving the customers.

When someone as high calibre as Madonna wanted my tassels, I just used to want to scream ‘they are my designs, I made them!!’ but had to just carry on wrapping up their purchases and keep my mouth shut. Within a year I had to leave that job as I was so busy. From the contacts I had at that shop in Soho London, things snowballed for me through word of mouth with models, performers and stylists I had met over my years working there. What great artists have you designed pasties for? Models and performers worldwide such as Masuimi Max, Carmen Electra. Sabina Kelley has modeled for me and will hopefully be on board for my new collections for 2010/2011. I also designed all of the crystal pasties for Immodesty Blaize’s West End stage show ‘Burlesque’ which then went to Broadway. How did you end up doing stuff for Masuimi? I had a stall at one of the big events in the UK called Erotica about 5 or 6 years ago. Masuimi was doing a stage show there. She was having a wander around between performances, and was lured to my stall by the sparkle of crystal! (Plus I had some gin hidden under the table which helped!) She is an absolute doll, and so down to earth. We hit it off and have maintained a great working relationship all of these years. She is one of the most professional and well known models, yet is THE nicest I have ever met. And Carmen? When I was working at the boutique in Soho, one of the stylists wanted some stuff for a shoot for Loaded magazine. It turned out it was for Carmen. At the end of the shoot we got a call asking if Carmen could buy the items that she wore (which were Red Crystal Heart tassels, red satin & crystal Garter and a red crystal thong). I was like ‘Hell Yeah! She can have them!’ I rushed out and bought about ten copies after the magazine went to print! I love Carmen and I still have to pinch myself when I see her in those pages wearing my designs. Little does anyone know (until now!) that the outfit was constructed in a little flat in South London, while I was sitting with my cat and wearing pajama’s... How does it feel to know your designs are worn by famous alternative models? Its surreal. Its an honour. When I send them off to models and performers they are just tassels that have driven me to distraction to construct and given me a backache hand setting all the crystal with tweezers...then I see the beautiful pictures at the end of it all and realize how lucky I am. Who wouldn’t want to furnish the boobs of some of the most famous and gorgeous women in the world. Its the best job ever!

What have been your most intricate designs? My most intricate design by far was a pair of Anchor pasties. The pattern had to be geometrically perfect and symetrical to within a millimetre...which is hard as all of my patterns are drawn freehand. So its a LOT of trial and error. This particular pair had miniscule satin roses & leaves, and a silk rope draped around them. They were hard work, but the end result was well worth it. Believe it or not, as simple as the round shape looks, it is also one of the most difficult to get perfectly symetrical. A fraction out and it throws off the way the crystal sits. Have you attended any of the burlesque events? I have only been back in London for a year after living in South Africa for 2 years. Now I am getting back into the swing on London life I will be revisiting some of the gorgeous Burlesque clubs and events that we have here. Lots of my friends are Burlesque performers, so its always lovely to go and show support. My tassels are also worn at a lot of Fetish parties that we have here like Torture Garden. Its always a thrill to be walking around and spot someone in my designs. Tell me more about the shoes you do? Argh. The shoes! They look amazing at the end, but it it literally about a weeks worth of being hunched over a stiletto with a pair of tweezers. Each pair holds over 3,500 individually set crystal. The lighting has to be perfect where I am working, as if there is a glare from the sun in the room it reflects off the crystal and gives me the biggest headace! I reserve heels for performers only as they cost so much to make what with crystal and labour (and heels!) that it would make them ridiculously expensive to sell in a retail environment. But it was a pleasure making the red ‘Dorothy’ heels for Masuimi’s wedding. Do you do anything else other than pasties and the shoes? I am cutting down less on wholesale for 2010 as it is very time consuming, as I work alone. So I am going to concentrate more on making exclusive pieces & expanding my existing range. Now I have made the decision to cut back on wholesale it will free up a lot of my time to revisit my old design notebook and create all the things I have been meaning to for years, like Candy Store and Tattoo inspired designs. I am also looking to expand my advertising to the US and am hopefully going to be advertising in some of the brochures of the Tattoo & Rockabilly conventions for 2010/2011. Did you study anything to get into this business? I studied Business & Finance (which has obviously come in helpful) but nothing along the lines of design. I just picked up a pen and JULY 2010


paper one day and started creating! Simple as that. What is the soundtrack to Titmore & Asspley (ie: what music inspires you while you’re working)? Oh God, it depends on my mood. I usually have the TV on, but that can get me sidetracked at times. Sometimes it is nice to have just silence. I don’t get enough peace and quiet, so its sometimes really therapeutic to just have a nice slice of golden silence. Apart from the odd bit of cursing when I keep dropping crystal or getting all gluey! What is your life philosophy? My life’s philosophy is to live in the moment. I remember the exact moment I wanted to change my life. I was sitting in the bath, getting ready for work and I thought ‘I’m not happy’. So within the week I quit my job and started Titmore & Asspley full time. It did mean living on beans on toast for a year, but I was happier as a person. I know not everyone has the luxury of just living on a whim, so I know I am blessed. But I believe you should chase your dreams, your heart, your love...whatever makes you tick. And to try to be a nice person along the way, because karma can be a big old bitch. And, it could all end tomorrow anyway, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Where have you travelled to? I moved to America when I was little and lived there for 5 years. It was like what you see in the movies with the big yellow school bus

and such! I lived in Greece on and off for 3 years. I only went for a two week holiday with my friend. We were sitting on the beach and our flight was due to leave in the hour. But we carried on lounging. Then just looked at each other, with 15mins to get to the airport, and just decided to stay. We lived on the beach for a few weeks but it was a blast! I had the best time ever. Then I moved to South Africa for a couple of years. I have been back in the UK a year now. London is my base in the world as I have an apartment here and my family are here. But I am pretty much in love with South Africa and can see myself visiting again and again. I want to revisit the US this year too... Is the burlesque world in London big, or is it still very much underground? The more prestigous Burlesque clubs with the best performers are still quite exclusive. But you do get bars & clubs have more regular ‘burlesque’ nights with newcomers. What do you love the most about the burlesque world in London? That it is magical and beautiful and inspiring. You can be taken to a different world then leave the club and step right out into the gloomy rainy gutters of London. Its like Alice’s Looking Glass. Is it is easy to get involved in burlesque there? The thing is now that, every girl wants to chase the glamour of being a Burlesque performer. So, they are two a penny. Plus, the original Burlesque stars in London, like Gwendolin Lamour and Immodesty Blaize are pretty hard acts to follow. If you had to chose a burlie name for yourself what would it be? Oh God, I have never thought about it. It would have to have an alcohol connotation to it though, as those that know me know how much I love to party! What burlie character would you make yourself? I’d probably go down the sleazy, macarbe route rather that be a glitzy beauty. I always say that I am a 15year old schoolboy trapped in a grown woman’s body. I’m more of a boy’s girl than a girls girl. Where do you want to take your business in the future? I am looking forward to getting my designs more mainstream in the US, I have a few other things in the pipeline apart from my new tassel designs, like getting some corsets and lingerie made exclusively for Titmore & Asspley. And to continue dressing more and more famous breasts well into the future.

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Hair clips, R50

Pants and shoes, stylist’s own

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The 24 Hour Plays

The Alexander Theatre, Braamfontein WORDS BY LAUREN UTTING

of it to charity! It was also heartwarming to see a few well knowns and a few veterans in the actor/ The concept of the 24 Hour director lineup giving of their time Plays, while not wholly a unique one, for it has been used on the very little remuneration, if at all. The press release touted the West End and Broadway before, is still new to South Africa and when whole thing as: “A collaboration I read the press release for it I was between 5 writers, 5 directors, 5 amazed it hadn’t been done be- designers and 20 actors to crefore. Truth be told, experimental ate 5 brand new 10 minute plays theatre of this sort is generally the to be presented after 24 kind of thing one is used to see- hours of writing, directing, ing at Grahamstown Festival and rehearsing … and stressing. FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY this probably why I used to make the pilgrimage every year. However unique experience will bring due to a whole myriad of factors, together professional, amathe least of them being Johan- teurs and students in a creaneburg go getters favoring Peter tive time bomb as they try to Torien’s big extravaganza musi- do the impossible for charity.” ... WAS ONE OF THOSE In truth it was a little more RARE PIECES YOU pears and indeed as it apSEE ONLY NOW AND peared in the press release. AGAIN THAT NOT ONLY Writers would get together LEAVES A STARTLING the night before at 22h05 VISUAL IMPRESSION with all the actors, each of IN YOUR MIND, BUT whom would have a prop ALSO HAS YOU BAB and costume of their own BLING FOR AGES AF choosing. The writers would TER IN EXCITED TONES. write the plays incorporating cal style shtick more than smaller the actors and their props more obscure productions, you into the scripts the whole really have to search to get good, night before and emerge the honest and experimental theat- next morning manuscripts er. Corporate and commercial in hand. Then the directors identity is a big part of theater would draw the various scripts out in Johannesburg now and it’s a of a bowler hat and then the debit of a shame because it often signers would draw out each play puts tremendous pressure on they would be designing. The fur- ther complication was that each ing to compete when they have designer had to use some preneither the budget, the sponsor- dominant material in each set deship nor big names to call upon. sign, but more about this later on. Audience and Play are go as of Enter the 24hr plays. Not only do these guys fall into the category of 20h05, that Sunday night after acthe exact style of theatre I person- tors, directors and designers have ally love (reminiscent of the sort of been working the entire day. While it’s a brilliant idea it goes without and the Intimate theaters in Cape saying that certain concessions Town back in my barmy student have to be made. Things are days) they are also taking their hard rushed and so work cannot neclittle earnings and devoting some essarily be appreciated, critiqued

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or compared against the hours of preparation a normal production would have in a standard 2 week run as this would be a little disingenuous. This means of course that a lot of it was done with good humor and taken as such. However, this didn’t deter me from still developing my own set of, what J.M Coetzee calls, ‘Strong Opinions.’ A project like this had very good intentions but it was still be-

tors visual concept for the production into material form onto the stage. Most of the time this wasn’t always done enough to my liking and while it was evident, the predominance of one main material in each set design it was only 2 pieces where I felt designers were creating a set that worked with the actors and worked to extend the visual metaphor of the drama. The two most notable pieces of the evening for me were, piece no. 3 Broken House (written by Christian Blomkamp and Directed by Rethabile Mothobi) and then evening, One for Tea and Two for Tiger (written by David Kibuuka and directed by Greg Homann.) One for Tea and Two for Tiger was one of those rare pieces you see only now and again that not only leaves a startling visual impression in your mind, but also has you babbling for ages after in excited tones. The piece was obviously workshopped heavily as dialogue was sparse and more for comedic humour was presented in a deliciously ambiguous and thoughthunched over a desk and most of the stage, including him, covered with a pile of dry leaves. As he changes, a single strobe above the stage picks up the enormous dust clouds emitted from his body as he moves about between the leaves. Presently a young gentleman enters, presents a piece of paper saying, “it’s for my name.” What develops is a hilarious piece of farce and parody caprturing the frustration that emerges when

ing supported by a paying public and at R100 a ticket, it’s a fair bit more than your average club/gig night out so they still had to deliver something of reasonable quality. On the whole I enjoyed a number of the pieces- 5 in all. Some ranged from the serious and political to the downright absurd. With plays being put together in this way, it became all to clear which plays managed to achieve a synthesis between actor, writer and designer. Sometimes people forget that the designers job is not just to create the backdrop or the props only but to echo the direc-

processes are overrun with incompetence and laziness. The visual metaphor of the leaves for paper which were scratched through violently under the auspices of ‘looking for papers’ to the dusty, earthy clouds created on stage echoed the feeling of things being old, unchanged and almost fossilized- It was breathtaking. nolds, one of the producers and the evenings compare or rather, token joker, who intonated that the production may possibly see the light of day at Grahamstown next year but in order to retain it’s impromptu quality would be reworked and redesigned. Looking forward to it! Congratulations to Bowler Hat Productions for a successful evening of the 24 Hour Plays and here’s to more independent theatre and to new creative initiatives!

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Eventually it becomes a get-in, getout scenario, and where’s the fun in that? The old tannies having tea and scones at the Mugg ‘n Bean just cannot help but hold their creamy jam delights mid-air between the plate and their mouth and gawk at you, as you saunter past. And this is just the beginning. It becomes an uncomfortable situation where it feels like you’re defending yourself on the way to grab the cheese and milk, or some new undies from Woolies. And clothes shopping may in fact be the worst. You casually stroll through a shop and suddenly the shop assistant, that looks as if she just jumped out of the Marie-Claire fashion pages, is at your heels: “Can I help you?” She smirks as she gives you the ‘once-over’ as they call it, but in this case its more like the ‘four times-over’. Even though you decline her offer of help, one or more of them seem to constantly be in perfect spying distance, and you cannot help but wonder… why? You attempt to ignore them, and it suddenly dawns on you: They think you’re going to pocket something. So yeah, your tights may have holes in them, and your shoes are more than likely worn and torn, but does this in their minds equate to you being dodgy? The simple answer: Yes. In a society that thrives on first impressions, status and bling, being an alternative woman is

challenging, and people are generally not going to appreciate your unique sense of style. Let me demonstrate with a comparison of the two different thought processes, yours: “I like my holey tights and worn out shoes”, annoying Marie-Claire fashion catalogue shop assistant- “Her clothes have holes in. She is dodgy, she is going to steal that handbag, where’s my panic button? Where’s the security guard?” Then there are the security guards. God only knows why anyone would choose this profession in the first place, but these baton-wielding failed policemen seem to have made it their life’s mission to ‘search and destroy’. If you thought the shop assistant was bad, wait till the security guard catches a glimpse of you. Suddenly he has two eyes on you, one hand on the baton, and the other on the walkie-talkie. These men stand in shops, day in, day out, just clambering for someone to steal something. “Make my time in this place worthwhile, c’mon. Steal something!” While this man will not approach you and ask you any questions, but rather keep you feeling uneasy as you cross the shop floor, their accusatory glances are enough to bring on a severe bout of nausea. These men may in fact be even more offended by your holey tights and worn out shoes than

the shop assistant, and while he surveys the size of the handbag you’re toting, suddenly it feels like you have a target on your back. You feel ashamed as you shuffle out the shop, the glances being enough to make you feel as if you did just steal something. As adverse alternative women, many would say that this is the lifestyle we have chosen. Yes, we have chosen to express ourselves in the manner that we see fit. We have tattoos, piercings, a different sense of style, and we probably have psychobilly playing on our iPods. Yes, we must be dodgy, or satanic, or mentally unstable. I have lived in a small town in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town for most of life, a place called Brackenfell. And I went to Brackenfell High School. Needless to say, I was one of the ‘weird’ kids, because let’s face it, a lot of us have been living this lifestyle long before guyliner (men wearing eyeliner) and ‘skinnies’ became popular. As women with tattoos, piercings and weird hair, we’ve been this way for quite some time. And while it’s slowly becoming more socially acceptable to have hair looking like a crows nest, we still face judgment on a daily basis. I have experienced this to a vile degree living in this little town. Let me sum it up for you, it’s on the wrong side of the boerewors curtain where brandy, mullets (and not the ‘cool’ ones) thrive. There is even a pub called ‘Cheetahs’. (Dear God, help us all) But looking as I do, that being inked up and pierced, I face persecution, and I become the number one target when shopping. I have Chihuahua-like shop assistants yapping at my heels, keeping a beady eye on me, more than likely chanting ‘eye on the prize, eye on the prize’ in their heads while they do so. While it is highly annoying, we as alternative gals, really just have to get used to it. Rather than getting upset or annoyed, I lean towards the ‘they are simple-minded and cannot help themselves’ mindset. Because: If I had laid into every single person suspecting me of being dodgy, I would have had several lawsuits against my name by now.

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current events


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In 1994 a vast majority of black South Africans lacked access to a direct source of water and sanitation. The new government mandate stated, at this point, that water was an essential staple and would be free of cost for at least a ‘lifeline’ amount to all residents. This was one of the first electoral promises that the ANC made – but this was within the structure of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). This programme granted the ANC formal administrative power, while the wealth of the country was retained by the white capitalist elite. ’94 was also the year that South Africa released its first ‘democratic’ White Paper on water. Which entailed that the minimum price of water was to be set at a marginal cost – the operation and maintenance expenses associated with covering the next unit of waters production cost. As early as this a disjuncture was forming between South Africa’s constitutional right to water and the commodification of water. The term ‘lifeline’ became redefined to mean, not free, but the equivalent of operating and maintenance costs. The commodification of water was instigated to generate a more rational use of scarce water supplies under Neoliberal policies, such as the Structural Adjustment Programme, instigated by the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation and NAFTA. What followed from this was the pri-

vatisation of water services. The process of water privatisation had already begun before the end of the apartheid era; with French Company Suez already holding water contracts in the Eastern Cape. This lead to Suez’s capture of the Johannesburg water management contract in 2001. What this entails is that the commodification of water trumps human rights. This is not a surprising step considering the 2000 Sourcebook on Community Driven Development in the African Region places cost recovery above human need: ‘Work is still needed with political leaders in some national governments to move away from the concept of free water for all...Promote increased capital cost recovery from users..Ensure 100% recovery of operation and maintenance costs.” And even earlier, in 1998, the UN Panel on Water declared that water should be a commodity rather than be treated as an essential staple provided free of cost. The privatisation of water left many South Africans unable to afford the basic amount of water necessary for consumption and sanitation. This lead to a massive outbreak of cholera in 2000. But multinational corporation Suez and the municipality take no responsibility for the social and personal costs of cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery and TB which all stem from the lack of affordable water. From these dire conditions

sprouted the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), lead by Trevor Ngwane – a former University of the Witwatersrand lecturer, and ANC councillor for the Pimville ward in Soweto. The APF has taken to resisting the water injustice through direct action protest, autonomist-style reconnections of water, the destruction of pre-paid meters, and constitutional court challenges which are aimed at the outlawing of pre-paid water meters. The APF are just one of the many institutions that have been forming across the globe which fight the forces who condone the privatisation of every aspect of life, and the transformation of every activity into a commodity. The question you should ask yourself is “Whose side am I on?”

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VIXXEN July 2010  

The March 2010 issue of VIXXEN Magazine, South Africa's ONLY alternative female lifestyle magazine