Posts tagged Thandiwe Tshabalala
Inspired by Indaba!

Every year i head to the Design Indaba Expo and i am never disappointed. This year was no exception and I believe it actually beat last years show. As a designer I feel like a kid in candy store, surrounded by endless stalls with everything from jewellry to felt, rock shaped chairs. I love the general viiibe with great music coming from the fashion area, sending a subtle bass through the entire area and various coloured lights highlighting certain sections. The stalls are all unique with some filled to the brim and others minimalist and housing only one or two objects. A black box with a spotlight inside housed a bright yellow plastic elephant, smooth and simple, holding magazines in its mouth. Wonderfully arb. There was a definite soccer theme through most of the expo and it's great to see everyone getting amped for the World Cup in their own way. I posed next to an incredible bead and wire sculpture of a player kicking a soccer ball high into the air, supported only by his hand and a metal base in the shape of Africa. (pic to follow this week)

Why oh Why did Vida not feature??? They are so IN with everything design. I was a bit disappointed that they weren't there. Love that coffee. ANYWHO..

These are a few of my favourite things...

  • Flowermill "Designer Stationery and Stuff" This stall had beautiful wrapping paper and cards with prints ranging from two tone paisley to busy illustrations of random objects or people. But the best bit... her Sticky Board! Basically it's a canvas board with a pattern of your choice printed directly onto the canvas and then coated with a sticky substance (which stays stciky for us to 10 years). Then you can use it as a notice board putting up cards, receipts, inspiration etc! Fabulous! They range from R450 to R800. Thank-you to Deborah Inkson at the stall for showing me the gorgeous Flowermill pieces. For more info see

  • Nomili "Unique and customised products that are digitally manufactured" So basically really pretty scultures. My friends and I couldn't believe the intense detail and perfection in the all white pieces that looked like they had been carved out of white stone, yet so light and delicate. Apparently they are created from nylon using a type of 3D printing process. So ya, pretty!

  • Dillon and Jada "Authentic hand made goods that are aimed at the true individual spirit" I really liked the stuff at this stall because it was unique and expressive. The tees and bags in particular caught my eye with the great use of cloured thread and colour, uv spot and metallics blended together in a cool way; eccentric yet still chic. Wendy Visser is the designer and she named the brand after her two kids. She has travelled all over and done design projects in Europe. According to the website:, "Each item is made by hand with from the Zulu heartlands of KwaZulu Natal by talented and courageous ladies that are heloing to keep their communities self sufficient and united against the ravages of HIV Aids." I like.

  • Marzipan "Locally produced costume jewellery that was affordable but still had an original and precious handmade feel." This gorgeous jewellry is just that. With the line "Don't eat it!" the brand is fun and bright, edgy and cool and reminiscent of  sweets and petit fours! Karyn and Shelley Walters started it up in 2002 and in their second year were joined by Veronica Tom. They have something for everyone from tourists to women who want something different and funky! I loved their bracelets in particular with their great use of colour and different shaped and textured beads.

  • Cupcake Country "deliciously crafted cupcakes & other awesome crafts" They host workshops for kids to teach them the a wonderful innocent craft and help them produce the pretty felt cupcakes seen at their stall. So cute!

  • Designer Baguettes "In support of the Chef Development Fund" When hunger struck I decided to try something in keeping with the theme of the day and so I spent R40 on a "Designer Baguette". And was it worth it? Hells yeah! Three renowned chefs, Harald Bresselschmidt, Margot Janse and Michael le Borgne and two emerging chefs, James Gaag and Leon Jones, have put together the range of sandwiches in an effort to raise money for the Design Indaba and Foodcorp Chef Development Fund. This fund will help provide scholarships for previously disadvantaged young chefs wishing to learn and cultivate theirs culinary talents. Whilst I did feel that the display was seriously lacking (non existent really) and the good cause not publicized apart from a note on the sandwich, the food was great and the server friendly and helpful. And I really liked the packaging! I chose the delicious Margot Janse baguette:

  • Other stands I liked include Carrol Boyes, Absa, Raw, Lila Rose Sleepwear, Heath Nash, Elle Decoration, The Letterpress Company and Urbanative.
  • Favourite Emerging Artist: Chad Lesch

This guy has such an awesome illustration style and he applies it really effectively to various mediums. I especially liked his 'Bone Voyage' dog travel kit with AstroTurf casing, chew toys, bowl etc.

His cute yet crazy monster drawings were applied to t-shirts and cards. He always keeps a slightly distressed texture to his work and he really pays attention to details. I loved his typography:

There was always a people buzzing around his stall. Having recently graduated fromVega, Chad is going places.

Some of the Design Indaba Superstars I just loved: (N.B. the 1st 2 went to my college!)

  • Last but definitely not least, I watched a couple of the fashion shows, sponsored by Arise Magazine, Dstv and Mac Cosmetics. Presented by Marie Claire's new editor, there was a delay between each designer which was rather annoying but the actual clothes were really great! I saw Undacova Underwear and I Love Leroy. I saw I Love Leroy last year too and have loved both sets. Very feminine, yet more simple and clean cut this year. (pics to follow this week)

Sample from their show at last year's Indaba:

SO... if you haven't been I highly recommended you go to this fabulous celebration of SA's outstanding talent:

Saturday 27 February 2010 from 10:00 – 20:00 Sunday 28 February 2010 from 10:00 – 18:00

Admission costs:

Adults- R50 Students – R30 Pensioners – R30 Scholars in uniform – R20 Children under 12 – R20

That's all folks*