The Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival is the only fashion film festival in South Africa. It happens twice a year to celebrate fashion and film collaborations. This year it took place over 2 nights in March.
This past Saturday I attended with Nadine who is a blogger from Nadine Knows Beauty. The venue was the African Pride Hotel in the Cape Town CBD. It was a lovely warm summer day (probably one of our last before the Autumn chill) and I met Nadine in the lobby of the hotel. The hostesses of the hotel were so smartly dressed, the hotel looked amazing, and I felt quite fancy having my door opened for me and then the floor number pushed for me in the elevator. The elevator even had a little couch. I was just not used to this kind of sophisticated environment.
One thing that was a tiny bit embarrassing (but also fun) was that as you walk in to the space, there is a long red carpet with a photographer. So we stood there and got our photo taken as if we were cool celebs.
Fashion and Makeup Stations
Inside there different shopping stations where you could purchase designer clothing and sunglasses. There was a guy there who was very happy to show us photos of the dresses being worn by the models the previous evening. It is quite different seeing a dress on the rack and seeing it on a model. The Sunglass Hut station was awesome because when you take a pic and use their hash tag, the photo gets printed out right there. We’re used to seeing social printing at events but this was the first one I’ve seen that is not hosted by Nifty 250.
There was a M.A.C manicure station hosted by Fox Box where you could get a mini manicure. Another M.A.C station would do your makeup for you. The GHD station had the longest line as people were interested in trying the new GHD curling wands.
There was a station where you could pick up some free popcorn, which was nice. We could also get coffee and a selection of teas from stations in the main hall.
In the main hall, the fashion films were being showcased. Each director and team would come up and talk about their film and the inspiration behind it. The films were interesting and some of them were quite dark. It’s not something I’m used to and I do have a lot of respect for these film makers. The teams were from a few different countries which was great to see.
Special Effects Demonstration with GHD and M.A.C Cosmetics
In the centre of the main hall they announced that a demonstration was to be conducted by GHD and M.A.C. which we were very excited for. Once Nadine and I got ourselves a nice spot to stand, we watched the magic happen. They had a three ladies in chairs and they each represented three queens: diamonds, hearts, and clubs.
The models arrived prepared in their outfits and with a bit of hair and make up done. We saw the artists complete the look for about 45 minutes or so. The queen of clubs was given prosthetic horns, dark make up, and plastic spiders in her hair. The queen of hearts had a heart drawn on her face which was painted white with what looked like bronzer surrounding it. She also had this creepy heart on her chest which looked like someone carved the heart into her skin. It looked as if it was and open wound. The queen of diamonds had grey hair sticking straight up and lots of glitter on her face and neck.
It was awesome to see these people at work and it also showcases what goes into actually creating looks and special effects makeup. It takes a lot of time and effort and patience.
The Power of Fashion Blogging Seminar
The conference room had all kinds of talks and seminars throughout the day but the only one we were interested in attending was the one on fashion blogging. The talk on the power of fashion blogging was more of a debate rather than a discussion. The panel consisted of representatives from A Fashion Friend and a few big fashion bloggers. It was hosted by the CEO of the Cape Town Fashion Council, Bryan Ramkilawan. The main part of the discussion was them talking about (debating) the following:
- South African designers copying international trends instead of being original
- Not talking about how “crap” someone’s design is
- If we’re not going to call out the “crap” then how will the consumer distinguish between the “crap” and the “not crap”
- Naming and shaming buyers and retailers who copy designs
- Random things about the state of the fashion industry in South Africa and how we can grow
All in all it was an interesting conference. There isn’t much that I can add as I am not a fashion expert. Afterwards there was a presentation on Levi jeans which consisted of many videos. During on of the videos we snuck out since the room is nice and dark at that point.
A Good Day
We left the hotel around 5 pm (I got there just before 12) feeling a bit tired but grateful for the enjoyable time we had. It was a good and interesting experience for me. I would definitely attend an event like this again just to be exposed to something so different that I am not used to and to also hopefully witness something a cool as special effects makeup.
I’m really looking forward to the next great event that we attend. We’ve started so strong this year! I also hope to attend more events with bloggers like Nadine. Thank you, lady!