Official tourist t-shirt

So what is the perfect official tourist t-shirt…is it the Big 5, or perhaps the smiling face of Madiba.
Well if a photo that I spotted on our Springleap.com Face Book page has anything to say about it, perhaps it should be a slogan mentioning that you are not a BOER!

Yes indeed the past few weeks in South Africa have been rife with unnecessary violence, murder and protests. It’s understandable that tourists to our country have become a tad nervous about the state of affairs and are worried about being shot at because of their colour. The image I have provided shows tourists taking steps after the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terreblanche and the subsequent social turbulence. I suppose for those unaccustomed to the in’s and out’s of our country things can seem pretty scary and sure there are places that NO tourist should dare wander…but hey that is any country in the world.

Images like this really upset me! Yes the image is funny and it’s a big joke to many of us here in SA. We find it funny how tourists misunderstand our country and are mega paranoid when they come here. Seeing an image like this just shows their “ultimate form” of fear. We honestly don’t want to see this kind of thing at the moment, because these pictures are sure to end up scattered across the internet and warp perceptions of how things are here. Can you imagine you are an oblivious foreigner who sees something like this? They will probably imagine leaving the airport in an armed convoy with Molotov cocktails flying at them.

Of course I understand that these tourists are merely trying to look after themselves by saying “Please don’t kill me, I am only a tourist, not THE BOER”. However is this really necessary. In some places in South Africa wearing a t-shirt like this will actually make you more of a target than if you were just in a normal t-shirt. Why, because being a tourist presupposes that you have money or some kind of valuables. By broadcasting this fact you are drawing a bad situation down on yourself.
Please be very careful if you are a tourist and think that this method is going to help you…you may just draw a big X on your head instead!

So this in my opinion is not the perfect official tourist t-shirt…in fact it’s pretty much the worst. Not only for the unsuspecting tourist, but for our economy and the mindset of foreigners who potentially wish to visit as tourists. Perhaps stick to something a bit more simple or “normal” for your official tourist t-shirt…it may just save your life!

Threadless t-shirts are voted on by THOUSANDS of people as the best t-shirts in the world.

This is the way it works : designers submit their designs to win a big prize and people vote so they can get the coolest t-shirts that the world has to offer! Threadless then produce the t-shirts with the MOST AMOUNT OF VOTES in SUPER LIMITED QUANTITIES…and eSquared is proud to bring these awesome original t-shirts to you, our awesome members.

Remember – if you see Threadless designs on a t-shirt and they are not from us, they are not likely to be originals and an artist out there suffers. eSquared is totally committed to bringing our muchos-cool members ORIGINAL designs from aspiring and talented artists. We love original designs on a MASSIVE level and love supporting original t-shirt designers even more. We are proud to bring you this amazing range of goodies in really limited quantities (like 2 at most in only one size), ensuring that the shirt you buy will most likely NEVER be seen on anyone else you ever see.

So come on down to eSquared Durban and get yourselves some supercool original Threadless t-shirts before you miss out in a BIG way – they are selling like hotcakes!!!

Men’s military style

There is one men’s fashion style that I have always loved, but seldom wear and that is military.

Yep, this old school style that was knocking around at its peak in the 80’s has come back to attack us from time to time. In 2008 we had a military comeback of sorts which was seen in many facets of men’s fashion. It’s time once again to embrace men’s military style, but this time however, it’s with a slight twist.

If we throw our minds back 2 years and we think about the men’s military style that was being used on the catwalks and filtered down the rest of the commercial users, we see a similar trend. That being, a military style that was more flamboyant and regal. In 2010 there is talk of the military style evolving into a much more practical beast. We can expect to see much cleaner military lines, as well as functionality. Which in my books is tops! I’m not into the whole overboard big and bold “my country is better than your country” military look.

My ultimate piece of military fashion is the ever functional NATO Jacket. It keeps me warm and has a solid, clean look. I used to run around in London with this on and it did wonders, plus when the “hoodies” were coming, I‘d put my hood up and they would leave me alone LOL.

The latest clean men’s military style supposedly takes more of an influence from the Second World War, which most certainly had a much simpler, cleaner style than previous military uniforms.

From what I have seen online there are two military style musts for your collection:

First off you need a styling pair of aviator boots with a shearling lining (that fluffy sheep skin stuff). The best thing about these boots is that they are an item that you can keep indefinitely and will get loads of use out of. Most fashion you need to hide away for a while, until it swings back into fashion. These babies you will be using every Autumn/Winter until the fall of man.

The second item is a hardcore greatcoat, which you can either sport in single or double breasted versions. Personally I’m much more keen on the double breasted greatcoat…it gives a much more imposing power. The best choices are supposedly navy and army green colours. As much as I love army green I think I would rather go for a nice dark navy blue tone. The green will become “old” pretty quick!

So there we have it, if you wanna pull off the men’s military style this season, these are two great items to purchase and which both have considerable ‘lastability’.

There are numerous fashion shows around the world that captivate the fashion industry big-wigs. However there are an elite few that exceed even the mightiest of expectations. One such show is the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

Whats more this show is not found in one glamorous location, u spread out across the globe in three different destinations.

This year the three Mercedes Benz Fashion Week locations are currently being held in Miami, Berlin and New York. Each location has its own unique flair and features the hottest design talent our world has to offer.

So far the Miami and Berlin shows have passed us by, only the New York show remains. While it’s obvious that most fashionistas will not be able to jet across to New York to enjoy the show, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep a close eye on it online and check out the trends that emerge.

The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is an achievement few designers will ever have the pleasure of experiencing from back stage. That is why when I heard that a South African label had made an appearance at the Berlin Mercedes Benz show, I had to sit up and take notice.

Designers Jacques van der Watt and Daniça Lepen of Black Coffee, did the SA fashion community proud by featuring alongside such giants as GANT and BOSS Orange.

No doubts the kind of students that I was talking about yesterday will be doing their best to achieve this kind of accolade in their careers.

The final leg of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will kick off in New York on September 10 with talents such as Rosa Cha and Duckie Brown. The show will culminate on September 17 with such super power designers as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.

This is no Mickey Mouse affair my friends, this is the height of design excellence.

I can’t seem to find any mention of South African designers making an appearance at the New York show as yet, however if anybody does hear any murmurs, please let me know.

Sanlam SA fashion week 2009

3249532931_0be492735d_m

So what lies ahead for all you fashion crazy people out there in 2009?

As you know the South African fashion calendar is extensive and there is never a shortage of events for us all to attend.

The problem is quality, I mean, of course there are loads of shows but it’s not often that every designer that sends his designs down the runway will leave a positive lasting impression.

The first event that I feel we should keep our eyes on is this year’s Sanlam SA fashion Week.

This year sees the beginning of the new schedule for the Sanlam SA fashion week and as always has a huge variety of designers who are either well settled in the industry or on their way to the top.

Designers for SA fashion week are looked at closely and scrutinized at great lengths before they are accepted into the shows, which is apparent with all the positive feedback I have heard from past shows.

The Sanlam SA fashion week will kick off in Johannesburg from the 2nd – 4th of April, which I’m sure you will agree is right around the corner.

These amazing shows are set to be jammed packed with the hottest 2009 Summer fashion collections, featuring the designs of 34 talented fashion gurus.

So which names climb to the top of the pile every time?

Try designers such as Malcolm Klûk (Klûk CGDT), Stoned Cherrie, Tiaan Nagel and Olé Ledimo…and that is just for absolute starters.

The events will be bigger and better than ever with huge sponsors coming from just about every sector of our waking world.

Sanlam are of course lead sponsors, along with the Department of arts and culture, Redken, 5FM, eTV and even electronics giant Samsung.


Having such big names not only spreads the word for Sanlam fashion week 2009 but it also ensures that the events will be professional and top notch…I have no doubt that this year’s SA fashion week is going to be the best yet.

Closer to the time I will send out a reminder and also showcase some of the designers that I think will be making a huge impression this year, as well as the designers that you all already know and love.
Sanlam SA fashion week 2009….here we come!

As you know we at eSquared have a small but powerful group of designers that we allow to showcase their awesome labels along side our own.

Our latest addition to the family is the very charismatic Los CoJones Del Perro…which for those of you who don’t know translates as The Dogs Bollocks .

If you have been over to England before you will know that this term is only given to the best of the best the coolest of the cool….and when you see these fab designs you will see why.

What I love about Los CoJones is that they are unafraid of being different, just like us here at eSquared we hate anything that is “normal” and not forward thinking.

Los CoJones does exactly this my making original and sometimes outrageous apparel.

The brand itself was set up by the enigmatic pooch Mickey Munden who has reached his own celebrity status thanks to loads of clever advertising by the young and funky Los CoJones team…my favourite being when they put up posters of coolingtowersMickey during a South African election haha, that saw tons of people wanting to rather vote for this feisty canine instead of all the other jokers out there….I just wish the police hadn’t taken down the posters…no fair LOL.

Los CoJones live by the motto of: We live as we choose and not how others tell us to.

Now that I can totally agree with…sheep mentality is for people who don’t wanna expand their horizons and try new things…personally that’s just a little too boring for me.

You have to love Los CoJones fresh attitude to fashion that is zero pretentious and laughs in the face of normality.

Not only are Los Cojones crusaders of new fashion, but they are also really nice guys.

They realise that in South Africa times are hard and that we suffer from some serious unemployment.

This is why each Los CoJones garment is sent to the ladies from Umojo @ Afridite who take each one and customise it in unique and funky ways.

This means that every single design is unique, it is also a great step forward for the ladies to be able to claim back their dignity, whilst making each design something special.

Come on into eSquared Cape Town to check out these awesome design while they are still some left, these babies are gonna fly off the shelves.

Inside t-shirts

One type of t-shirt design that I must admit has begun to get up my nose recently, is the “inside t-shirt”style.
You know, those designs where you can see through the t-shirt to revel another design beneath it.

Sometimes people like to design what seems like a zipper or flap being pulled back to reveal something surprising. Do you have any idea what I’m talking about? ROFL.

Before we go any further take a look at the examples of the 3 designs I have placed in this image. You will then know exactly what I mean by inside t-shirts.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are plenty of unique variations of the inside t-shirt. However it has become so ridiculously overused that it has in fact become a t-shirt design cliché.

Honestly whenever I see one of these design I am repulsed…which is a pity because they are at time, pretty damn cool.
When I say that these designs are cliché, I mean they are bloody prolific to the point of projectile vomit. Charming I know!

In the last 6 months there have been very few inside t-shirts that I enjoyed. Perhaps the best I have seen lately has been Tu’s submission of his undead kitty in The Living Dead theme competition, which was downright classic! However, it seemed that popular opinion was not on his side and the design was not picked as the winning choice…you may remember that the winner was CHUCKY with his Got Your Back design.

In actual fact I can’t remember the last time an inside t-shirt won on Springleap.com….wait actually I can.
Sethdesign won on Springleap.com with his Mr. Smiley Large design waaaay back when we first started.

It was definitely very special though and deserved to win. Sethdesign’s winning design is the one in the centre of the blog image.

In our most recent competition YeLOLow, I was going through the voting and was hit by no less than 3 inside t-shirts designs. I must admit I had to shake my head.

Whats interesting is that it’s not only the newbie designers that are making thesetypes of t-shirts. One such example of a guru trying out this design format is Sebasebi with his I’m leaving this shirt design.
Which proves anybody may try their luck at the inside t-shirt approach.

I want black by Qimstudio, is a perfect example of why you should not do an inside design….ouch, definitely not one to be remembered. Sorry chief! Although luckily for Qimstudio he has also submitted one of my top picks for the month as well with his Ice Cream? design.

In all honesty I suggest you stay well away from this technique, unless you have something truly special lined up.

The Retro theme competition sure has been stirring up old memories from when I was a little dude in the 80’s. Yes indeed it reminds me of the days when I used to hang my sisters dolls from trees and get smacked with a slop when my dad came home LOL…ahhh those were the days.

Two designs that came through from the artist made me think of all the toys my sister used to play with and that my brother and I used to melt or bury in the garden. Yep it’s true, we could be terrors if we wanted to be! Let’s check out Janece’s designs for the Retro competition.

The first of Janece’s designs is called Death Bears, which is a hardcore take on the very popular girls cartoon series and toy range The Care Bears. Damn I used to hate this bloody cartoon…with all its rainbows and sickeningly sweet moral fibre, ewwww gross hahaha.

This rather dark ode to the Care Bears really made me laugh because of its heavier nature, which in reality would have made a great deal of little girls cry. Yup, these Death Bears must have been cut from the series, because the manufacturers feared a “pigtail revolution” with a high body count. Yep, if you were one of those girls who hated The Care Bears and would rather burn things your parents paid lots of money for, this is the t-shirt design for you.

Next up we have Janece’s Punk Pony. This is in a very similar vein to the Dark Bears design. Janece has taken a well loved squeaky clean cartoon and pushed it over a very dark precipice indeed. The Punk Pony design is a take on the My little pony series that made all the little girls so giddy when they were small. I remember my sister sitting lovingly with her My little pony toys, stroking their hair with rather disturbingly large bright hairbrushes, singing as she went. Dude it just made us want to set them on fire more. So who knows, maybe this design will be popular not only with the more hardcore little girls, but also with the little boys who despised the characters.

Both of these designs have serious old school Retro vibes, which is why they both have potential to end up winning the Retro theme competition. Janece needs your support, so if you like these designs get across to the voting page asap.

Harajuku Fashion!

harajuku_girls9

Insane aesthetics coupled with goddess fashion styles the Harajuku girls is my newest infatuation!! I love everything about them!! The Harajuku look is just totally mind-blowing!!!If you never heard about it Harajuku fashion is a rad colossal Tokyo fashion style of Harajuku girls that is absolutely outrageously bizarre. Originating in the street culture of major cities of Japan Harajuku is a hot youth fashion trend that has BLOWN MY MIND!!

harajukugirls

Enriched with a range of diverse fashion styles with a combined creative use of colour, fabrics, acceccories and imagination ‘Harajuku’ has given fashion lovers a new outrageous fashion style to explore.

Harajuku is the epitome of fabulousness and being fashion fabulous in a crowd is what they do best. Harajuku Fashion can do it for you too if you let it!!!

If you’re looking for that extra boost to your look ‘Harajuku style’ is what’s been missing. Whether you want to know about striking make-up, wicked hair styles, elaborate trendy costumes or any fashion aspect Harajuku is perfect to find out (look at their pictures for ideas). For a preview of cute Tokyo girls in Harajuku fashion and the full article click here!!!

It seems that lately quite a few people have been coming in and asking me how to design on Springleap
I’m getting the feeling that people think they can actually design elaborate t-shirt designs whilst actually surfing the site.

When we were running the Markham’s competition a while back you were able to manipulate given design elements in order to create a design for this particular competition.

However, there is no way on God’s green Earth that you will be able to design a t-shirt of the winning calibre, with just a simple online design program…well nearly impossible.

So, when the question is asked about how to design a t-shirt for the Springleap competition, the answer is creating original design by using your own skill and a computer program of considerable merit.

harajuku_girls9

We at Springleap recommend that you use Photoshop, Freehand or Illustrator in order to create a winning design. If you don’t know how to use these programs, its best to talk to somebody who does.

Hey it can be a collaboration of sorts….that just means sharing the prize hehe.
If you can sketch the design and get it scanned, you can then open that file in your program of choice and prepare it for us.

When you submit your design we require that your image is placed on a large image, so that people can see your design fully, a thumbnail which we can use in various instances (such as comments) and finally your design placed on our own Springleap design template.

The template is ultra important when submitting your design. You must ensure that you download the proper template for the design program you will be using.

This is vital in how to design with Springleap, because people who are voting need to be able to visualise your design on a t-shirt as well as the colour and placement.

I can’t tell you how many competitions have been won or lost because of the choice of t-shirt colour and placement. It can truly make or break your design.

Now that you have an idea of how to design, all you need to do is put on your thinking cap and get creative.

Gladiator Sandals 2009

I can’t believe it has been pretty much an entire year since I first wrote about the gladiator sandal trend that was sweeping the fashion world in 2008. In my, obviously “inept opinion” I was wrong about these sandals taking off as well as they did and they ending up still being on the list of summer fashion list of do’s.

Seriously, I still don’t see the appeal. In 90% of the cases I actually think it makes a lady look worse than when she started.

As the summer days slowly creep back into Cape Town I began to see the gladiator sandals from last season being dragged from the back of the closet, dusted off and reintroduced with the rest of the hot Spring/Summer fashions. Will the gladiator sandal become the next enduring summer footwear fashion for ladies? I shudder to think that the lines will begin to blur and some “brave” men start to try and pull this trend off. Please guys this one was buried with the rest of Classic Rome for a good reason. I don’t care if you think you look like some kind of sword swinging Roman legionnaire…this fashion trend will at best make you look like Socrates..and we all know which way he swung LOL.

When the gladiator sandals started coming out again, I thought it was because girls had just not bought their new fashion for the season yet. However, I went online to check out the new trends and I saw that the gladiator sandals were included on the Spring/Summer 2009 lists. I got a nice big kick in the bum confirmation, that indeed they were back in full swing.

Ok ladies that is an entire year on the gladiator sandal survivor list, how much longer will it endure, how much more ugliness can you handle. Seriously unless you are one of those ladies who has legs that go on for miles, you will just make yourself look shorter and plumper. Do you want us guys to say, “hey there goes a cute dainty girl”….or would you prefer, “hey is that girl going off to fight in the arena?”

Yep once again a “fashion trend” (if you want to call it that) from the far reaches of human history has made a comeback.

This time the “blast form the past” that has been resurrected is a style of footwear that was used way back when Caesar was being stabbed in the back by his best friend.

Citizens of the republic, I give you….the gladiator sandal.

The heavily strapped and stylized gladiator sandal has indeed come back from the grave, at first I thought it was a joke, that was until I watched last week’s Top Billing and saw a segment on the up-coming summer seasons “must haves” for the beach.


Gladiator sandals have made a huge comeback and can be found in anything from traditional leather to plastic gum styles…I even saw a pair of green snake skin-esque gladiator sandals on some poor fashion victim this weekend.

As far as my opinion on gladiator sandals goes, I won’t beat around the bush, I think they are ugly and a fashion trend that should stay dead and buried in the necropolis.

It amazes me at how eager people are to follow this trend.

However it has girls doing cartwheels and going gaga, so hey, let’s just leave them to it and laugh from the shadows.
Looking at the models on Top Billing that were sporting the gladiator sandals I can say that they looked “ok”…granted, each of these girls had a pair of legs to rival Aphrodite herself and you must bear in mind that if these sandals were on a short or maybe chubby girl she would either look like a peasant or maybe more like good ol’ Maximus.

The gladiator sandal is supposedly very versatile for the summer months and can not only be worn to the beach but all around town, as well as around the braai in the warm evenings.

As I mentioned earlier the materials used are of a huge variety, which means no matter what your age or disposition, you will surely be able to find a pair of gladiator sandals to match your personal vibe.

Guys…do yourself a favour and stay well away from gladiator sandals…this one if for the ladies, even if the trend started out all those hundreds of years ago with the men it doesn’t mean that you can get away with it.
Unless you actually come from the Mediterranean Basin or are involved with a cultural activity, please, leave it to the girls, ok dudes!

Here’s a quick link to some of the more expensive gladiator sandals around, yep the prices are in dollars so smack a nice recession style x10 on the price and you will see the maddening price of these things…which are in some opinions glorified slip slops. CLICK HERE.

So what’s your opinion on gladiator sandals, should they be left to the Romans, or do you think I’ve gone mad and that these sandals are a trend that is going to stick around?
Personally I don’t see this trend lasting more than a season…but hey I have been wrong before.