Last Thursday I pulled Miss Tinker Bell away from her new business and whisked her off to The Cape Milner Hotel for Markham’s “manly pursuit for the winter of 2006” show. They had put together a demonstration of what’s hot in Europe this current winter season, and we were given a talk by Markham’s top fashionistas. Interestingly, Markham (they recently ‘lost’ the ‘s’ apparently) was established in Cape Town 130 years ago and today dresses television continuity announcers on SABC 1 and 3, as well as on shows like Pasella and Imali Mania.

The beautiful Cape Milner Hotel, tucked away up in Tamboerskloof, is one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets, and is currently being upgraded; the results are pretty impressive. The large deck between the bar and restaurant has been canopied and the classic white and earthy hues have created a simple classicism which is both inviting and alluring.

If you haven’t heard yet, we are all going back to the eighties next year! Yip, the decade that was famous for anything plastic and synthetic is back with a vengeance.

Everything has become tighter, tailored and slightly trashy. Thank God I didn’t see luminous leg warmers on any of the mannequins, but I expected to hear old Madonna and Culture Club tracks playing in the background.

Basically, the trend is the eighties with a hipster influence. Waistlines are still low and thankfully haven’t reverted to the “boobtube” pant that was so popular twenty years ago!

Keep your big buckle belts (phew!), and dress up in tweeds, camo, velvet and fusion. If in doubt, layer, layer, layer…

Sharon Smees, Buying Executive for Markham clarified: “Menswear is going through radical changes, both internationally and locally, and our customers are going for bolder and stronger looks. The new Markham collection for winter 06 is closer to the looks on the international catwalks but still retains a core collection of uniquely South African design that Markham has become known for.”

Drinks flowed and social chatter abounded as we networked and discussed whether style was moving forward or actually going backwards. Miss Tinker Bell kept rummaging through her promotion lucky packet like a bag lady on 5th Avenue, so I cleverly side-stepped her and ended up chatting to the divine Robert Plotz, Creative Director of Top Billing Magazine (and definitely someone worth platzing for)!

Now enough about me! According to Markhams, here are the must-have items for winter:

  • A military blazer or jacket
  • Two-in-one V neck
  • Hooded sweats (particularly under a blazer)
  • Peep out tops
  • Tweed and velvet accessories
  • Striped blazer
  • Black suit
  • Velvet jacket
  • Combat pants
  • Dark indigo jeans
  • Buckled belts
  • Scarves
  • Military and trucker caps
  • Cardigans

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