Friday, July 23, 2010

Stella-r Gym Wear

I have recently got back into my gym routine, and have even ventured into trying new classes. As a fashion designer, clothing is of great importance to me, and who wouldn’t feel that much more inspired while donning fab work out gear. Yesterday I embarked on a mission to find above mentioned fab work out gear, only to be terribly disappointed! Everything looks exactly the same, and is made in the same dreary fabrics, in the same dull range of colours…and if it is not, it is so over branded, and ridiculously colourful that even a chav would be weary. I wonder why active wear designers or the buyers thereof don’t experiment a little, and try new things… It really begs the question - is the consumer to blame? Am I the only person who feels that silhouette and detailing matter in my gym wear as well? Have a look at some of the gorgeous pieces Stella McCartney designed for Adidas. Proof that gym wear can be striking, without being overbearing, funky, yet tasteful, and unique, while maintaining functionality.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ballet Lament

At the age of two I began doing ballet at the church across the road from my nursery school. I remember doing exercises the teacher would call “good toes, naughty toes”, and running around with a little scarf, trying to be as light on my feet as I could. When I started primary school, I started dancing with Miss Chattis. Memories of scratchy cassettes, different colour leotards as I progressed, and my gorgeous little character shoes.

Miss Chattis was a strict lady, and often made the girls in my class cry. I never understood the discipline that was expected of us, and the reason for her harshness. I hated being shouted at, and lost my love for ballet. I fought with my mom, begging her to let me quit. When she finally gave in, I was really pleased; after all, ballet was so “uncool”.

I then enrolled in a “Funk Jazz” class that was taught by one of my teachers in a private studio after school. The dancing was so different to ballet, there was a lot more freedom, and I enjoyed the contrast. Unfortunately, my teacher moved to Cape Town, and I stopped dancing.

As the years passed, I began to realise the beauty of ballet, and just how much I loved it. I really wished I had persevered. I felt that I had missed out on too much, and I was too old to join a class from where I had left off.

I decided I would try “Modern Dancing”. I joined an academy that was just up the road from my house so I would walk up to class twice a week. The girls in the class were about a year or two younger than I was, and were quite advanced dancers. As I had never done Modern Dancing before, I really struggled to find my way around some of the steps and routines, and always felt as if I was dragging the girls behind. As a result, I gave up modern dancing.

I really missed ballet, and my regret grew more and more. I often mentioned this regret to my boyfriend.

In December of 2008, I received one of the best Christmas presents ever…My boyfriend had arranged for me to have private lessons, with his friends mother – Manuela. I attended lessons twice a week after work, at a studio just up the road from where I work. I was in my element! Near the end of 2009, Manuela asked if I would be in a production she was putting on called “Music through the Decades”. We practiced really hard, and put in many hours of rehearsal. Finally the big night arrived, and all our hard work was a success. We performed in the “Grease” segment of the show, which I believe was definitely the most fun. The rest of the show was absolutely spectacular, and even sparked my interest in Bollywood dancing.

Manuela teaches dancing full time, and having to stay late to teach me, was really taking it out of her. She arranged for one of her past students to hold my class. My new teacher was an amazing dancer, and I was in awe of her graceful movement. She is a good example of the kind of success dancers can enjoy if they only persevere (of course natural talent plays a massive part in this too). She was constantly putting together dances for various clubs, practicing routines for big sporting events, and being flown to exotic destinations to dance for royalty. Alas this took a toll on my lessons, as she was away so often.

Unfortunately, once again, I am left with an empty feeling…Missing ballet so much…regretting ever stopping in the first place… I try and fill this void by watching movies, reading books, and on occasion watching live performances to do with dance. I am minutes away from delving into a book called “Mao’s Last Dancer”… which my mom took out of her book club for me. I also read that the movie is being released soon…

I have decided to join a NIA class; NIA is a combination of dance, martial arts and healing arts, and will also give the “Cardio Dance” class at gym a bash.

I shall keep you posted on the books, movies and classes…