Friday, 21 June 2013

Bonnini Boutique - The Brand Ambassador talks about her first collection, the Pitsi Boots

We were lucky enough to snag an interview with a great new Cape Town-based footwear brand ambassador. Maybe you've heard of her? Her name is Mannini Mokhothu

Mr&Mrs: Where are you from?
Mannini Mokhothu:  Haeso ke Semonkong village - Lesotho

Mr&Mrs: Where do you live now?
M.M.:  Cape Town

Mr&Mrs: What age are you?
M.M.: 31

Mr&Mrs: What made you decide to bring out a footwear collection?
M.M.:  An emotional need to be honest I guess. I left Semonkong village with a suitcase of dreams and felt unceremoniously uprooted from what I am to what I had to be to fit my career dream wheels into the ebb and flow of cosmopolitan Cape Town.  There is a difference between growing up mostly bare feet as a child, hopping onto a horse instead of a taxi to get to the next village, or gathering vegetables from a garden instead of going to a supermarket Although I loved my new life with the South African host family, through university hostel life, and up to my current office, I must admit that my great cultural exchange came with an enormous amount of self-manipulation to fit in. I spent half of my student life sitting on and off the modern chair saying yes and no to its standards. Every time I went home for a break, I felt the emptiness of my education as Semonkong was painfully evaporating out of me through my new habits and ways of thinking. I felt intoxicated by the reality of the village in a modern girl and reclaiming village stories in my art felt like a great form of rehabilitation. I am no longer bare feet today because I am wearing my own community story and it feels right.

Mr&Mrs: What and where did you study?
M.M.: I finished my BA in Language and Communications at UWC.  I then moved to do another BA in Motion Picture at Afda Cape Town. This was followed by an occasional theatre and Education at UCT.

Mr&Mrs: When was Bonnini Boutique Born?
M.M. In 2009 after a personal journey with a South African writer-Antjie Krog.  I can’t really remember how I was summoned to Antjie’s office. But I know she was looking for a Sesotho personal interpreter in her research for her latest book, “BEGGING TO BE BLACK.”  In my Travel with her around Lesotho, our conversations were intense and punctuated by our cultural histories – what we bring with us to the journey and what we regrettably leave behind.  The biggest question was how we negotiate the brave new garden of cross-cultural clashes, entangled resonances, misunderstandings and ultimately – uneasy reconciliation.

Out of these conversations, professor occasionally called me Bonnini with a strange smile as she go through most of my responses to her questions about my nuclear upbringing  and my hosting South African culture.  Bo+Nnini=Bonnini=multiple delicacies. “Your shoes are so dusty but you are still smiling” she said. I thanked her cordially but thought, “Fuck the long face in my smile.”   So in the face of time I became desperate to use my own community stories as my personal resources for an authentic fashion statement. Bonnini Boutique was born in my utter desolate need for a true smile. Something real!

Mr&Mrs: What is Bonnini Boutique all about?
M.M.  This is a business theater; remote storytelling through fashion;     

Mr&Mrs: Your first range is the Pitsi Boots, where did you draw your inspiration from?
M.M.:  Haeso Semonkong;
The gentle shaking hands of winds and trees in untouched kingdom of birds,
The passionate kiss of the soft rain drops over virgin mountain tips,
Plenty smiles from thatched brown stone huts,
the smell of scented  wood from fire places,
Sounds of the stepping flight-footed ponies,
the morning sun casting away shadows of the previous night and kissing the soil with a village lover’s private dream.

Mr&Mrs: Tell us about the Pitsi Boots?
M.M. The name Pitsi comes from the Basotho Ponies early name in Lesotho.  The pitsi boots are carefully hand crafted to represent the Brand’s loyalty of life span that the horses gave riders at the time when the ponies were the main transport culture in Lesotho, Everlasting friendship that Basotho have with the horses, and a timeless cultural sport the horses play in the present day Lesotho.

Mr&Mrs: What does Pitsi mean?
M.M.: “Pitsi” literaly  meaning “Zebra  is the name that was given to a horse in its early arrival in Lesotho. It was also called “Khomo ea hakoa” meaning a cow of the Griquas because in the Griqua language, a horse was called “Hacqua”. Another name for the pony was “perd” that was named by the Dutch and  made it to the present day Lesotho, "Pere" is the name of our new range in the Basotho ponies designs.

Mr&Mrs: Where do you want to go next with the collection?
M.M.: Apart from supplying  up market shops Like Mr&Mrs in Cape Town, I am digging deeper with the brand to express themes around the Basotho ponies. This month Pere (another name for pony) Boots is out and I can’t wait to see these loyal and warm- footed boots carrying our feet this winter!
But above all, I hope that the Pitsi boots are the successful stepping stones towards job creation, retreat from foreign dependency towards positive growth in local arts and culture.

Mr&Mrs: What are your favourite shoes in your closet right now (other than the ones from your collection?)
M.M.:  Tsonga, Melissa, and Softclox

Mr&Mrs: How would you describe shoe style in Cape Town?
M.M.:  Flopsy, everybody is wearing flip flops.

Mr&Mrs: What are five must have footwear for any woman?
M.M.: Ladies, don’t we all need loyalty, long lasting friendships, and love? Well if so, then you must shop under the Basotho themes this winter. The Pitsis and the Pere boots are out. Keep your feet warm with Bonninis!  Steve Madden shoes have that strong sense of loyalty which most plastic shoes don’t have.  I can say Tsonga shoes are one other kind of boots to warm your feet in winter; I like the fur within!  I’m not too fond of plastics but Melissa is a soft feet snag, and Sole Rebels will keep you practical with style.

Mr&Mrs: Do you remember the first pair of high-end designer footwear that you bought?
M.M.: No I can’t even remember that. I was wearing Dr. Martens when I arrived in Cape Town. Hmmm, that must have definitely been the must go shoes for me at the time.

Mr&Mrs: Do you remember when you got them?
M.M.: I Can‘t Remember, but I think they used to be popular at the time they hit Semonkong village style. I can vaguely remember borrowing a pair from Chana (a close friend from High school) because she had an extra pair and we both would wear them occasionally to brag to our peers at the time.

Mr&Mrs: What are some of your favourite places to shop for footwear in Cape Town?
M.M.: For my running shoes, I go to Access Park because it’s cheaper, I got the last pair for R300 while it was going for R1200 in the Waterfront. I pop into Melissa hosting boutiques now and then, and I have been snuggling under fair trade vendors for a while, something about handmade delicacies gives me a sense of authenticity.

Mr&Mrs: We have a little survey, if you will. It's kind of a "would you rather" where we're just going to shoot off two options and you tell me which footwear you prefer. 

Mr&Mrs: So heels or flats?
M.M.: Both

Mr&Mrs: Booties or tall boots?
M.M.: Tall boots

Mr&Mrs: Stilettos or wedges?
M.M.: Wedges

Mr&Mrs: Closed toe or peep toe?
M.M.: Depends on the season. In winter I would go for closed, but my feet need to breath in summer

Mr&Mrs: Suede or leather?
M.M.: Leather

Mr&Mrs: Neutral or bright colors?
M.M.: Hmmm, no harm in keeping feet closer to earth with neutral colors in summer. But its nice to dissolve winter blues with bright colors.

Mr&Mrs: Round toe or pointed toe?
M.M.: Hmmm, depends on the outfit of the day!

Mr&Mrs: Who would you like to wear your footwear?
M.M.:  Urban poets: I am what I am
            Cosmopolitan shepherds: I am what I do
            Funky priests: I am what I preach
            High class nerds: I am what I know
           Spectacular yet ordinary lovers: I am what I feel
           Don’t underestimate those individuals, they are great people and often friendly to the environment.

Mr&Mrs: Any tips for aspiring footwear lovers?
M.M.:  Stop imprisoning your feet in plastics, go for handmade delicacies.

Friday, 31 May 2013

It’s not just you, it’s us too. Gatsby fever has reached the Mr & Mrs Store!

Ever since I attended Cape Town’s first Rockabilly festival back in April I’ve had this fascination for 50’s inspired styles which coincidently have been featuring heavily in some of our designer 2013 winter collections.  I’ve been lusting after Selfi’s, Goudi 50's full skirt in blue with unconventional fold details for weeks now, and with the release of the highly anticipated Great Gatsby movie and the Great Gatsby speakeasy of the year happening tomorrow, I can’t help but get caught up in the 1920’s too.

Both the runway and the red carpet are heavily referencing the elegant 1920’s, so now is the time to experiment with adornments that made the Roaring 20s era so influential. World War 1 was finally over; art and creative expression were alive again, and with it came new and colourful fabrics and materials.

We’ve had a think, rounded up the best references in the Mr & Mrs Store, and then there’s the products you need to get you there. Bootlegged Gin and Dirty martini optional.

Tear Drop Earrings, Labradorite
Ubud Earrings


Laloo - Orion Chandelier Earrings, Pink Coral
Laloo - Arrow Earrings, Crystal

Chain Earrings
Laloo - Nouveau Chandelier Earrings, Jade

Laloo - Gemstone Teardrop, Pyrite
Three Stone Bracelet

Laloo - Gemstone Teardrop, Pink Coral

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Soil Tote Bags

Behind every woman there is a reliable tote. Who's trip to the office or beach hasn't been made easier by a tote whose simple, classic shape speaks to our practicality?
We these awesome Soil Design tote bags that also make a bold statement and have just arrived in Store! 






Exotic Black

Exotic Cream

Fish Cream

Fish Black
Which is your Fav?

Monday, 13 May 2013

Interview with personal stylist Jules Fergus

Legit style advice is hard to come by these days, as we fashionistas get bombarded with sale alerts and trend reports on out-of-our-reach accessories. Fortunately, personal stylist Jules Fergus maintains a down-to-earth approach to fashion and has a few DIY style tips up her sleeve that she’s willing to share. 

o Where is your hometown?  Dublin, Ireland.

o Where do you currently reside? G
ardens, Cape Town

o How many years have you been in the business?  
12 years

o What was your first job in fashion? 
Assistant Stylist at I.D magazine, London

How did you get started as a stylist?
  I started out assisting Robynne Kahn (@afashionfriend) in Cape Town, two years later I was styling international jobs on my own. After 6 years when baby Drummond was born, I decided to open my own personal styling business.

o Favourite stylist trick?  I always carry double sided tape - perfect for emergency hem repairs and fluff removal and baby unscented wet wipes as they get most stains out including makeup and wine!

o Five items every girl needs in their wardrobe: 
A pair of perfectly fitting jeans
2.  An alabaster cashmere scarf
3.  A white crisp shirt
4.  Current accessories 
A cross-body bag

Favourite winter trends: Leather biker jacket. Knit-wear, ankle boots and double denim. The statement necklace and a vibrant scarf, oh and I’m loving lace & braids.

Most treasured item in your closet: My Iro sequined biker jacket and mulberry Roxy handbag.

Biggest inspiration: Cringe but it has to be my mom, she has always embraced fashion!

Favourite clothing stores: In cape town - Shop-label for denim. Iracema for accessories. Mr&Mrs for something local and Afraid of mice for something vintage.

Describe your own personal style: A mixture of retro & bohemian

Biggest mistake women make when shopping or getting dressed: The two most important qualities to look for in fabric are weight and movement. If a fabric is too stiff, it can look boxy; too thin, and it may cling to every bulge. Also proportions, your clothes may fit properly, but if you don't get the proportions right, you'll still be off the mark. Lastly when shopping - "You get what you pay for" is gospel with fabric. Cheap fabrics tend to be less flattering, while higher-quality fabrics look better, last longer and hold their shape.

Favourite city & why:  Dublin, because Irish women know how to follow trends, but still manage to make it their own.  There is a certain sense of wonder and mystery to Ireland that comes through in its fashion. Irish women are not afraid to take on cold weather, rain or cobble-stone streets - they will suffer for fashion!

How can people get in touch with you for personal styling?  Email or call 084 4457513

What advice would you give to budding stylists?  Do not be afraid of a LOT of unglamorous grafting - long hours and minimal payment - if any! At the end of the day the training pays off. Always strive to make your clients look like individuals.

Anyone from major celebrities, sport stars, politicians, and everyday people enlist the help of a personal stylist to re-vamp their wardrobe.  If you have an eye for style, love to shop, and help others then this profession may be the perfect fit for you. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

It's Mother's Day on Sunday. Don't forget to show her some love!  Here are some gifts ideas to help you along.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Mr & Mrs Latest 2013 Jewellery Collection

New jewellery has rolled in, and we’re introducing brand new lines as well as new collections from some of our favourites. 

The perfect mix of hard and soft, sturdy gold plated casting to form light delicate shapes with genuine semi-precious stones.

Medalion and Gem Necklace!

Labradorite Teardrop Earrings!

Chained Gem Earrings!

Oval Stone Bangle!

New Blue Chalcedony Oval Ring

Azure Quartz Ubud Earrings

Three Stone Bangle!

                       A beautiful balance of understated, authentic and stylish, gorgeous right?

Blue Chalcedony Dollops

New Green Chalcedony Jellyfish Earrings!

New Hoop Chain Bangle!

Time to stock up on some shiny new jewels!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


We’ve been crushing on tassel garlands recently, ever since we saw them in a friend’s wedding pics.

These garlands are all the rage right now. They are great for birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, and other special events, so we had a go at making a set of our own for the I Love Leroy stand at 2013 Design Indaba.

This tutorial below was super helpful and easy to follow. These are easy as pie with no-sewing. Here’s how you can make one too. Enjoy!

How to Make a Fabric Tassel Garland

I made my fabric tassels quite large (12-15″ long), but you can make them any size you like. Your final tassel will be just about half the length of the longer side. I cut my fabric rectangles around 24″X30″ for most of the tassels, or you could get 4 out of a standard yard by cutting them 18″X24″. I recommend you choose fabric that looks the same on both sides (a solid cotton, linen, or even a lighter weight fabric like a chiffon would be lovely) since they will both show on your final fabric tassel. So fold your fabric in half so the two shorter sides meet.

Make cuts in your fabric about an inch apart, stopping around 2″ to 3″ before the fold. This is much less tedious if you use a rotary cutter rather than scissors.

Now unfold your fabric and lay it flat.

Grab one uncut end, at the center, begin to roll your fabric up.

Continue until you have a tube with fringe at each end. As you roll, untangle the fabric fringe, and try to keep your roll as tight as possible, though it doesn’t need to be super-tight to look nice.

Pick it up, fold it in half, and pinch the top together so the fringe ends meet and the edge of the fabric is hidden between them.

Use a fabric scrap to tightly secure the top of your tassel.

This is what it looks like. Trim it so the ends look even if you need to.

Make another one,

and another one, and another one, and another one. Have a glass of wine or beer. Then make another one. And so on. Tie them to a string of some kind (I used a thick and sturdy jute because my tassels are quite large and heavy) with another little fabric scrap.

That's it!  So easy, a quick touch of fun to any party decor.

 I Love Leroy at the 2013 Indaba Design

Alternatively you can use tissue paper in whatever colour's best fit the occasion, party planners can create tassel garlands that are as cost-effective as they are cute.

We hope you enjoy making pretty tassel garlands for your next party too. 

Remember to hang them somewhere you can enjoy them. Between trees for pre-party drinks over the Easter holidays perhaps? We can’t wait!

We’d love to see how you get on, share a picture of your garlands and the fabulous event you showcased them at with us on the Mr & Mrs Facebook page!