Evergreen

_MG_0382-1.jpg

Around this time last year, I was thick into the research of what would be my final piece of work for my undergrad career. After spending just over 2 months in a luxury fashion house, I felt the aching need to address a few things that made me uneasy about the state of our industry and in a moment of madness dare to put my own fore forward and challenge the way we produce and ultimately discard. 

My focus back then was not on today’s industry leaders, but on the future leaders of our industry, essentially us; and today, this remains unchanged.

We created Pretamuse because we felt that we were searching for something that was not there. We wanted to be a part of this dynamic industry, but no part in the tainted practices that have a disregard for preservation.

If someone wasn't going to give this to us, we were going to create this future, for ourselves and the generations to follow. Our intention has always been to inspire young creatives to dare to think outside the comfortable realms of what our industry says is correct, just because it's easy.And, to create inspiration for them by  highlight brands that are trailblazing  paths for an industry that addresses tomorrow, today, by weaving narratives that are evergreen through every aspect of their businesses. 

2-PICS-evergreen.jpg

When we came across nine one thing that struck us was the bold manner in which she pursued a sustainable future for her brand.  Niin was born out of Jeanine’s observant eye, which, noticed a gap in the market for sustainable options. We are inspired by the way she chose to go against the current in pursuit of something that at the time and even now, might seem ludicrous, because we have grown so complacent with the damaged motions that we go through with fashion, we have become so accustomed to them and normalised them to a point of almost no return; making anything that might even hint at conscious consumption seem like a farfetched, incomprehensible idea. 

It made me think of today’s young creative; how is our education system  and  industry alike —  preparing this young creative to take leaps at a difference pace, to rethink technique and question ‘the way it's done’? To what extent do we, as young creatives realise and harness the options that we have, the ones that mean we don’t have to bow down at the altar of mass production & industry giants whose glamorous collections leave a literal  bad taste in the mouths of everything and everyone around them. 

We always feel incredibly fortunate to come across brands such as niin as they continue to remind and challenge us to keep asking questions.  They serve as a campus for the young designer at CSM to dare to think twice about binning that end roll fabric, the contour student at ManMet to question the footprint of her silk, the graphic design student at NTU to uncover the effects of paper waste. 

_MG_0215-1.jpg

CREDITS

Photographer: Julia Zolotova | Creative Director: Sara Ngwenya | Art Director: Jean Ardhita Muis | Model: Anna Proffitt | Wardrobe: Jewelries from Niin, Wardrobe from Momoka 53 & Annais Yucramancilla | Make Up: Hattie & Hugh, Sara Ngwenya.

In Full Bloom

The revitalising properties of an array of flowers are at the heart of Lotus Wei’s enchanting collections.
innerpeace.jpg

 

In contemporary society, there are certain aspects of the world we live in, which we cannot escape. We are continuously tied to the technologies around us and this fast-paced atmosphere consumes us – individuals are never satisfied. However, the adverse effects these developments have on our wellbeing are infinite – they affect us on an emotional, physical and intuitive level. Lotus Wei provides a simple solution.

Inner stillness. 

Creating the ability for individuals to take ownership of the mind and body. 

Katie Hess’ exclusive flower elixirs are carefully crafted using natural plant properties of plants, which aid healing from the inside out. The aim of Lotus Wei’s flower elixirs is simple; to create world peace and ensure individuals are actively choosing this path of enlightenment. 

inspiredaction - revision.jpg
radiantenergy.jpg
joyjuice.jpg

A light-hearted approach to life while being physically and mentally aware is the key to being proactive and accepting; happiness is the central function of our being. 

The properties of these flower elixirs stem from their therapeutic nature – flower elixirs are arguably the future of medicine without adverse effects on our bodies.  These custom elixirs work by rebalancing the body and the mind; each scent portrays a certain emotional characteristic which you begin to familiarise yourself with, and eventually find yourself identifying with, on a personal level, as we found ourselves doing. 

The delicate science behind Lotus Wei’s products, adds to the experience as, beneficial properties of the flowers are directly absorbed into our systems without any barriers.  With water being used as a medium to absorb the natural properties of flowers. 

CREDITS

Product Photography: Julia Zolotova | Creative Director: Sara Ngwenya | Art Director: Jean Ardhita Muis | Illustrator: Annie-dornan Smith | Lotus Wei Products

Making Greener Strides

1.jpg

I can’t quite put my finger on when it happened, but, somewhere along the way- I started to question the contents and impact of the products that lined my vanity and every morning would get to work to make me look ‘beautiful’. 

It manifested itself into a pressing conviction that I knew would not subside unless it was fed. 

As a digital native, my first instinct was to scour the net, in other words - the rabbit hole! My rabbit hole led me to words such as parabens, Facebook posts that spat out a vocabulary which denounced animal cruelty for the sake of beauty, and passionate voices, set against the backdrop of bedrooms turned into DIY filming set choosing products that work for your skin not just today, but 10 years from now. Here, I found the beginning of the long winding thread into the world of Green beauty.

3.jpg

but namely the lack of access to appropriate products after my transition to greener beauty choices.

Leandra Medine’s convincing piece about the power of going make-up free definitely eased the pain & the realness of the struggle.

The Green beauty industry has had what I feel is a slow growth, which became incredibly magnified during the search for variation in foundation shades and lipsticks that were matte but not drying, moisturising but not deprived of long-lasting colour. 

I brought the curtain down on this period I like to call my ‘year long siesta from make-up’ after being exhausted of looking exhausted. I had to find a foundation & concealer! ( There is a whole conversation around this, and I appreciate that, but, all I'm saying is, it was final year.)

IMG_7343-1.jpg

With a little fire in my belly, I stumbled upon Beingcontent, a BRITISH BASED, (yes you heard right, they are actually based in the UK! no blood pressure inducing shipping prices) green beauty e-commerce. Whilst I managed to find the few needle in the haystack products that worked for me; namely Vapour organic lipsticks, I was still in oblivion about products such as foundation, as dried out concealer sticks  from green brands reminded me that my search was far from over. 

This started the next chapter  I like to call ‘let the lips do the talking’ - an exciting time in my life really because lipstick was the only piece of makeup housed in my make-up bag, vanity & face — 

And well, as my only weapon, I wanted to stock up; get variety! so naturally I typed into google “UK-based organic/lipstick brands’ I should mention that I had done this before, only to get endless hits for US based brands *sigh* But something was different this time, I got a new hit “Hattie & Hugh”, the website had a new market, new products from BRITISH-based companies that I had not yet explored! With the fear of sounding too romantic I have to say, my My foundation search came to an end shortly after this little encounter.

A year-long search to find a greener choice of foundation for my skin tone highlights the problem with  the lack of range and diversity of products. A  factor I believe, sadly deters many from exploring green beauty route; a ‘movement’ whose benefits reach far beyond, those we reap, such as peace of mind from hormone disrupting and cancer causing ingredients, but also stretch to other benefits such as protection for our furry friends.

However, platforms such as Hattie & Hugh are evident of the progress and territory that we are walking into with green beauty as they play home to brands that are championing diversity in an industry that is build on the understands that; it is not the job of beauty to house an ugly interior.

IMG_7326-1.jpg
IMG_7316-1.jpg
IMG_7245-1.jpg
IMG_7282.jpg

CREDITS

Photographer: Julia Zolotova | Creative Director: Sara Ngwenya | Art Director: Jean Ardhita Muis | Models: Victoria Zoe India, Momoka Gomi, Annalise Peters, Trishna Daswaney | Make Up: Trishna Daswaney using Hattie & Hugh | Wardrobe: Kitty Joseph

Swim!

You: Woah is this a swimwear post! what? but summer is over!

Us: Yeah it's true... summer is over, but do not fear, this is going somewhere & well its summer somewhere, and (Insta) postcards from May & Hugo assure us of that! 

Besides such an entry is best shared with the helpful hand of hindsight.

_MG_4547.jpg

I like to think of this as the sequel to Growing pains because 3 months ago we found ourselves going from being students, and directly into the mouth of ‘the big world’ 

we are grateful for the smoothness of the transition because we did not even feel the quaking of the transit — that was until, our friends, upon their return from various coastal getaways, draped in a newly browned glowing skin, routinely asked us about our summer since graduation and how it was spent. After a few head scratches, the faintest whispers escaped our lips - ‘we worked…..?’, as they a ghastly piped up “ Seriously guys, you worked all summer! like, what you mean to say is.. you basically didn’t have a summer!” — which I’m not sure I’d completely agree with.. because what does it really mean have a summer? If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, has it really fallen? Such are the important questions we should ponder. But, let me return to my point.

We would like to give all the credit to the fact that we love our job, and so even a summer of work is not really a summer of work, but rather just a charming hobby — but credit has to be given where it is due, and we have to acknowledge the power of consciously taking small moments to re-boot, because, even though our summer was filled with briefs and deadlines, it was also filled with moments of relaxation and sneaky lie ins here and there, we wanted to consciously make the effort to unwind so lo and behold, we hit up that google search button, and well, we stumbled on some indisputable knowledge (like, scientifically proven and everything, I think), according to google, swimming is not only great for abs (eyy ab squad where you at! JK) but it is also an amazing stress reliever, we took this with a pinch of salt and tested the waters with educated caution. We can confidently report back with great results of heightened work relationships and team bonding, so...  y’all have 5 months to prepare your  co-od office swimsuits)

2-PICS.jpg
_MG_4881.jpg

Alongside swimming, we came across the usual jargon (very useful jargon) of activities that are great for relaxation and de-stressing, we brushed most of those away and cut right to the good stuff! Eating made the top of the list and, please believe we did not hold back (not that anyone needed to tell us that) however, as you know its not the eating that matters but rather the what, eating natural sugars such as fruit sugars was the jam of our summer snacks, in the office … we would also like to take this opportunity to confess to a few large coffees too, we can tell you this because we are all friends here, no judgement. 

We soon realised that paying attention to all your senses was a big factor, so music naturally cropped up next (Many thanks to Gregory Porter, and Hillsong for their unfailing support through the trying, scorching summer) 

As did the expected culprits such as yoga ( guys! we discovered the joys of HOT YOGA, just wow!) what a saver. Yoga allowed us to tune into a mindset that communicated to the rest of our systems that we were sweating out the week and its stresses, something of a physical and literal renewing for the new week ahead.

While all these google suggested stress relievers proved great for what we like to call ‘how to work your summer away without hating it 101’ the best one was the most effortless. I think we all know this one but often take it for granted; time spent with friends, your nearest & dearest. Jean’s occasional, across the table hisses that threatened to end her laptop’s life after one too many photoshops freezes was the best sound after a morning of emails, and meetings, and not to put words in anyone’s mouth but if Jean was here she would say “Sara’s beautiful outbursts of singing are like angles humming a little concert in my ears”.. yeah, she would.

_MG_4776.jpg
_MG_4764.jpg
_MG_4881.jpg

Maybe this transition was seamless because we love what we do so much that not even summer can compete, but we also have the feeling that it has a lot to do with being intentional, intentional in setting habits, intentional in following through, intentional in seeking, intentional in choosing to work over the summer for intended results

_MG_4620.jpg

CREDITS

Photographer: Julia Zolotova | Creative Director: Sara Ngwenya | Art Director: Jean Ardhita Muis | Models: Anna Proffitt & Thema Bedwei | Wardrobe: MyMarini, May & Hugo Swimwear, Rae Feather Bags from Platform London, Jbeebe Sandals, Kitty Joseph Sunnies

Playing for Keeps

Nothing lasts forever, but maybe some things can transcend a single season and even better, a generation. 

_MG_4245S.jpg

Much like a good Netflix series and good food, there are some things in life that we start to feel the desperate need to hold onto. In our case, this looks like certain pieces in our wardrobe and friendships. These two things, which, believe it or not, make quite the perfect pair, continue to push us to value and understand the true joys of quality over quantity — especially as we get older.

When we came across Veryan, we tried to imagine the story behind the clothes, aside from being incredibly beautiful, they made us think of something that is a true keepsake. In their nature, the dresses carry themselves in a way that lets you know that they are outwardly & innately, more than just seasonal pieces -- we began to grasp this as we inspected the richness of the  fibres & craftsmanship behind these pieces; permitting ourselves to imagine the stories and seasons that these pieces could walk into, with us.

_MG_3932P.jpg

Their promise of uncompromising longevity reminded us of lasting friendships; their versatility, strength, and constant presence through life’s different seasons. 

This was an important observation, which, might have been linked to some emotional ties that stemmed from watching younger siblings taking the first steps into journeys where ‘you will make life-long friends'. This observation prompted some important questions — what does it take to make these lasting relationships? Is it all about quality from the beginning? or maybe, it is in the unknown beginnings, but, it comes down to the attention that is given along the way? Both seem to hold indisputable relevance.

In light of our wardrobes, it made us think about the hows — how do you decipher what is a commodity and what is simply a right now fling? How do you make a purchase that will be as relevant ( to you personally) 5 years from now as it is right now?

_MG_4336S.jpg

Simplify

  

MAKE SPACE FOR SIMPLICITY - allow pieces that can fit into various pieces of your life. You will know these pieces from their silent conviction and in time, you will acknowledge them with the names faithful & loyal, you won’t have to search them too much; they will narrate their own stories from the way they will allow themselves to share a space with your already existing commodities. 

They will not mind housing a turtle-neck, in the same way, that they will not mind the idea of taking a supporting role that allows their counterparts to lead. They will do this, all the while knowing that they can confidently stand as singulars that do not require to be spoken for. They will carry themselves from season to season, amplifying the core of sustainable fashion.

_MG_3854P.jpg
_MG_4310S.jpg
_MG_4221S.jpg
_MG_4028P.jpg

CREDITS

Photographer: Julia Zolotova | Creative Director: Sara Ngwenya | Art Director: Jean Ardhita Muis | Hair & Make Up: Charlotte Eden | Wardrobe: Dress by Veryan, Bags from Rae Feather, Jbeebe sandals, & Momoka 53 scarf