I am traumatised!
And by this, I mean the wake-up-late-at-night-wet-sheets-from-sweat kind. The kind that gives you panic-attacks in the middle of a party when you see something resembling the flash-backs. And I blame the week I spent in Bloemfontein for this.
I should have known that any town that ends in “fontein” is likely to show me some crazies in the fashion department.
In my wide-eyed optimism, I went to the Free State to attend Macufe (Mangaung African Cultural Festival) for the first time. And it was loads of fun, don’t get me wrong. It’s just the unexpected side-show that didn’t do it for me.
Someone should’ve made me sign a waiver or something – anything – to declare they’re not responsible for what I was about to experience.
Let me try and explain in graphic detail what I saw (I couldn’t take pics as I was warned that people don’t take kindly to being stealthily photographed.
I didn’t understand that either).
My partner in crime is a Bloem native of the gay persuasion. After a little blackmail, he allowed me to tag along to one of his favourite spots – and by spot I mean just that – a good old “spoto”/shebeen/tavern.
Sometimes I don’t mind experiencing the, uhm, normal side of partying. I ignored and braved the stale cigarette and body-odour smell and even sat down on a bottle crate because I’m cool like that.
My ordeal began the minute I noticed a guy staring at me. I wasn’t bothered by the creepy stare so much as the peach organza shirt he was wearing.
It was more like a half-shirt because it couldn’t even reach low enough to be tucked in. After he noticed I was staring back, he of course thought it’s a green light for him to approach me.
I didn’t even give him a chance to greet before I asked where he got his shirt from. The man had the nerve to look at me with disdain and answer: “You can’t get this one. It’s especially tailored for me”.
Thank goodness for that – wouldn’t want stuff like that going out into the mass market.
After escaping that spot, we went to the nearby township to a place called Chinese Garden which had absolutely nothing Chinese about it.
We got some refreshments and went to sit next to the most fashionable group (at least they thought so) in the place. All the girls were wearing identical cat suits in black satin. Mind you, they were all different sizes. But it was the biggest one that clearly felt the sexiest because she couldn’t sit down.
As for the men, they were all wearing shiny, pin-stripe suits. And their friend was the king of fashion. Karl Lagerfeld wishes he was this guy. He was wearing a two-piece suit made of blanket material. The pants were skinny. How dangerously avant-garde! (Dangerous because it was warm and he could’ve passed out.)
How he managed to make the collar look starched with blanket material defies the laws of science. Someone take this man to the Milan Fashion Week now!
The rest of the days I tried to spend with eyes averted and convincing the fashion-savvy part of my brain that it hadn’t been assaulted.
It’s only now that I have come back that I realise the trauma I went through. But worry not, I have signed up for therapy. It’s called retail therapy where I only see beautiful clothes.
Let the healing begin.