The photo essay narrates Nqobile’s story and it reminisces on how the past connects to the present through undying photography and style.
The photographs on the left capture the essence and beauty of her mother and some of her family members (including her, wearing red and pink outfits) when they would be in the big city, one of the activities they would indulge in, is the prospect of being photographed by local street photographers; because of this, her mother was (and still is) a firm believer in capturing a moment and preserving its splendour! Perhaps she was not thinking street fashion per-say when she was posing for those pictures but because she has style it has remained timeless and inspirational.
The aesthetic finesse of that era and her interpretation of what was worn then inspired us on our so-called “blast from the past” photo shoot (pictures on the right) where we went back to those exact streets 20 years after to try re-create those images and give them a contemporary feel, to reincarnate the energy and the attitude of that period in order to give history the “ahhhhaaaa” moment it deserves!
Interestingly; Nqobile also pointed out that: most of her mother’s photographs where she is unaccompanied were taken during her lunch break at work and that got me thinking, maybe if the younger version of our parents had also been defined by the “digital” and “social media era” we are currently being engulfed by! I am sure that the first action from her mother immediately after being photographed would have been to update her social media accounts before lunch break was over so that her “friends” would ogle her pictures and maybe because of her absolute love of photography and fashion in those days she was going to be labelled as a “fashionista” of sort too; as it is done today! Yes, no, maybe?
I guess no one would give a definite answer to that question but the fact remains… her generation understood style and wore garments for the love of it, not for some attention-seeking purposes we sometimes see today.
As much as Johannesburg with its streets are changing and being invaded by young people each and every day, one thing is for sure; the city of gold will always tell a beautiful story about ageless style to generations to come.
Photography by: Nqobile Mkhonza (@officialNqobi_M)
Words and styling: Tshepo Mosokotso (@sponono_fierce)
Make-up: Lethabo Lekganyane (lewormhead)
Model: Dorcas “Didi” Lekganyane (@DeeNerd)
Bad kids and Good looks
White chunky, half sleeve knit, R90
Polka dots dress, R50
Retro inspired cardigan, R100
Twitter: @CornHerbet / Numbers: 072 476 7577
Multi-coloured vintage blouse, R90
Check jacket, R120
Twitter: @Snoorpatjana / Numbers: 083 614 9332
House of Alvina
White long sleeve shirt with check details, R50
Black plait skirt, R150
Navy blue, double breast jacket, R200
Twitter: @sponono_fierce / Numbers: 082 225 4809
Prince of Newtown rings, R100 each (sold at the @GroveMarket)
Brooch, they range from R15 to R30
Contact person: Masemola/ Numbers: 073 083 6321
Or if you are in and around Braamfontein on Sundays, pop in at the Grove Market (@GroveMarket) at Corner Melle and Juta Street from 10:30am till 4pm to purchase all the above items.
Brown leather skirt, black pola-neck and gold chain (photographers own)
Shoes (models own)
The rest of the items are stylists own