Sprezzatura

Sprezzatura

Italy has been and remain long associated with elegant clothing, sophisticated class, and of course, with the very masculine descendants of true roman sons, the epitome of what it means to be dressed like a true gentleman.

Naturally, it can get a bit overwhelming when diving into the online ocean of fashion and media, especially if not familiar with the fashion trends of the major metropolitans. It then becomes super handy to know someone who has done the effort in guiding those initial, over enthusiastic steps, one might take toward the higher end in life.

This is where Alessandro comes in.

Alessandro lives in Milan, Italy and started the very successful brand and Instagram account, GENTS CAFÉ in May 2016.

The idea behind the brand is “to create a daily source of inspiration for modern gentlemen from all over the world,” and Instagram seemed to be a very good option as a platform for the purpose.

Alessandro has a passion for Sprezzatura, which he, in his e-book explains, “is a term introduced by Baldassare Castiglione, Italian author of The Book of the Courtier, as well as guidance for distinguished and elegant gentlemen, who first spoke of this ‘art that conceals art’“.

Now here comes the interesting part.

The e-book, the first volume of “The Gents Café Handbook” and free to download from the Gents Café website, is as handy as they come when searching for the latest and most relevant online magazines, otherwise known as the best classy blogs around.

The e-book features no less than thirteen of the top publications in the world of gentleman fashion, from the all-round men’s style, ‘Mr. Porter Journal’ to the extremely classy ‘I Am Galla.’

Jumping straight into the handbook, not only started me on a couple of hours’ worth of exploring, but added a whole new dimension to my Instagram feed, garentued to be a delightful experience that just can’t be compared to any other.

Article by:  Johannes A Snyman  Photo: Supplied / WebsiteGents Café / Location: Milan, Italy

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Drama, Theatre and Film – Micia

Drama, Theatre and Film – Micia De Wet

The world of theatre and film has for the most part been undervalued and underappreciated in South Africa, especially when compared with the European culture of the industry.

I then came across Micia, and asked her if she would be willing to share her passion for arts and culture with us.

How did your interest in drama and stage productions come about?

When I was nine I knew what I wanted to do, and it was all about the rush and adrenaline of being on stage, and that is what I started with.  As I became older it became the idea of being able to tell people’s stories for people who can’t tell their stories themselves.

Now it has moved into a strong socio-political avenue, as I feel like that it is a huge responsibility for any performer of creator person, to invest in open and explore. I think that is my biggest thing with drama and film and any mode of storytelling.

Do you through your line of work see a lot of stage productions?

Yes, I this year traveled to Prague for instance where I performed in their International Theater Festival. Yes, I see a fair amount of movies and stage plays. More movies than stage plays because of availability. There are French festivals everywhere and I feel that is where you see the majority of the work that people today should be seeing.

Why are independent films in South Africa not such a big thing?

Getting independent films to be part of the South African culture is the hardest part. The whole way we approach all of it, in essence, our thinking has to change, and that is what makes it so difficult.

Funding is also a challenge as you only get funding when they know it is going to be a commercial success. The various funders also didn’t want to fund our trip to Prague, until only afterwards when we proved to be successful, they started showing interest.

There is some truth in the fact that most funders are more lenient to give funding for recycled stories which they know will work, causing a lot of work not to be original.

Do you think the promotion of arts and culture in South Africa can be done?

On promoting and changing the South African culture for the better, I believe that there is always that possibility for people as a collective to change, and I love the notion of non-violent, non-disruptive change, where you can see something in a different way without being forced to see it in a different way.

Globally we are going through a stage where everything is to violent, to find that change, to find that breach of going forward. There is also currently a whole lot more freedom of speech but no responsibility toward what is being said.

That is what I try to advocate for, is to take responsibility for what you say. A lot of times I’ve seen stuff that felt like a lot of anger and thoughts of emotion just being spewed out and in film as well, and you think to yourself, you have to interrogate that, you have to think about that on a broader context, you can’t just put your feelings out there when they are not rationalized.

What are your goals forward?

Regarding drama am I focusing on theatre at the moment, but I have film and movie making as a goal and am pursuing it.

Do you have any film Directors you aspire to?

One of my favorite people is the Austrian film director and screen writer Michael Haneke, but I’m also fond of Danish Director Lars von Trier, known for the film Dogville with Nicole Kidman, which is a very abstract and strange film.  I love the way Lars deals with visual mediums, where it is almost a shock and a brutal and animalistic way in which he deals with imagery but it works so well in his way of storytelling.

What is it about film that motivates you?

There is the script but movies are more about the cinematography and the putting together of the images and that is what excites me about film.

It is important to be loving what you are doing, because when you love what you do, people can see that, and that is what they walk away with.

 

Article by:  Johannes A Snyman  Photography by : Aniki Grobbelaar / Chapters by Ani  Location: Tashas – Menlyn Maine

THE SARTORIALIST

THE SARTORIALIST

Bloggers want to be him. New Yorkers adore him. And photo journalists has been copying his techniques for goodness-know, how many years now.
The very special, (and may I add,) very creative man behind the camera in the streets of, well most major hubs in the world, is fervently leading the way in the world of fashion photo journalism.
His name is Scott Schuman and he is The Sartorialist.

Becoming one of the world’s renowned photographers, one can imagine a lot of hard work, inspiration and ambition needed but he admits himself when he says, “Each day I feel like I can take the best picture of my life…” and stresses the importance of a good morning routine, so that once, you “hit the door, then you can forget about yourself and do the job, because you feel good…”

Scott started his blog back in 2005, photographing what have been described as ‘real people.’ And have been loving it ever since, with his blog and social media following going through the roof.

Scott also states that part of dreams he wants to fulfill is to get better at what he is doing. In his own words does he want to capitalize on all the different things that he is good at, writing better, shooting better, and communicating better.

Below a truly inspiring documentary, THE SARTORIALIST directed by Tyler Manson.

 

From Dubai

FROM DUBAI

Amazing stories from South Africans in Dubai keep making the rounds, and so we ventured to have a chat with L’re van Rooyen.

For the last year or so, L’re has ardently been working in a royalty of palaces in the United Arab Emirates, attending to the ‘pets’ of the nobles, otherwise referred to as a private zoo.

Long hours and high demands kept her on her toes, while ensuring that she enjoyed every precious moment of free time she has with us here in South Africa over the December holidays.

Now for the odd bit.

She has a perfect modern, state of the art smart phone. Only it has no camera, nor any other ability to take photos. Naturally for security reasons, photos are prohibited in her work space, and so required of her to purchase something very few of us even new existed. Apparently only a couple of smart phones like these exist, and upon googling it, I found a Blackberry and something else, but not the one I saw in her hand.

Oh yes, one other thing. She also happens to be an excellent swimmer.

Unfortunately we didn’t get around to the swimming pool, but there is always a next time.

She’ll be traveling all around South Africa, in the days to come, with even Swaziland on her list of locations.