Darren and Alex

Darren Gwynn and Alex Botha are two of Johannesburg’s best fashion talents (well, Darren was until he decided to up and move back to London, where he assisted Rankin for a few years before coming back to Jozi – but he still returns for shoots). Darren shot me in the amazing Huf magazine story Uthuli Africa, and I’ve shot countless things with Alex.

They decided to collaborate on a beauty series a couple of years ago, and asked me to be the subject of one of their photographs. It’s now been made available for sharing.

Note to anyone interested – white paint isn’t solid enough to cover hair, and sudocrem coupled with powder works better ( but is a complete bitch to get out).

I love this pic. It turned out so nice! They really are a dream team.

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Late Pregnancy and a Black Tie Do (or two)

I love a good wedding. I love a bad wedding, too, but then I don’t really believe there are bad weddings. But weddings are great.

Not so great (read: nerve-wracking) is dressing for a wedding at 6.5 months pregnant. And then again, and 8 months pregnant (my sister gave me a get-out-of-jail-free card with hers, with an infinity bridesmaid dress – more on that later).

What does one wear to a black tie do when you’ve got a giant, bowling ball of a bump protruding from your midriff?

Well, here were my thought processes, and eventual outfits.

First of all – consider the weather. Both weddings were well above the 28 degree range, so definitely height of summer. No clingy, jersey fabrics for the bump this time – flattering as they are, I’d rather not Invite sweat to drop down my forehead more than it already has to. Also, sweaty bump equals itchy bump. Not nice. And riding-up-the-sweaty-legs never did anybody any favours.

So it needed to be floaty. That cancelled out half of my pregnancy wardrobe, so that was easy. My next problem was my legs.

I work hard on my legs. When I’m not pregnant, these little old legs of mine are a mark of pride. I run for miles, squat and lunge and box jump for days on end, just to keep these little leggies of mine toned and cellulite free. Pregnant me still squats, even now at 36 weeks, but, hello, water rentention, welcome, cellulite. I don’t feel at all comfortable showing off my legs when I know there’ll be a camera and plenty of leggy ladies around. So the dress needed to be long.

I didn’t want to buy a maternity dress that I’d never wear again, so I found myself at the Stuttafords closing down sale (RIP, Stuttafords, you will be very sorely missed by me) and staring at a brightly patterned, slightly-too-big, Banana Republic tent dress. Perfect – the pattern would flatter the belly nicely, it was nice and floaty, and – bonus – I will be able to wear it cinched in with a nice belt, once the bump has turned into a baby. Result!The biggest bonus of this dress turned out to be the weather – it was unseasonably hot in Michigan for the time of year, and my tent dress saved me from heatstroke. I felt pretty, cool(ish) and comfortable. We danced the night away until 9pm ish, when Stevie fell asleep on the dance floor in my arms, to the sounds of Jay Z. What a wedding.The second wedding was my sister’s, where I was a bridesmaid. I was picked to be said bridesmaid way before I fell pregnant again. There was a brief worry that my sister would disown me – just joking. Thankfully, she chose custom made infinity dresses. Saviour! A gazillion different ways to tie the straps, empire line before my ribs stretched, and, again, cool and floaty and comfortable. The best thing about infinity dresses is that you don’t have to be the bridesmaid to wear one. One of my best friends wore a beautiful purple one to my wedding years ago. If you’re ever pregnant and concerned, and can’t find a Banana Republic tent dress, go for the infinity dress. You will wear it again! Just make sure to take nipple pasties (thanks to my other sister and sister in law) and no-show knickers. If you’re that way inclined, pregnancy spanks will work, too.There are countless ways on Pinterest on how to tie an infinity dress, but we just went for it on the day. And, trust me, I was super comfortable. If you’re the type of pregnant lady who feels confident in everything when carrying a baby, or who doesn’t get cellulite-y legs, then you can probably ignore my advice and go for what you fancy. But this worked for me. Comfort is always key. Good luck!Unfortunately for us here in South Africa, now that Stuttafords has permanently closed, there seems to be nowhere else to buy Banana Republic other than their website Banana Republic. Hopefully this will change, soon.

Your Pregnancy Magazine

As a blog reader will already know, I recently shot Your Pregnancy magazine with the lovely Aubrey Jonsson. The pics have now been published! I am so happy to have more memories to show my children.

Look how small the bump is! Your Pregnancy magazine is currently on shelves in South African shops.

Pregnancy photo shoots

It’s weird being pregnant and being a model. My entire life is made up of photo shoot after photo shoot, contorting my body in ways to make myself look even more lithe and long than I already am, in order to make a more appealling picture.

But being pregnant and modelling is completely different. Firstly, there aren’t as many pregnancy shoots as everyone thinks. Sure, I modeled up until 16 weeks, but then once I started showing I had to stop for a while. I’ve done two shoots for Your Pregnancy magazine, which were great, but this time, unlike with Stevie, I decided to try something different. I actually did a real pregnancy shoot with my friend Tahlecia.

Last time I shot with Tahlecia, it was a hair job and I was about 9 weeks pregnant. So normal business. This time was different and strange, but so lovely. This time it was just Tahlecia and I, so she did my hair and make up and just the two of us got me set up in her amazing home studio.

We’d already shared inspiration pictures, so we knew exactly what look we were going for – think of all the Victoria’s Secret models when they do pregnancy shoots: sleek, natural and just nice. No excessive make up and hair, or overdone outfits. Just me, the bump, a pair of baggy Acne jeans and my favourite, white H&M shirt.

Mega pregnancy inspiration right there – thanks, Behati!

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but they took us about 45 mins to shoot and I’m so happy I did them. I’m not one of those people who loves being pregnant, but neither am I the girl who hates it. I’m kind of indifferent, but I do feel as though I’ll have some very valuable memories to last me from this pregnancy.

Your Pregnancy

So today I had the privilege of shooting bikinis for Your Pregnancy magazine. Your Pregnancy are great – we shot a ‘half day’ which finished at 11.20, and every item was non-maternity and a little bit sexy… excellent for a quickly-growing bowling ball like myself!

The lovely Aubrey Jonsson took the pics – and the magazine will be on stands in mid-November for any South African readers! I’ll post the pics on here of the full story once it’s published.

Oh, and for anyone wondering – that amazing ‘mermaid’ one piece is from Woolies and, yes, I shall be purchasing one myself… I want a mermaid bump!

The Traveller

So, remember that time I had to leave my two-year-old with my 83-year-old Nan? And they had such a bloody ball without me? Well here’s what I was working on…

This Harley was AMAZING – for an avid SoA fan, I was in my element!

Shot for Elle Croatia by the wonderful Elizabeth Gibson

Styled by Maureen Vivian

Hair by Alex Price at Frank

Makeup by Jaime Thomas

We shot on location in North London. I travelled with Virgin Trains

For my IMG portfolio click here

For my Boss South Africa portfolio click here

Leaving your child with your Nanna

On Wednesday, I was called down to London to do an amaaaaazing shoot with the lovely Elizabeth Gibson (link to her site at the end). This was excellent – we haven’t shot together for about 12 years and I’ve been dying to get some new editorial.
However.

I’m currently on holiday in the U.K. seeing family. And right now, until next Wednesday, Pete is still in South Africa. What to do with Monkey?


Nanna’s Babysitting Service, of course! My 83-year-old Nan (so Stevie’s great-Nanna) loves looking after her great grandchildren, and has never looked after Stevie before. So she saw it as a huge treat!

I dropped Stevie off at 7.30am, slightly apprehensive, with a Frozen backpack full of books, nappies and spare clothes, and was waved off happily from the window… typical, and there I was feeling nervous.

I then proceeded to get stuck in traffic on the Mancunian Way, run the last 1km to the gate and make it with two minutes to spare, to be told my train was cancelled and all my running was for nothing.


But, as is always the case, I eventually got to work, and it was incredible. I’ll publish the pics here when I get them. And I even managed to get an earlier train home! Bonus.

I walked into the house to find Stevie sitting with my Auntie Jacqui and my cousin, Jodie, snuggling watching Peppa Pig. We had a bit of a catch up and then, since it was already 10pm, we both went to bed. What a busy, amazing day!

Elizabeth’s website is http://www.elizabethgibson.co.uk

Her Instagram can be found at @elizabethcgibson

Working in Winter

It’s still winter, it’s still cold (to me – although we seem to be having a very mild winter so far. It hasn’t gone lower than 7 degrees yet!)

But to make it much nicer, I had a lovely shoot with the lovely Essentials magazine yesterday.


I shot a cover for Essentials last year and they really are the loveliest people, and their magazine is amazing! The food section is huge – it’s rare for me to find a mag I’d actually want to read, as opposed to just flick through for pictures.

So yesterday we tackled the difficult transition month of August. I’ll let you see how it turned out, but with a dream team of Kelly Jean Gilbert on hair and make up duty and Aubrey Jonsson behind the camera, what can go wrong?


Also, who doesn’t love a grungy, black 90s eye?

August issue of Essentials Magazine out soon!