Beauty, Fashion

Mercedes Benz Bokeh Fashion Film Festival 2015

What a whirlwind the past few months and the past few days have been! I’ve been working on the Mercedes Benz South Africa International Bokeh Fashion Film Festival (it’s a wonderful mouthful) and I truly feel like all our hard work paid off!

I’m on a high at the moment from the success of such a wonderful festival!

I’m sorry my blog was neglected, but all for good reason. I had to split myself into 3. I handle all the social media for the festival, Natalie Becker and I are the MC’s and I also host the red carpets on both evenings.

Let’s go back a little. Warrick Gautier of Jenni Button very kindly dressed me for both the Friday evening and the Saturday Awards evening. Can you say spoilt? I’m so grateful.

On Thursday night, it was the Opening party at the Protea Fire and Ice.

MAC and ghd are partners in the festival, which was absolutely wonderful because they took care of my make-up and hair for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Honestly, it’s the most relaxing time. I adore having my hair played with and the soft brush strokes are like massages.

War paint. Otherwise known as highlighter

Here they created an ombre red lip. You line your lip with a red liner, concentrating on the cupids bow and colour in. In the corners, you take a dark plum or even a dark brown lip liner.

Apply your red lipstick over and make sure you blend well. This is MAC Lady Danger.

I arrived to discover these stylish, colourful Mercedes G63 greeting us. Don’t they just make a statement?

I wore my own Paige Smith dress and Christian Loubotin snake skin heels for the Thursday evening…

My gorgeous man and friend DJ Chad Tyson, who is visiting us from London came through…

I love seeing this beautiful soul, Tracy-Lee Rosalind. Each time I see her purple/blue locks, I feel like my blonde is so boring. Oh to have pastel hair. Maybe one day!

Raul Rosillo is one of the fashion film makers all the way from Spain. I met him last year at the inaugural Bokeh festival, so it felt like a reunion with all the international film makers who traveled back to SA again.

I MC’d the opening and knew the next 2 days and nights were going to be crazy busy and incredible.

Early on Friday morning, before it was proper daylight, I woke up before my alarm clock – excited and full of anticipation.

I made tea, checked that I had packed my bag with everything I possibly needed for the umpteenth time and headed to the African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel. We had transformed the entire hotel into our festival – a complete take-over.

Cranes carried Mercedes Benz G63 cars in, the longest red carpet was rolled out, the HiSense UHD screens came to life, popcorn popped filling the hotel with that delicious aroma, the fashion designers steamed their garments ready for retail and we opened the doors to a world of fashion and fashion films.

I got into hair and make-up and was ready to open the festival up and start the days proceedings.

The lovely team from Fox Box also had a set up for people to enjoy a manicure using MAC nail polishes. I went for a wicked red colour.

Our festival’s Managing Director, Adrian Lazarus’ daughter, Sienna had her hair done at ghd and I overheard her telling Amy, the stylist, with this sparkle in her eye: “Oh please can I have curls? No… Wait… Princess curls!”

It was the sweetest thing!

Fashion films ran throughout the day, Cape Town Fashion Council had the most amazing retail section and I just wanted to buy everything!

Sunglass Hut set up a section and I couldn’t resist trying on a few pairs. I have a major sunglass addiction (in case you didn’t know!)

Various talks happened throughout the day too – all from leading experts in fashion and fashion films.

Talks on: Amazing Spaces – Cape Town’s best locations to film; the power of Fashion Blogging, our international film makers from LA, San Francisco, Spain, Poland, Russia, Norway experiences and more.

At 5pm, we closed the day and had a one hour break – aka – to get red carpet ready, gulp down something to eat and drink, recharge all my devices for the social media and take a breather.

At 6pm, we opened up the red carpet. It’s honestly one of the best red carpets I’ve ever witnessed. It’s a true Hollywood experience. There are so many lights, so many photographers and TV crews (Fashion One, Top Billing and others) and it’s quite intimidating if you’re not used to it.

That’s where I came in.

I hosted the red carpet, did my best to make people feel as comfortable as possible and had such fun seeing what everyone was wearing! Cape Town is so stylish!

Sox came to visit me quickly before he headed to work, so we took a quick moment on the red carpet.

Here is my Friday Jenni Button dress. A black sexy lace slip with a beaded mesh dress over it. I teamed it with black stilettos and kept my hair sleek and as Warrick Gautier suggested: Supermodel straight.

Besides our VIP guests arriving, I also had to “stop” the red carpet whilst various Designers had their fashion instillations come out for the media to photograph and film.

Jenni Button: Warrick Gautier and Andrea Schroder
Tarina Patel wearing Hendrik Vermeulen Couture

My friend and crazy fashion film maker from San Francisco, Antonio Contreras owned the red carpet again this year. Last year, when the festival was held in June (read freezing cold and raining) Antonio minced down the red carpet in nothing but a speedo. This year, he sat down in the middle of the people to start stretching (as one does.)

He was stretching because he was going to do flick flacks and some martial art moves down the carpet. Again… as one does!

Once you’ve walked the red carpet, you’re inside 15 on Orange where an impressive world of entertainment awaits.  The Johnny Cooper Orchestra was playing, Joja Wendt – the most talented and entertaining pianist flown in from Germany performed, ballerinas danced on the different levels above you, throwing out roses and a few Marilyn Monroe drag queens performed. It was spectacular.

Joja Wendt
During the festival

Our guests also never went hungry and feasted on these delicious treats.

Fashion Films were shown, people mingled and networked and before we knew it, the very first night of the festival was successfully done.

My feet were so sore, but I was so happy and so excited for the following days events and the Saturday evening, which would be even bigger than Friday night, since it also had the prestigious Awards Ceremony.

I decided against the After Party being held at Club 31 and decided to rather keep that for Saturday night.

I fell into bed, set my alarm clock quickly before my eyes got heavy and drifted off to sleep.

Saturday morning arrived quickly and I was grateful for the big cup of coffee and steamy shower.

It was back into hair and make-up on arrival and getting ready for another big day.

These lovely, talented twins are film makers all the way from Norway.

Here from Left – Right: Film maker Miguel Gauthier (from Canada – lives in LA), myself, model and actress Cassi Colvin (from LA) and film maker, Viktorija Pashto (from Latvia – lives in LA)

ghd and MAC cosmetics did a demonstration on SFX. It is amazing what hair and make-up can create. They created these 3 characters:

Queen of Clubs

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Diamonds

Here is Raul (Spain) with his Fashion Film playing…

At 5pm, doors closed and I got ready for the Gala Evening.

My dress from Jenni Button was actually made for me and I have never felt more special. It was absolute perfection. A gorgeous black fish tail dress with a mesh, strategically embroidered and beaded piece over it.

Cathy Steed and I both in Jenni Button
The beautiful Eli from Mercedes Benz and I both in Jenni Button

The beautiful songstress, Filipa and I

Best photo bomb by Miguel!
The beautiful couple: Alex McGregor and Bjorn Steinbach

One of my highlights of the festival was spending time and working with these 2: Maria Vasco of 68 Encounters and Zigi Strydom. I absolutely adore them and adore working with them.

 The fabulous Miss Genevieve Le Coq

After all the shenanigans on the red carpet, it was off to get a glass of bubbles and settle in for the Award Ceremony.

These were the beautiful awards waiting to go to a new home…

Managing Director and Founder of Bokeh: Adrian Lazarus
Marketing Manager of Mercedes Benz Cars SA, Selvin Govender

My good friend Aidan Whytock submitted a fashion film in the Mercedes Benz Category. That award has a $10 000 US prize and I was THRILLED when he won the award! Well done you!

Best Actress

I was on such a high from the excitement of the night and the realisation that we had pulled off a wonderful and successful festival, that I didn’t even care that much about how sore and blistered my feet were!

In fact, we all went to the After Party held at 31 – the club on the 31st floor of ABSA Building and celebrated into the early hours of the morning!

I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to the entire team! You guys are all amazing!

Adrian, Selvin, Eli, Bryan, Kris, Christo, Tegolin, Camila, Jules, Phil, Costa, Maria, Zigi, Michelle, Jeremy, Zareena, Cathy (oh boy, I truly hope I haven’t left anyone out) we make quite the team!

Johannesburg, we’re coming for you next! See you on the 4th of June 2015.

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