October 24, 2011

Into the wild with YSL.

It is no big secret that I am not the most outdoorsy person. Outdoorsy in a South African kind of way. When it comes to the European or New York kind of way I am very outdoorsy. I am quite comfortable in any kind of sidewalk cafe with a glass of bubbly as well as running up and down Soho streets with a credit card in my hand. Unfortunately that doesn’t count in Cape Town.
The only appeal that the outdoors African style would have for me is the chance to dress up in vintage YSL safari gear. But again this doesn’t work here, South Africans just love fleece too much, whereas it gives me a visual rash.

You can tell me Dad is a different generation. Without even trying he had the YSL safari look down.
Namibia, Christmas 2009.

Despite the fashion factor, I tried, but getting into this kind of lifestyle has proven difficult for the simple reasons that my friends split into two groups: the group that would rather drink the bubbly with me and the group that is so crazy outdoorsy that any attempt to join made me feel completely inadequate and usually didn’t work. Even my attempts of getting into the whole big wild slowly i.e. in form of a festival or something didn’t end well. A torn ankle ligament finally proved that my cowboy boots are really no cowboy boots, but made for the city girl in me (in fact there aren’t even cowboy boots, but try to explain that to people like my uncle), and countless fights with my ex, proved to me that world peace would have a much better chance if there were proper drinks involved and no sleeping in a tent required.
My Country Road meets YSL safari version,
which I have to admit, is not really meant for the great outdoors.
So I have been sticking to the inside of my yoga studio or walks on the promenade if I need a fresh breeze in my face. I don’t necessarily like it, but I have come to accept it and when I secretly look up longingly to Lions Head when the moon is full, I remind myself of the one and only time I attempted to go up there and how I paid the price: One fully broken camera for getting up a half a mountain (not due to my inadequacy but to a really thick fog coming in).

Having that said, I was quite excited when my new friend Kate asked me to go for a hike with her yesterday. Kate is the perfect friend to go hiking with for someone like me – she is enthusiastic, knows her way around, but can take it easy and doesn’t roll her eyes when I grab for my water bottle.

With this plan in mind and the volcano of Reunion looming on the horizon I set out to conquer my nemesis: Century City. If Yves Saint Laurent could do it and make it chic, so could I – hiking boots were on my shopping list. I will spare you the details. There is nothing chic about getting into arguments with Cape Union Mart sales people. How do you explain to someone that you want indeed the pair that looks old and raggedy already? That it will spare you a few trips up the mountain because they already look like adventure and desert and ‘The English Patient’. Nope. He did not get it and neither did I. These boots that is. They were sold out everywhere in my size. So I had no choice, but buy the newish looking pair. I can proudly report that they already show a few scuff marks after my first venturing into nature yesterday.

I expect them to look fully worn, telling stories of the wild in no time. And should it take too long for my impatient mind, I think I can still remember a trick or two from my styling kit to make the new look old and cool...

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