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Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas

Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas
Elsje Designs creates fun & functional gifts, stationery and table decor with a true South African touch


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fashion Trends for Summer

Plunging neckline

Turn up the heat for spring 2011 with the women’s plunging neckline, a neckline that has captured the imagination of designers from the likes of Gucci to your local artisan.

Maxi dress goes sheer
Every season trends evolve, and every season two trends merge. In that regards, summer 2011 will be no different from what has come before it. What will be different, however, is the season’s take on a staple for many women’s summer wardrobe: the maxi dress. In spring 2011 it’ll merge with another trend favourite to give us the sheer maxi dress trend.

Lace clothing
No, it’s not new. But, like all trends that span multiple seasons, it has evolved. Lace influences for summer are more to the classic side with quality antique-style fabrics the key to the trend. Less of the allover, stretch lace and more of the unique takes.

Crochet & macrame
These are two fabric finishes that could had to return: the re-rise of 70s fashion, the popularity of nautical, and a love for lace guaranteed it.

Sometimes a little detail is all it takes to change the feel of a garment. One of the most popular trimmings is one that signifies luxury or, at times, the exotic. Adorning everything from handbags to shoes to dresses and hats.

Women’s tuxedo
Thanks to the likes of Tom Ford and the re-rise of 1970s fashion, the women’s tuxedo makes its comeback and carries on into next season. But given it was also on-trend as recently as 2008, this is one fashion trend you could definitely get wrong this season.

Able to be worn softly or with an edge, they’re a style that might seem ever-green – but don’t let that fool you. Pleats are at the fore in spring / summer 2011, in fact, they’re dominating women’s fashion for the season. And they’ll continue to do so into next year.

Bell bottoms
With skinny pants and jeans now so common that they no longer make a statement it was inevitable that a different style would emerge as a trend. It didn’t necessarily have to be this one, but with the come back of all things 1970s it was inevitable that fashion forward people would turn to bell bottoms / flared pants as their style of choice.

Wide leg pants
By now the general experiment with cuts of pants and jeans that aren’t skinny should be evident: women’s pant trends in spring 2011 are defined by this experimentation with everyone keen to see options for women that simply aren’t skinny. Hence alongside the flares are wide leg pants and jeans.

Capri pants
For every trend exists its opposite. So as spring / summer 2011′s fashion trends allow us to welcome flares back into our wardrobes, so too does it allow for an opposite style, in the form of capri pants, to make a showing.

Tail hems: dresses longer at the back
They’ve been seen as an alternative to the summer mini skirt or maxi dress for sometime, and for spring / summer 2011 ‘tail hems’ continue their reign as the more interesting alternative to both.

Stripes are a dominant part of any spring / summer season, though usually, year on year, featuring a variation on the theme. Summer sees stripes with an unsurprising nautical dominance.

Jumpsuits & playsuits
They’re something of a yoyo trend: one season they’re in, the next season they’re out. For summer they’re back again, reinterpreted to fuse in many of the season’s other fashion trends.

Crop tops
It was 2009 that we last focussed on this look as a trend, and back then it certainly wasn’t a trend for the whole year. This is very much a high-summer 2011 look, one great for the hottest of weather and party atmospheres, such as festivals.

Choker necklaces & cuff bracelets
If you’re looking to make a statement with your accessories this summer, then be sure to turn to the accessory that has captured our imagination this spring / summer and will easily carry over to next season. It’s the solid jewelry trend and it includes everything everything from cuffs to collars.

Cat eye sunglasses
With the warmer weather comes the need to update your sunglasses collection with a new and on-trend style. For summer the best accompaniment to a vintage-inspired look is a shape that screams ’50s/’60s glamour. From the very subtle to the extreme..

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One&Only: Lavish new venue and special offer

This urban chic waterfront resort provides an unprecedented level of luxury. They have recently relaunched their wedding venue with glamorous chandeliers, cream and crystal opulent decor.

We at Elsje Designs are proud to offer for the month of October 2011, a special package to all the One&Only bridal couples:
• a complementary on-site consultation at the One&Only with Elsje, owner and creative director.
• digital Save-the-Date (to the value of R650) included in their stationery order over R3 000.

To launch this magnificent new venue, the hotel is offering:
• a 90 minute yacht cruise
• luxury honey moon suite for 2 nights
• a romantic petal and sparkling wine turn down
• complimentary menu and wine tasting for the couple in Reuben's restaurant.
• dance floor, tables, chairs, all cutlery, crockery and glassware
• crisp white, floor length table linen
• and my favourite... a complimentary first anniversary dinner in Reuben's restaurant!

Incredible value at R20 000.

For more information, please contact or +27 (0)21 976 7111.

Love and Typography

We’re mad about typography at Elsje Design, and we’re always looking out for amazing type artists. One such individual is Marian Bantjes, a Canadian designer-typographer and she made a name for herself creating Valentine’s Day Cards. These aren’t your average Valentine’s Day cards though; they’re incredibly intricate and beautiful gestures of love. Her designs are unbelievably personal for instance; in 2007 she created over 150 individual designs.

Blogpost by Natalie Irish - the latest member of our staff.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fashionable Friday: It's not orange, it's CORAL!!

It's not orange, it's not pink, it's coral!

The perfect colour for your summer wedding.

Come on brides, be adventurous... We can't wait to get crazy with coral.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pencil + Patience = Art

Pencil – only a tool used for painting, drawing, or putting down notes in the margins. But not Getty Dalton. This 45-year-old resident of Bridgeport turns ordinary pencils into miniature sculptures, without using a magnifying glass.

Dalton works very slowly. He does not use any special tools: for he needs only a blade, a sewing needle and a very bright light. To protect their vision, the author works for one and half hours a day. One tiny sculpture may take several months. “When I tell people how long it takes me to create sculptures, they simply do not believe me, – says Getty. – My patience is simply amazing people, because nowadays everyone wants to be quicker, faster and faster.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book your consultation now!

With the summer season looming, consultation fees will increase as of 1st of October 2011. In order to take advantage of our winter consultation fees, contact us on + 27 (0) 21 976 7111 to book your creative consultation before the 1st of October 2011. We are pleased to now offer telephonic consultations to those who are unable to visit us in the studio.

Since we are already in a festive mood, we will surprise you with a fun gift in true Elsje Designs style... Hope to see you soon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trendy Thursday: emphasis on embossing

Want your printed materials to feel, as well as look, different to others?

Embossing explained

Embossing makes something stand out from the page. It impresses an image or text into a surface using an engraved metal die (see top photograph). This creates a raised impression. If the impression is to be sunk, it is known as 'debossing'. You might also have come across the terms 'blind embossing', which means that no foiling or printing is required, and 'foil embossing' where foil is used in the process.

Emboss to impress

Embossing gives elegance to all kinds of printed materials including stationery and envelopes, invitations, wedding cards, thank you notes, gift bags and other promotional goods. The ultimate style statement being an envelope with an embossed flap - see photograph of a wedding invitation we have done recently.

Embossed business cards make a fantastic first impression in the corporate world. Along with matching embossed stationery, they mark you out as a smart and professional organisation to do business with.

Blog post by Mari Voges, graphic designer and emboss expert at Elsje Designs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Business Partner @ ED

We are pleased to welcome Sarah as our new Business Manager at Elsje Designs.

Sarah hails from Scotland but grew up in Johannesburg where she studied Marketing and Business Management. Heading to the UK in 2000 she lived in London for 5 years before returning to Cape Town. Sarah's 15 years experience includes hospitality, retail and growing an international business within South Africa with expansion into multiple African markets. She has been privileged to work with exclusive, global brands and thrives in dynamic and fast-paced environments. With a specific focus on the luxury market, Sarah's commitment to excellence and client satisfaction is unwavering.

Sarah's energy and passion to produce a driven, focused and enthusiastic team will no doubt leave every client in awe. Out of hours, Sarah enjoys travelling the globe, pilates, exploring local wine farms and reading.

Sarah's 5 loves:
Eating at new restaurants
Reading autobiographies
Lazy Sunday afternoons with family and friends
Frozen margherita’s

Sarah's 5 loathes:
Cruelty to animals
Swimming in the freezing Atlantic Ocean
Long queues
Mopane worms
Crying children on aeroplanes

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Paper Hummingbirds special @ R6 ea

Limited offer on these gorgeous paper hummingbirds - table decor and a seating card combination! To order, email us:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Welcome Spring!

We were recently priviledged to part take in a shoot with Christine Meintjies & Doreen Winking in Munich, Germany. Stunning work Christine! And Doreen, we love working with you! I will be doing some more blog posts on this special shoot.

Elsje Designs are selling these paper humming birds @ R8 ea. They are adorable and can be used as seating cards - the perfect way to seat your guests this spring. For more info, please contact the studio on 021 976 7111.