There existed a time when women would gather together, under the roof of an inspiring host, to amuse one another, to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation. This scintillating social circle was called a salon and was an Italian invention of the 16th century, which then flourished in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. This inspiring exchange of ideas has been reborn in a contemporary setting which I was privileged to attend last Saturday. Style icon Jackie Burger of Salon 58 has recreated the traditional salon after noting that women have become too busy to truly engage with other women and feed off the energy and creativity of each other in a positive and empowering way.
The theme for Saturday’s soirée was Allure: The Art of Being a Woman. Acting as a Curator and Salonnière, Jackie Burger and her fellow collaborators focused on the concept of what makes a woman who she is and how to convey this by the way she presents herself.
would you care to find out more? then read on…
The afternoon unfolded in a beautifully organic way as we were led from room to to room in the inspiring art studio space of the P.J. Olivier Art Centre in Stellenbosch. Mini-workshop spaces were created in each studio. My highlights? The science behind the scent with Tammy Frazer of Frazer Parfum who introduced us to her world of natural, organic perfumes and the concept of a bespoke fragrance. This led on to a master class with Mac makeup artist Michelle-Lee Collins on how to create the perfect pout.
All women love the allure of the floral kingdom and Alwijn Burger of Blomboy encouraged each guest make a mini-arrangement of her favourite flowers from a beautiful selection, capturing each of these floral portraits as a memento. Our sense of taste was stimulated when we experienced four smell and taste pairings with food created by Jade de Waal, presented by Hannerie Visser of Studio H. A delicious highlight was the friandise with salted caramel brittle and fennel flowers paired with fragrant fennel buds.
An important feature of each Salon 58 event will be the introduction of young designers, something that Burger has championed since her time at the helm of ELLE SA. Guests were introduced to designers with selected items from their collections, presented as a gallery style installation display. I was totally wooed by Johannesburg millinery brand Simon and Mary with their wool felt hats in bespoke shades. Karen Ter Morshuizen showed an edited range of antique silk kimonos that she imports from Japan. Also, utterly desirable.
Speaking of Salon 58’s first soirée, Burger said, “As the day unfolded, I was inspired by two very powerful forces that were at play, the strength and beauty of women allowing themselves to explore new avenues, and the generosity of creative collaborators willing them on to discover new experiences. A sense of openness and willingness to embrace the new prevailed. From a personal point of view, it was truly magical and I cannot wait for the next event.”
visit Salon 58 on Facebook to find out more about the next event which will take place on 23 May.
photography by Niquita Bento | Megan Smith