Ottoman R7 560, Lala Linen. Gold Tray R1 456, Generation Store. Black Ligne Blanche plate R1 050, Maison Mara. Bronze clutch R1 700, Maison Mara. Stardust knot necklace R2 289, Spilhaus

Keen to hear where the inspiration for the Fashion Issue came from? In Bielle Bellingham’s latest letter to you, our dear readers, she explains what her idea of luxury is and challenges us to be unexpected and magnificent. 

There are no two ways about it; the digital revolution is a game-changer.  More than just an extraordinary platform for expression and information exchange, it also affords us a new level of understanding, a new perspective that has a massive impact on the relevance and power of design; art, architecture, decor, fashion, photography, film…

This new portal to the world has created a new sense of democracy in design which is slowly chipping away at the entrenched hierarchy established by a handful of self-righteous planners way back when. What this really means for you and me, trying not to be recklessly vague, is that all of our worlds are colliding. Designers and consumers are reading the same blogs, magazines, tweets, watching the same clips and perving over the same Instagram feeds. Social media forces are connecting interior designers with art historians, architects with fashion designers, film directors with industrial designers. And we are only better for it.

There used to be a lag in trends moving from catwalk to couch, but now the connection between fashion and decor is so gloriously obvious and rapid. We are all privy to the same information, at the same time – top brands and customers alike, and this new transparency is liberating. Trends are being demystified in both fashion and decor, and as a result, we are focusing more on what reflects our personal styles and personalities (a trend in itself I suppose).

Influence and power are shifting back to us, the consumers. What are you going to do with this new clout?

I reckon we should be fiercely glamorous and brave, inviting new energy and a new idea of luxury into our homes and wardrobes. This doesn’t always mean the most expensive or the most flashy and fancy. Quite the opposite actually; for me, the ultimate luxury is time, peace and the opportunity to make sustainable and compassionate decisions.

For some, like Etienne Britz featured in our property feature (p77), luxury is closeness to nature and sharing your spaces with the people you love. Whatever your idea of luxury, life is short, so live it up. Soak it up in style; dress up (p16), travel to crazy beautiful Lagos (p83), invest in the future (p73), create a sanctuary that recharges and inspires you (p132), get enough quality and good-looking sleep (p45), live honestly (p112) and simplify design, without compromising on quality (p36).

Be unexpected and magnificent.



Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @bielleross


ELLE Decoration Fashion Issue

The Fashion Issue edition of ELLE Decoration South Africa is on the shelf of your nearest magazine retailer now. Packed with fashion-forward interiors trends, it’s full of all your favourite features, decor tips and the stylish spaces of Jessica Alba, Malcolm Kluk and Stella Jean. Pick up your copy today – across South Africa wherever magazines are sold – and tell us what you think on Twitter @ELLE_Deco, sharing your #FashionIssue #DECOselfie.