And Banana Blog

Bedouin Mirror November 10, 2015 16:59


A lovely antique Bedouin mirror my friend Marilyn gave me is the inspiration for those new textile framed mirrors. The Bedouin women carry those on their camels through the desert. The little bottle on top is unlikely to be for water but possibly for their kohl make up? I have googled this but so far could not get an explanation...they are made from old Kelim carpets.  


Here is the '&Banana' version made with Carole Nevin hand painted textiles. Ethnic with a modern twist however I omitted the little bottle until I understand its use!


 Bongi and Tembi sewing them by hand, 'Al Fresco'. 

Textile-art experiments October 22, 2015 13:03

IMG_8645 Textile-art was my second passion after jewellery making.                               In winter time the jewellery inspirations are slowing down and I like to switch to textile-art. I regularly visit Carole Nevin factory and Jay Smith fabric show room to buy bags of remnants. The added thrill being that one does not get to choose and opening those bags later at the studio is like opening a lucky packet which is always lucky. The fabrics are made, designed and hand printed in South Africa which fits with our policy of keeping things local.     Here we weaved strips of fabric (remnants are ideal for this)  to create the background. For the centre piece, I transfer black and white  photos onto plain fabric then freehand machine stitch them and finally appliqued onto the textured background fabric. It is quite a process but so enjoyable and am rather pleased with the results! I am now teaching my ladies so that we can produce lots of original African-inspired textile-art for our international customers.   IMG_8643 IMG_8641 IMG_8640

Colourful start of the summer season October 06, 2015 14:52

After a dreary winter one is hungry for colour and this summer is no exception.We are dyeing necklaces and bracelets in all colours of the rainbow and more... The necklaces are crocheted with natural cotton thread and wooden beads in their natural state then dyed and finally cured. The dyeing process is rather messy but what a pleasure to see the end results. The bracelets are 9 elasticated strands of wooden beads and a central motif of shells and seed beads.   [caption id="attachment_649" align="aligncenter" width="346"]COLOURS the dyeing season[/caption]

Marilyn Monroe is our gorgeous model.

marilyn spring

Recycled African style September 18, 2015 13:40


Recycled products from our And Banana shop in Cape Town.

Hessian Coffee beans bags recycled into Make-up
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]Hessian Coffee beans bags Hessian Coffee beans bags[/caption]
 5 litres containers transformed into quirky vase. Patch-worked African fabrics and beaded Dolce & Banana memorabilia ...a wink to Dolce & Gabbana.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="494"]5 litres containers transformed into quirky vase. 5 litres containers transformed into quirky vase.[/caption]
5 litre plastic containers up-cycled into Afro mask
Patchwork - African textile - raffia - ropes, visit Hout Bay shop or
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"]5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask 5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask[/caption]
5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask
5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask 5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask
5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask
5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask
5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask
5 litre plastic containers recycled into Afro mask
Afro mask Afro mask
 Wrapping paper recycled into colourful
place mats, easily wipeable,  
a unique and original gift  
Visit our Hout Bay shop or
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"]Wrapping paper made into colourful place mats Wrapping paper made into colourful place mats[/caption] Industrial poly-propylene bags made into fashionable  hand bags and shoppers
Appliqued African fabric. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="286"]Industrial poly-propylene bags Industrial poly-propylene bags[/caption] Industrial poly-propylene bags  [caption id="attachment_542" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Industrial poly-propylene clutch Industrial poly-propylene clutch[/caption] Industrial poly-propylene clutch

Chapman's Peak Drive is home to rare breed September 10, 2015 15:35

Spring is here and the Chapmans are slowly coming out of hibernation, we have just encountered 3 of them soaking up the timid Spring sun on the Chapman's Peak Drive, behind them the glorious Hout Bay. It's going to be a great season!
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Chapmans on Chapman's Peak Chapmans hanging out in Hout Bay.[/caption]
Chapman on Chapman's Peak
Adopt a Chapman today, they are handmade locally in our workshop, next to the Bay Harbour Market, using palm leaves found in Hout Bay,cowrie shells and ostrich feathers, available from our shop Andbanana minutes away from the beginning of Chapman's Peak Drive and from our online shop!
they are hassle free, well behaved little companions

The Ultimate Cape Town Bucket List September 02, 2015 14:14

The Ultimate Cape Town Bucket List (100 things to do before you die) - How many Cape Town experiences have you done Then add a visit to &Banana in HOUT BAY.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]And Banana Shop in Hout Bay And Banana Shop in Hout Bay[/caption]

Cape Realty with nice comments September 02, 2015 13:27

Cape Realty! Thank you! What a pleasure to come across some unsolicited wonderful comments about our And Banana store on the Internet. Below the dossier which was delivered to us from the lawyers of 'Dolce and Gabbana'. A stressful time which however, caused us great international publicity. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400"]The bully's dossier The bully's dossier[/caption]  

Penguins in Cape Town, South Africa August 27, 2015 17:24

 Our adorable penguins are protesting about the derogatory name: 'Jack Ass'.

This is due to their mode of communication sounding like a braying donkey. Judge for yourself!

Objection !

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Penguins marching past Table Mountain! Penguins marching past Table Mountain! True story![/caption]

They are marching and who knows what to expect...

[caption id="attachment_560" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Palm leaves penguins at And Banana Palm leaves penguins at And Banana.[/caption]

HandEye Magazine on And Banana jewellery August 26, 2015 10:43

HAND/EYE Magazine bridges the worlds of art, design, craft, philanthropy, retailing, and socio-environmental sustainability.
Mijou Beller's Bio published in HandEye magazine
A visit to Cape Town South Africa many years ago convinced me to emigrate from Cannes, where I was born and raised. Cape Town has since become very cosmopolitan but still keep its identity. I have no formal art or craft training but always had an interest in fashion. I am always learning new techniques from visiting South Africa’s rural areas.
I started my little enterprise 17 years ago in Houtbay. At that time, I originally designed garments using Vlisco and African wax fabric before it became fashionable. I then opened a shop called "Ethno Bongo" in Houtbay—a fishing village not far from from Cape Town and soon had a following and nice customer base. In addition to the clothes I made, I decided to add some African jewelry as accessories, which at the time, was mainly tribal and not always adapted to European visitors’s sense of esthetics or wearability.
 I started to re-think the traditional jewelry with a 'Western' esthetic. This was the start of the "Dolce & Banana" brand, the quirky name (I thought) perfectly fitting for this African-inspired bold, glamorous jewelry. I used the name for 12 years until Dolce & Gabbana sued for diluting the brand’s name. Now we’re called "...&Banana" to calm the designer’s fears! Although the lawsuit caused tremendous stress, it also generated terrific publicity, resulting in a short article in Vogue.
I stopped designing and making  clothing in favor of hand printed bags and other textile accessories that compliment the jewelry, which also allows me to continue to employ the women who have sewn for me in the past.
Currently, I focus on jewelry and use mostly natural materials. These include wooden beads that we dye in a variety of colors. Shells, mainly abalone and turbo, which are found in abundance in this part of the world. An assortment of semi-precious stones, also in ample supply in South Africa. As well as horn, rubber, leather, textile, raffia, ropes,  and the occasional crystals to add a hint of glamour.
I have invaluable help from a team of African ladies who live in Imizamo Yethu Informal settlement in Houtbay. Some of the women need guidance to bring the concept of the designs to the actual jewelry.  These artisans initially work from my premises, the more experienced ones work from their homes. During the design and production process, we exchange contemporary and traditional inspirations and techniques but keep the African flair and palette.
 The current challenge, however, is to is to establish an online shop to attract a broader consumer base and to keep everyone employed year round as we are a very seasonal place. 
For more information, visit

Dolce & Gabbana are not always winning. August 25, 2015 17:18

My favourite friends Dolce & Gabbana are not always winning...

D&G was annoyed by my ex brand 'Dolce & Banana'back in 2012, suggesting that it diluted their brand, so I was ordered to change it, hence my new funny name '&Banana' .
Here are some links from the past when this occurred:
In China however,a new Dolce & Banana re-appears and as trademarks don't appear to be really guarded, D & G will have to let it be.
Nothing much can be done either about designers rip-offs in this part of the world...ironically most designers use Chinese factories to make their goods so it is hardly surprising this causes leakage. It is a funny world, however, our goods are all ethically designed and made in South Africa and we are very pleased with our funny name 'Andbanana'. and the publicity caused by the law suit has been magic. Thanks D&G !
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="409"]My dear friends Dolce And Gabanna. My dear friends Dolce And Gabanna.[/caption]

Brigitte Bardot wearing And Banana jewellery. August 25, 2015 10:01

Brigitte Bardot is a glorious icon of the 60's and still an inspiration today for her unique style. Sexy, bohemian and totally original.

This emerald colour yarn necklace is available in all sort of colours here
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Brigitte Bardot wearing And Banana jewellery Brigitte Bardot wearing And Banana jewellery[/caption]
Brigitte Bardot wearing And Banana Jewellery
Brigitte Bardot wearing And Banana Jewellery 

Frida Khalo looking fabulous wearing Andbanana Jewellery. August 24, 2015 22:19

Indeed Frida Khalo has the look, the flair, the passion to wear bold and colourful neck pieces just as we like them.
She did make her own jewellery which has been my inspiration, we dye the wooden beads in order to get those gorgeous colours... hope she is happy with my little 'montage' we did our best to match the colour of the background, always useful to wear jewellery matching the wall paper.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"]Frida Khalo wearing And Banana Jewellery Frida Khalo wearing And Banana Jewellery[/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"]And Banana Baubles Necklace. And Banana Baubles Necklace.[/caption]
Frida Khalo wearing And Banana Jewellery
Frida wearing &Banana coral and pink scallop shell.
Beautiful Mexican mermaid!

and more fabulous Frida 's moments