Designer lot and Barneys crew set the scene

AS THE summer season starts winding down everyone must invariably start getting their heads around returning to work.

Many have already done so, while others cling desperately to any semblance of a holiday – and the views from the Barneys deck at the PE beachfront did exactly that for me.

As the band struck their first chord to get the party started, I was shocked to see how thin Eastern Cape singer Eloise Potgieter has become.

Hugging her I feared I was going to break one of her ribs – girl, put some meat on them bones. At least that beautiful voice we know her for is still there.

For pre-dinner drinks I headed to Stanley Street (your gossip girl does not drink and drive) to pull in at Zorbas. Restaurateur George Ioannides has done it again and opened up this Port Elizabeth institution again – this time in the city's chicest restaurant hub.

One odd thing is that the rule of the restaurant is that you have to go to the bar to order your drink, and pay for it, but then you have waiters to take your food order.

Upon arriving, I ran into some familiar faces from our beautiful city, including that marvellous fashionista Barbara Robertson and designer Morne van der Schyff, aka Chichi, who were catching up over dinner.

Chichi rocked an all-white ensemble and I was quite jealous of it, as I would not be able to keep mine nearly as white as that even if I used Ariel. Morne was celebrating his birthday the next day, so happy January birthday, Chichi!

The cashmere mafia was certainly out in full force this particular evening with a group of friends that could make the United Nations envious of its diversity.

When beautiful people from all over the world gather, I can be exotic too, depending on which side you look at me from.

Former Boardwalk head honcho Clifford Ngakane was in town and, damn, that man's style keeps getting more impressive by the minute.

He sported a lavender shirt with blue boot-cut jeans, of course accompanied by the lovely Liz Prins who wore white shorts and a brown top paired with killer heels.

In her wanderings yours truly also met the soon to be married "it" couple Casey van der Touw and Shaun Luyt; apparently Francesca Bekker will be standing up for Shaun as his "best lady".

What is it with white outfits all of a sudden? Francesca, too, rocked an all-white ensemble which had a bit of enticing silver bling detail. This she paired with Christian Louboutin-styled shoes with Swarovski crystal bits.

Needless to say I was in shoe envy hell. Girl, call me when you have a yard sale please, and don't worry, I'll make 'em fit.

From having had a fabulous evening with no problems or hassles, I woke up to learn some unpleasant and disturbing news.

Apparently the stylish Theo Klaas, who regularly features in this column, had been threatened by some oke while on a night out and, can you stomach it, called the "K" word.

I shudder to think that, after 20 years of democracy and rainbow-nation building, this sort of thing still rears its ugly head.

Will we ever get to that beautiful dream that Tata Madiba cherished and worked so hard to build?

That unfortunate incident made me wonder if it could have been a case of steroids mixed with cheap drinks on the part of the alleged perpetrator. Still, there is no excuse and as we all venture out this weekend, may none of us have the misfortune of meeting such idiots.