Cape Town – Some of South Africa’s best-established and emerging fashion brands opened Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town on Thursday night, including Marianne Fassler, Spilt Milk, Stefania Morland and Gavin Rajah.
Morland described her new “Japanese Harajuku street-culture inspired” collection as “vibey, happy and colourful”. Her show focused on “matching but mismatching”, culminating in a showstopper bead-encrusted gown on a “spectacular bride”. The finalé came with a “jolly mob of girls” running down the runway.
“After months of preparation, it’s so exciting to see it come together,” Morland said, adding that there was handwork and special attention in every piece.
“Sometimes you think it will never come together, but then it does and it works like magic.”
Jan Staël von Holstein, known as an “international authority on design management and brand creation and development”, flew to Cape Town to speak at a gala dinner on Wednesday ahead of the main event.
In an interview with the Cape Times he said in order to create a lasting, successful brand, their product must not only be very good, but must deliver on quality, be up to date and evolving, and have a solid presence in the market.
“It takes a long time to create a brand and to make it lasting requires a number of different ingredients,” he said. Ahead of his visit he took some time to research South African designers and was impressed by what he saw.
There’s wonderful young talent here,” he said. They are in full swing to make Cape Town a fashion destination and fashion capital just like famous cities like Milan, London, New York and Paris.”
He said his advice to new designers would be to travel if possible to immerse themselves in other cultures. If not, he advises utilising the “staggering access” to information and images online.
And he said it’s very important to look at your own environment and where you come from as inspiration for designs.
“There’s a lot available here for inspiration.”
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town, organised by African Fashion International continues on Friday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre with designers showing their spring/summer 2014 collections, including Michelle Ludek, Tart, Kobus Dippenaar, Ruald Rheeder, Non-European, Danielle Margaux, Selfi, Leigh Schubert, Craig Port and Fabiani.