Top South African designer Gavin Rajah will not participate in this year’s SA Fashion Week. Rajah is a surprise exclusion because he had been one of the designers synonymous with the event since its launch. Rajah would not say much about this except to say he won’t be there. SA Fashion is set to start on Wednesday and run for five days.
The event will include 41 of South Africa’s best designers, including Gert-Johan Coetzee, Black Coffee and Anneen Henze. Earlier this year, Rajah found himself at the centre of a Twitter storm after one of his designs bore a striking resemblance to a dress designed by Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad. On Twitter, Rajah was criticised for plagiarism. Some said they were disappointed and others asked if Rajah thought people were too stupid to notice.
Rajah said he was disappointed by the experience, so much so that he would “never do Fashion Week again”, but rather host his own shows. Rajah produced sketches of the entire design process, a document detailing the inspiration behind the design and references of fans and the Japanese rising-sun detail for the dress, named “rising sun fan dress”. He said he had not seen Murad’s dress.
“If I had seen that dress, I would never have put it (mine) into the collection, because someone would see the association,” Rajah said earlier this year.
Source: Independence Online