Tlale takes fashion drama to Bo-Kaap streets

2012-07-28 19:39

It wouldn’t be a David Tlale show if there wasn’t some dramatic antics involved.

From shows on the Nelson Mandela Bridge to midnight events with a full orchestra or seating models on death-defying swings, Tlale is known as the king of drama when it comes to staging fashion shows.

This time around, the Joburg-based designer presented a ready-to-wear collection titled “I am NOT Colored, I am Color” smack in the middle of the Bo-Kaap as part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town.

Despite it being Ramadan for the largely Muslim neighbourhood, Tlale drew a crowd of about 500, including community members watching from their stoeps.

While there were some long faces among homeowners, others were thrilled that the designer had brought some excitement to their streets, which were closed off for the show.

Resident Wiedaad Ockards said she was surprised to see the fashionable crowd descending on their colourful neighbourhood.

“Most people come to the Bo-Kaap to take pictures and then leave. I’m glad this kind of event happened here even if it’s Ramadan. And there was no alcohol involved,” said Ockards.

Another resident, Faeza Isaacs, said she was surprised by the fashion show on her doorstep. “I liked the clothes; they were dignified and covered up.”

Earlier, the designer had organised for a minstrel band to perform at the show, but later sent out a statement that “due to the Muslim Community’s observing of Ramadan, we unfortunately cannot be seen to be celebrating.”

An insider said there had been resistance from residents who thought the show would turn into “some kind of festival with alcohol and loud music. But David proved that he can respect the culture here”.

Explaining his theme, Tlale said it was inspired by “the colourful world we live in” and used the city as a medium for the fashion.

“The show aimed to reflect the beauty of the landscape through colour, texture, diversity and variety,” he added.

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