Saifta showcase for Durban designer

2013-09-05 00:00

INDIA is a treasure chest that should be explored by local designers.

This is the view of Durban-based designer Haroun Hansrot, who is one of only two South African designers — the other is David Tlale — showcasing outfits at the inaugural South Africa India Film and Television Awards (Saifta) at the ICC tomorrow.

Hansrot, who created a stunning showcase for the launch of the Saiftas in March, has made 16 outfits for Friday’s glamorous event.

Hansrot believes that he and Tlale cracked the nod for the Saiftas because they both travel to India for inspiration.

“Over there you can get fabric dyed any colour and they have incredible artisans who can create any embroidery design that you want,” the designer said. “I spend my time there picking up trends in embroidery, fabrics, colours and textures, and then I come home and work with local beaders to create my own fabrics.”

These beautiful fabrics are then used in Hansrot’s creations, which have been inspired by an art book titled Krishna Art.

The classical Indian paintings in the book helped shape the silhouette of his gowns, and the almost sari-like draping of the gold, red and black tulle and silk.

Adding another dimension to the outfits, many of which have a nude base, is the exquisite and complex embroidery used in the flowy, feminine gowns.

Hansrot has also created outfits for men, which blend Western influences with those of “ancient India”.

And, while he is excited to have the chance to showcase his work on the global platform provided by the Saiftas, he’s just as keen to stress how much it has done for the local fashion and arts communities. “The Saiftas have brought an international platform to Durban,” he said.

“A lot of the models who are doing the show are hoping to get noticed by the film and television producers and directors who will be there from India and South Africa. And a lot of the dancers are hoping to bag a Bollywood role from being involved in the show.”

Hansrot also revealed that 42 young KwaZulu-Natal designers were getting the chance to work on the project, helping the Indian and SA designers with everything from fittings to making sure the fashion showcase goes off without a hitch.

And a group of up-and-coming designers has been encouraged by the KwaZulu-Natal Fashion Council to submit designs, which are being offered for sale to people involved in the Saiftas.

“A lot of these gowns will be worn on stage and the red carpet, which gives these young deisgners the chance to get known,” Hansrot said.

What’s more, many of the local celebrities and guests have opted to get their red carpet gowns from Durban designers.

“They know they are going to be asked who they are wearing and they want to be able to say the name of a local designer … and why not, many of the country’s best designers, people like Gavin Rajah, have come from the city,” Hansrot said.

• Tickets for the Saiftas can be bought at Computicket.

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