Fashion star – Ruth McNaughton: From PE to Chanel

2014-08-20 11:00

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Port Elizabeth designer Ruth McNaughton started her range while studying for her BTech degree. Now her creations can be seen on the runways of Paris, New York and Milan.

Today, she is being ordered by Karl Lagerfeld for collections for Chanel.

Milk: Mohair She Felt is a line of mohair and wool cocoon-shaped capes, flowing jerseys and jewellery that McNaughton describes as an “ecofashion experiment with traditional felt”.

It oozes an authentic South African use of product and design aesthetic?–?the boeremeisie meets high fashion. McNaughton uses a 100-year-old loom to weave together different natural fabrics.

The idea is to create unique, lovingly handcrafted textiles in the most ecofriendly way possible.

“The trick for South African designers is to concentrate on designs that cannot be replicated by a sweatshop in the East,” says McNaughton.

Her garments are things of beauty. The chunky textures “make the wearer feel protected and comforted, as nomadic felt has for hundreds of years”.?–?Grethe Koen

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