Social – Luminance opening: The luxury of leather 'n lace

2013-07-28 14:00

It was a night of glamour when Luminance, the luxury boutique department store, flung open its doors in Hyde Park this week. Lesley Mofokeng was part of the festivities

This week’s hot ticket was the star-studded opening of the Luminance luxury store in Hyde Park, Joburg.

The 700m2 boutique department store designed by John Jacob Interiors sells creations by Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Manolo Blahnik, Giorgio Armani, Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen and Marchesa – labels straight from the Oscars red carpet.

There are also kiddies labels such as Baby Dior, Stella McCartney Kids and Chloe Kids. Local labels Marianne Fassler, David Tlale, Stoned Cherrie and Stefania Morland are on the rails next to the private Luminance label. Home collections by Donna Karan and Diptyque are also on offer.

The one-stop shop for luxury brands caters for women only, but a full menswear range is planned for next year. The biggest poser for the glitterati, now, is the availability in our back yard of labels once only found on New York’s 5th Avenue, the Champs-Élysées in Paris or Milan.

Part of the fun of travelling was to pick up exclusive luxury brands and now they can be bought up the road on Jan Smuts. But that rather vain concern didn’t dampen spirits.

Luminance is truly a place of opulence. In the words of MC Bonang Matheba: “You are going to die when you step in.” From the luxuriously soft carpets to the plush sofas, fireplace and coffee shop, this is for the well-heeled.

Although Joburg’s socialites tried to look elegant, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a funeral. Most guests wore mournful black as their interpretation of the “dazzlingly elegant” dress code.

There were some welcome pops of colour – kudos to Matheba in a pink and turquoise two-tone Oscar de la Renta lace dress and Boity Thulo in a shimmering dress from Robot.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa cheered on his wife Philisiwe from the National Empowerment Fund, who gave a speech. Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile was there and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane oohed and aahed over a pair of Manolo shoes.

Khanyi Dhlomo looked demure in a black silk and lace dress by Giambattista Valli and shoes by Giorgio Armani.

Fashionista Khensani Nkosi of Stoned Cherrie wore Stoned Cherrie, of course, partnered by her husband Zam.

Basetsana Kumalo also kept it local in a black and red lace dress by Thula Sindi. And Lira, in a pink Notte by Marchesa gown, entertained guests in an elevated cage-like stage.

It was not quite the party of the year, despite a dazzling guest list and the luxury. It started late and the speeches ran over, so by the time people entered the store it was south of 10.30pm and there were yawns all around.

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