A lot to lilac

2013-04-08 00:00

EXQUISITE beadwork, flowing lines and feather detail characterise the collection put together by Durban designer Haroun Hansrot for South African Fashion Week, which takes place at the Crowne Plaza in Rosebank, Johannesburg, from April 11 to April 15.

Hansrot, who has made a name for himself with intricately beaded and detailed fabrics that capture the essence of ethereal and classic design, unveiled part of his collection, titled 50 Shades of Lilac, at the glitzy launch for the South Africa India Film and Television Awards (Saiftas) at the ICC in Durban last month.

He and fellow South African designer, David Tlale, both created fashion installations using live models, which attracted the attention of the hundreds of guests at the Saiftas launch.

Hansrot, who operates from a base at 75 Matthews Meyiwe (Stamford Hill) Road in Durban, said his romantic collection was inspired by a visit to Sicily last year, and in particular the village of Taormina, as well as the film Cinema Paradiso.

In the film, the hero, Salvatore, captures a young girl on film and immediately falls in love with her.

“I love the whole idea of love at first sight ...  and I love that in the film he falls in love just seeing her. My collection is a reflection of that sweet innocence of love at first sight. The lilac rose is also synonymous with first love, so that’s where the colour choice comes from,” Hansrot said.

The fabric used in his collection includes silk satins and chiffons, gold underlinings and intricate beading which Hansrot commissioned especially for 50 Shades of Lilac. The colours range from pale lilac to dark purple showing the changes which love undergoes from pure innocence to intense, sometimes obsessive, feeling.

He has also made use of marabou feathers and Swarovski crystals – the latter in specially commissioned jewellery — which add another dimension to his spring/summer collection.

Considered on of SA’s rising stars, Hansrot was awarded a scholarship by the Italian Embassy, and spent four years studying at the Academia Arte Moda and Design in Florence. He went on to showcase in Italy, Berlin, India and Mauritius and his designs have been worn by Miss World contestants, as well as Bollywood and Broadway stars.

His collection will be featured alongside that of Kujula Mtambo, Nishai Sookdhew and Jacqueline Munsami on the catwalk during the KwaZulu-Natal Fashion Council (KZNFC) ramp show on Friday, April 12 at 7 pm.

Vijay Shah, a jewellery designer from Durban, will be paired with the designers to produce customised jewellery to accessorise their ranges.

For Pietermaritzburg-based Sookdhew, next week’s show is her second visit to SA Fashion Week, but her first chance to show her designs on the catwalk.

She told Weekend Witness that her collection was inspired by the luxury sports and 50s romance trends, both of which are destined to be huge this summer.

“I used those two different silhouettes to create my collection, Bright Sight and Night Light, which uses big, bold colours. There are 50s-style fit-and-flare dresses, which aim to make young women look super sexy on a night out, a date, or at a wedding; palazzo pants that are super flared; and maxi dresses with pockets. I’ve also used a lot of black pleather cut-out details on my dresses,” she explained.

Sookdhew, a fashion graduate from the Durban University of Technology, described the chance to exhibit at SA Fashion Week as “amazing”, adding that it is every designer’s dream to be able to show his or her collections at the country’s biggest fashion showcase.

Also headed to Johannesburg for SA Fashion Week — thanks to the backing of the KwaZulu-Natal Fashion Council (KZNFC) and eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support, Tourism & Markets Unit (BSU) — are Nicole Hoyer, Sandile Mlambo and Nkosivumile Mhlungo, who will be showcasing ranges in the buyers lounge on April 14 and April 15.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mhlungo, who lives in Imbali and was a student at Priscilla Bhika’s School of Fashion in Pietermaritzburg, is thrilled to have the chance to show his work in Johannesburg.

He said: “It’s the first time I’m going to Fashion Week. I’m really excited because it was very hard to get through. I want to thank the fashion council and eThekwini Municipality and my mentor, Mrs Bhika, for all their help.”

Asked to describe his ready-to-wear collection, Crazy Urban, he said he had concentrated on menswear for SA Fashion Week. “I’ve made suits ... stylish suits and have used lots of block colours, bright colours. These are outfits you can wear anywhere,” Mhlungo added.

The eight KZNFC designers will be joining four other Durban-based designers at the Johannesburg fashion showcase. They are:

• Amanda Laird Cherry, who will present a collection titled Groendakkies. Explaining her designs, Laird Cherry, said somewhat cryptically: “Our minds are an intricate and wonderful thing and not to be taken for granted.”

• Colleen Eitzen, whose collection draws inspiration from Out of Africa, and showcases luxury resort wear in whites and sun-bleached neutrals.

• Bianca Warren, whose collection is inspired by the designer’s recent travels to India. Featuring embellished, local fabric in on-trend colours, the range pays tribute to the Asian country. Navy is Warren’s new black and will feature in the collection alongside classic neutrals.

• Terrence Bray, whose collection is inspired by South Africa’s summer fruits. The silhouettes are soft and round with an emphasis on texture, featuring crisp and sheer fabrics in chartreuse and berry tones with grey blues. The Collection features original prints developed with artist, Jeannie Kinsler.

• arts@witness.co.za

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