A perfect stitch in time

2018-03-27 12:55
Model Katryn Kruger in one of Danielle Margeux’s designs, as styled by Anneke Roux.

Model Katryn Kruger in one of Danielle Margeux’s designs, as styled by Anneke Roux. (Yolandé Marx)

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When a needle was first put in Danielle Margaux’s hands, she was only a little girl and had no idea what that needle would one day come to symbolise.

In fact, despite making clothes for herself – and eventually for her friends – during her youth, Danielle initially believed she would be using surgical needles in the medical profession.

But her dreams of being a doctor soon gave way a bigger dream: to stitch together moments “where time stands still”.

Danielle creates bespoke and custom-made garments such as wedding, evening, bridesmaids’, cocktail and matric farewell dresses, as well as a ready-to-wear range.

Danielle fell in love with the world of high-end fashion while working in London.

“I never thought that I would want to be a fashion designer growing up, simply because it was a very unusual profession to have back then and I knew no one who was in the fashion industry. I grew up in Stellenbosch, which is a university town, and a creative type of career was not really something anybody went into. The thought never crossed my mind. I actually did go to university with the intention of becoming a doctor. I travelled to London and was completely inspired even just by the fashion on street level. I cannot remember the exact day I decided, but I came back and enrolled to fashion school.”

When she returned to South Africa, Danielle studied fashion design at The Cape Peninsula University of Technology. A few years later she qualified as a fashion designer, with a National Diploma in Fashion Design.

“I was taught to sew as a little girl and the first clothes I ever made were for myself. After that I always made dresses for my friends going to school and university dances and my love for sewing and making garments just grew from there. I only learned to draw proper patterns when I was studying and that is where my analytical brain fell in love with pattern drafting and the different aspects of it. I have started giving lessons in pattern drafting to individuals, simply because I love it so much,” she says.

Danielle started her fashion career as a junior buyer. She then moved on to becoming a pattern drafter at fashion house Kluk/CGDT and later became creative design assistant and production manager. Danielle has also worked with well-known South African designers such as Paul Van Zyl, Errol Arendz and Gabi Rosenwerth. In 2009 Danielle started her own fashion label known as Danielle Margaux.

To date, Danielle has taken part in six consecutive Mercedes Benz Fashion Weeks. “That has definitely been a highlight for me. I remember as a student, that was my ultimate goal and to have done it six times has been a dream come true. With the exposure that stems from a fashion week so many opportunities come your way and I have met so many different people. I have made so many friends and that is priceless.”

Danielle has also had the opportunity to work with Miss South African contestants, as well as a number of celebrities. She recently took part in a make-over TV show called Mooimaak on Kyknet and sponsored garments to the 13 contestants. 

“I love making clothes for every person I meet and that orders a garment from us. Ultimately my role in the process is, to make someone feel as good as possible in the garment that we are making for her. To create something that would make them happy and feel beautiful,” she says.

This love infuses Danielle’s designs, which can be seen at the Perfectly Posh High Tea Party, presented by People’s Post in partnership with Spec-Savers in aid of The LifeMatters Foundation, on 19 April at the Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands.

But at the heart of her brand will always be the dream of stopping a moment in time, through a beautiful garment.

“I am inspired by simple, beautiful and clean lines. I am inspired by all things that take time and effort to create something beautiful. The future is ever changing and with technology becoming more and more dominant, fast fashion is growing. It is convenient, but I will remain doing custom fit. I am old school and it is so important to me to make sure the fit is perfect and the fabric used is of good quality. In a world where everything is moving faster and faster, I like to create a space where time stands still and we can appreciate the good things in life.”

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