Meet the designers who will be dressing the Miss SA top 10

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Miss South Africa 2021 top 10 finalists.
Miss South Africa 2021 top 10 finalists.
Photo: Supplied by Miss South Africa Organisation
  • Miss South Africa 2021 will be crowned on 16 October at the Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town.
  • The event will be screened live from 17:00 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161) and will also be streamed online for an international audience.
  • The 10 finalists will be dressed in custom-made garments by the country's best fashion designers.

Some of this country's best fashion designers will be dressing the top 10 finalists at this year's Miss South Africa grand finale in a not-to-be-missed celebration of South African talent.

Miss South Africa 2021 will be crowned on Saturday, 16 October, at the Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town. The event will be screened live from 17:00 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161) and will also be streamed online for an international audience on MissSA.live with extra highlights and exclusive content.

GET TO KNOW THE TOP 10 BETTER HERE:

For the second year, the dazzling apparel in the swimwear sequence has been created by Cape Town's TracyB Swimwear.

Says company owner Tracy Efstathiou: "This year we are using very natural, earthy colours  - soft and feminine with long, floating kaftans. I'm very excited for this range - it's completely different to my normal barely-there bikinis, but it's still very sexy and classy. This year I was sponsored by Brazilian fabric company Texneo, and we collaborated to create a colour palette that is so beautiful. The soft, luxurious fabrics really inspired me to create this range. As with every year, this year's Top 10 finalists are gorgeous, strong, confident, capable women. I can't wait to see them rocking my new swimwear designs."

ALSO READ | A look inside the Miss South Africa 2021 R4 million prize package!

Five designers will each dress two Miss South Africa finalists in glamorous finale evening gowns with the brief to capture some of the top 10's childhood memories. They are Georges Malelu (dressing Kgothatso Dithebe and Tiffany Francis); Iman Itumeleng Mtshali owner of Iman Shaik (Cheneil Hart and Moratwe Masima); Jolandie Fouche of Jolache Couture (Bianca Bezuidenhout and Lalela Mswane); Lena-Lisa Retief of Lena-Lisa (Catherine Groenewald and Jeanni Mulder) and Sello Medupe of Scalo (Kaylan Matthews and Zimi Mabunzi).

Georges Malelu is a Lesotho-born South African designer based in Johannesburg. He is currently on a rebranding phase after a successful five-year partnership with Quiteria and George.

"My brand is all about simplicity and clean lines, whereas in pageants, I make sure that the girls stand out with more bling, high slits and exaggerated designs. I admire the attitude of not giving up, and that's what Kgothi brought with her comeback. Tiffany is charming and relatable, and having had some conversations in between the fittings; I was blown away by her intelligence and calmness."

"I wanted to create gowns that give the audience and viewers hope and change. The materials and the designs I used were outsourced in 2020 before the first lockdown, and I've kept them for this long for a special project and voila, it's Miss South Africa!"
Georges Malelu
  

Iman Mtshali, a fashion designer originally from Durban, started the luxury fashion brand Iman Shaik in 2017.

"Cheneil and Moratwe both have a wonderful sense of humour and radiate confidence and kindness. They share their requests regarding fit and what they feel has traditionally been flattering on them, which must always be considered when designing a pageant gown, as the contestant needs to feel her very best on stage. The dresses will be sparkly, shimmery and as elegant as the ladies wearing them."

 

Jolandie Fouche, the founder and head designer at Jolache Couture, is a passionate designer with a fine attention to detail and creative imagination.

She says: "Because pageants are so competitive, you have to make sure that your dress makes a lasting impression on the judges for all the right reasons, while at the same time complimenting the contestant and accentuating her beauty and personality. I feel very lucky to have been allocated Bianca and Lalela to dress. They are both so authentic in who they are, and the first time we met, we connected immediately. They are easy-going, smart and truly beautiful inside and out. With these specific dresses, we used childhood pictures of the contestants as inspiration. We wanted to make it personal, beautiful and unique."

Lena-Lisa Retief explains the process of designing for a pageant: "The process is slightly different to making custom dresses, the aim is to engage with the audience and is like theatre. Jeanni is strong-willed and soft-hearted, while Catherine is driven and confident. Their engagement with the design process has been extremely valuable; we want them to feel as comfortable as possible, and the design becomes an expression of their personality. Finding inspiration is always fascinating; this year we looked at memory and emotion as a starting point. We aimed to capture their childhood memories which were pure and powerful. This translated into the selection of the colour palette."

Soweto-born Sello Medupe, the brainchild behind the Scalo fashion brand, says: "This year's top 10 are more determined and hungrier to win. They see great opportunities that arise from winning or ending up in the top three. Kaylan and Zimi both have bubbly personalities and great confidence. Audiences can expect sophistication and modern African couture."

Outfits for the opening sequence are by the incomparable Sherif the Tailor. Expect the stage to be lit up in bright colours and a distinctly African design.

"Our aim this year was to celebrate local design talent in the best way possible. The Miss South Africa stage has always been an incredible platform for South African talent to be seen on a global stage, and we look forward to introducing new brands and bring them the recognition they so deserve!"
Miss South Africa creative director, Werner Wessels

Limited general access tickets for the Miss South Africa 2021 finale show are now on sale on https://misssa.live/. Those buying tickets must have a valid negative Covid PCR test to present upon entry to the arena or be fully vaccinated and present a vaccination proof card. Testing can be done with Miss South Africa's trusted Covid testing partner Testaro Mobile Nurses. Use Code: "Miss SA" to get a discount on your test.


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