Designers strike gold at Fashion Week

Celebrities came out to play at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg as crowd pullers Gavin Rajah, David Tlale and Thula Sindi staged their respective shows.

Last night, Gavin Rajah received a standing ovation for his collection, which was introduced by a model posing on a Hummer. Black and white with gold accessories featured prominently.

On Friday the party started at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, where Tlale transformed the steps of the building in downtown Joburg into a gallery to display his latest autumn/winter creations.

This year Tlale celebrates a decade in fashion, so he ditched the traditional ramp and opted for a more intimate installation where journalists, buyers, fashion followers and fans could get up close to the garments on show.

Some even went as far as posing next to the models for photos.

Tlale said: “Everybody does a runway show, why don’t you do something different? How beautiful is this Gauteng Provincial Legislature? I thought this collection deserved an installation and this was a perfect address to do it.”

Tlale said his collection, dominated by golds and metallics, told the story of Joburg, the City of Gold in which he was born and bred.

“My brand is made in the City of Gold, we’re paying tribute to this great city. Everybody that paid attention could see the fine thread connecting the city and the collection that we put together from very luxurious fabrics, golds, make-up and everything falling into place – and it translated very well.

“The inspiration behind this collection is pure decadence.

We celebrate our first decade as a brand of style and luxury, so fusing a decade and style becomes decadence,” said Tlale.

On offer were structured avant-garde trench coats for men with detail and a perfect cut.

The signature David Tlale look of “drama” was present throughout. In the engineering of the dresses and coats, attention to detail and finishes were exceptional.

He brought out his now-famous gold throne on which the show-stopper began.

Speaking after the installation, which attracted more than 300 people, the second in the open air (the first was on Nelson Mandela Bridge), Tlale said he was never threatened by the weather because he put his trust in God.

“I believe in prayer and when you pray to God, He listens. We had many people wondering, ‘What if it rains and they wanted to bring umbrellas, but I think if this idea hadn’t come from God it wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

He reflected on his 10 years in the business since winning the Elle new talent search at SA Fashion Week.

“I feel humbled to see the number of people who turned out. I’ve seen old friends who have been here since day one. And since we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary, it’s great to see old customers coming back.”

In attendance were socialite Somizi Mhlongo, former model Primrose Moloantoa, TV presenter Lerato Kganyago and musician Simphiwe Dana.

Back at the massive tent on Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, where most of the shows took place, the front row at the Thula Sindi show was littered with stars.

Metro FM DJ Azania Mosaka was quite tearful about the collection dominated by golds and blacks with a dash of floral. She commented: “He is timeless and gets better every season. I got very emotional as I saw his collection and I was blown away.”

According to Sindi, he loved making “realistic clothing for all women”.

He said: “It’s more exciting to make clothes that people can wear ... I want to create options for people.

“I cater to real women.”

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