Thursday, July 30, 2009

Take Two - Nine Takes, The Fashion Fusion Project

“Everything I design has handwork on it. I just love craft. My mother used to make all my clothes. I dream a lot of the past and draw inspiration from it. The crafts, handed down from mothers and grandmothers, are old ways of doing things. They are dying out, and so it’s beautiful to re-interpret them. It really is inspiring to bring the past into the present and craft in a new way. A lot of our work is draped and can only be done on dolls. It’s better for crafters to come to the studio and be part of the process from concept to ramp. It is so different to sending a collar or cuff out. Everybody has a different technique, so what may seem like a short cut may be a new way of doing things. A crafter may put colour together differently than I would. It is amazing and makes you think. Often, I look at a detail and think it is interesting, and that I would never have thought of it. And then I go with it. It can be a different stitch or knot. A lot of love, time, care and thought go into the crafters’ work, and there is always an element of surprise, too.” – designer Abigail Betz

“In 2004 I learnt to embroider. Estelle Rose set up the Bompodi Arts and Crafts Group and brought in the Labour Department to teach us. I like working on the Fashion Fusion Project and can’t find words to explain why. At the seminar they teach us more skills, which I take back to my community and pass them on to others. Abigail usually tells me exactly what she wants, but sometimes she says do it the way I want, and if I have another idea, try it. And if it’s not right or won’t attract people, she says so. That’s how I gain experience, which I like. I work in her studio, leaving my family behind. We also have embroidery machines, but most people want hand-embroidered work, which is what I prefer. Embroidery is my home, my place, my effort and everything. I really enjoy it, especially working white on white.” – crafter Violet Schonyela

Extract taken from nineTAKES – The Fashion Fusion Project, published by Channel F Publishing, R200. Available: or on 011 442 7812

Monday, July 27, 2009

International Fashion Trends - 2009/10

Source: Fashion Trend - Runway Issue N.24

Friday, July 24, 2009

Take One - Nine Takes, The Fashion Fusion Project

“I had no previous experience of working with crafters so it took some time for me to integrate myself into the programme. I liked their own work and as I had no preconceived ideas, I decided to work with their existing skills instead of re-inventing their work at an early stage. I am happy to have done this, as I believe that it created the right introduction. The crafters focus on icons, one of them being the angel, which I decided to adopt along with some of my own icons such as the strelitzia. They worked with crochet thread, which is a little heavier than embroidery thread and I decided to leave as is. The final product was spontaneous and beautiful and I encouraged them to embroider their names alongside their work. This season I plan to use more refined and different techniques whereby they work on softer fabric with softer thread and delicate beads.” – designer Colleen Eitzen

“I learnt to embroider in Cape Town from some ladies who came from overseas. They gave me lessons and a certificate afterwards. For Colleen I made the red hearts which I did straight on the big white dresses. She gave me a drawing, which I applied. I also made angels for the bags. I knew that through Sanlam South African Fashion Week many people would see my work. When I saw the first fashion show, while at a seminar, I loved the way the lights came on with the models. I had not seen that on TV.” – crafter
Ndileka Mapuma

Extract taken from nineTAKES – The Fashion Fusion Project, published by Channel F Publishing, R200. Available: or on 011 442 7812

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Save the Dates

Sanlam SA Fashion Week Winter Collections & Summer Exhibition
16-19 September 2009

Sandton Convention Centre