Friday, August 28, 2009


Photographs: Simon Deiner

Strange it would seem that in the 1980’s developing countries across the world faced economic and social difficulties as they suffered from multiple debt crises, requiring many of these countries to apply for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Ethiopia witnessed widespread famine in the mid-1980s, resulting in the country having to depend on foreign aid to provide food to its population with the worldwide efforts of the famous Live Aid concert in 1985 to address and raise money to help Ethiopians, …………Rock Hudson died of AIDS and thus started an epidemic the world cowers in fear of even till today…………Madonna rocked the underground clubs and gave a new expression to the social scene ………South Africa was fighting human rights abuses……..……history is repeating itself in similar ways in many parts of the world in 2009. This season my inspiration is taken from the 80’s. Think underground sub-cultures, fetishes, synthpop, bold graphics, music videos the birth of ‘straight edge’, arcade games, MTV, new romanticism and nights in clubs………..the quest to find beauty in places often filled with darkness and negativity. The collection is an interesting mix of new takes on references to this era. “The good thing about fashion repeating itself is that you can simply leave out the naff stuff and focus on breathing a fresh life into the cool stuff!”

This season we have custom designed prints, embroideries and even some textiles for the collection – all of which will soon be able to be purchased by consumers to create their own garments! This season also sees a collaboration with uber cool denim brand Levi's®.

Silk taffeta, cotton tulle, wool and cashmere tweeds, denim, silk duchesse, silk stretch twills, satin finished wools and wool blend knits are integral to this collection. Gilded corded laces, Spanish cotton lace, hand fringed textiles and delicate paillette embroideries make this collection one which is labour intensive and focused on surface details.

This season also heralds a collaboration with the Levi's® brand and one of which we are exceptionally proud of. The collection will feature our take on a Levi's® inspired denim collection for men and women together with their signature silhouettes.

I am thankful to my dear friend Bastien Gonzalez, a more kind and talented soul the world is yet to discover. His creative genius and inspiration has made it possible to collaborate across continents. Finally Reverence de Bastien has arrived on South African shores and I am proud to be previewing his new product range on the models for this collection.

The 80’s was a period I grew up as a kid and looking back now, it was a time that I was exposed to many places, books, ideas, forms of music, art and theatre. All of this I have my parents to thank for. This year also marks a loss for me which will never be replaced….the death of my Dad to whom I am eternally grateful to for exposing me to the fashion industry and supporting my quest to be part of it. This collection is dedicated in memory of him and his influence on my life and work…………..and to my mum who has taught me to endure adversity with courage and strength………..