David Tlale saves the show

Cape Town - In almost every fashion week that designer David Tlale showcases he usually stages off-site shows, away from the designated venue. 

This makes his shows stand out as with each show he brings in the theatrics and one is guaranteed a good show. Some usually moan about the inconvenience of having to make a special trip to a special venue just for him, however, at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) on Friday Tlale saved the show. 

The drama began on Thursday evening when the three-day event held at The Meadway sports field in Camps Bay was forced to come to an abrupt halt after extremely windy conditions. Event organisers African Fashion International's safety officers made the executive decision to stop the second last show of the night halfway through and cancel the last show of the first night just after the Shana Morland showcase.

“With a secure tent structure able to withstand winds up to 100km per hour, confirmed by AFI’s appointed structural engineer, the wind gaining momentum at 58 km per hour went against our priority of protecting people. Presented with a severe safety risk and prioritising the safety of all involved, an announcement was made for guests, models, designers and crew to vacate the premises on The Meadway, “ AFI said in a statement on Friday morning.

The remaining shows were then scheduled to take place on Friday evening and Saturday, however, that was not to be the case as the wind persisted.

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The David Tlale showcase titled “Let’s Play Dress Up”. Picture by Jason BoudThe David Tlale showcase titled “Let’s Play Dress Up”. Picture by Jason BoudThe David Tlale showcase titled “Let’s Play Dress Up”. Picture by Jason BoudThe David Tlale showcase titled “Let’s Play Dress Up”. Picture by Jason BoudThe David Tlale showcase titled “Let’s Play Dress Up”. Picture by Jason Boud

On Friday afternoon when I arrived just after 5pm, the marquee was vibrating from the wind and soon after that an announcement was made to evacuate the venue. After taking a year’s hiatus, the event organisers were keen on staging the three-day event during summer rather than the winter months as they have done previously.

Tlale, in partnership with Courvoisier® Cognac, presented his show titled “Let’s Play Dress Up” at the Cape Town Club which was attended by the fashion elite. Renowned for his showmanship, the night defied all the conventional moulds with Tlale swapping a runway for an installation of models draped on windowpanes, plinths, and tables. 

The scene, which resembled Paris’ fearless and decadent Golden Age and a mood alluded that to the joie de vivre associated with Courvoisier®, culminated in a grand finale when 45 models lead guests to the club’s private basement for an after party of celebrations. Male models walked in sexy jockey underwear and ready-to-wear runway looks, while the women wore sexy lingerie and Tlale’s signature separates which included shirts, skirts and fitted dresses.

Leading the celebrations was former Miss SA, Tatum Keshwar, who was chosen as the face of this season’s campaign – shot by fashion photographer Sean Laurénz earlier yesterday afternoon – and the star that closed Tlale’s show. Other personalities in attendance included internationally renowned stylist, Jenke Ahmed Tailly, businesswoman Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, award-winning rap artist Anatii, SA’s talk show queen Felicia Mabuza-Suttle and the much admired style icon K Naomi, to name a few.

The collection will travel to Paris where it will be introduced to Europe later this year.

The rest of the remaining shows scheduled to take place this afternoon were cancelled and MBFWCT was postponed to a later date.

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