PICS: Young protégé has the right fit

Cape Town - Ntando Ngwenya walked away with the coveted position as South African icon David Tlale’s assistant designer for one year.

The honour was announced at the much-anticipated Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2017 which resumed on Friday after it was postponed last month due to bad weather.

Ngwenya was one of the interns on Tlale's mentorship programme which helps train young, up-and-coming designers.

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The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2017 resumed yesterday at Salt River Studios in Cape Town. Designers who missed out on an opportunity to unveil their latest collections after the postponement on March 24 got their chance to do so. A total of 43 designers are expected to showcase their creations. Pictures: Jason BoudDavid Tlale hands an award to the winning intern at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2017.

The programme started 18 months ago with 12 aspiring designers and on the opening day of fashion week yesterday, five young designers showcased their pieces, which serve as their internship exit collections.

In addition, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town featured three new interns who joined the programme in January and last month.

The eight interns showcased five looks, and at the end of the show Ngwenya was announced as Tlale’s protégé.

“The experience to work with David was exciting and nerve-racking. Working with him has been thrilling. You need to know what you are doing when you work with David, he doesn’t take anything for granted.”

Ngwenya has no formal background in design, but said he started sewing at a young age.

“For me it was a calling. I never gave up on fashion, that is what I love.”

Speaking about his collection, Ngwenya, who hails from Pretoria, said it was interpretative of his brand this year.

“I love to use denim. I just tweaked what he taught me, in terms of tailing skills, finishing and styling.”

Ngwenya says he will be taking the Tlale brand to another level this year.

“What I'm going to bring into the brand is simplicity, clean, neat cuts. In terms of pattern engineering, I'm going to take it to another level. I'm going to make it fresh, but I’m not going to make major changes. I'm just going to lift it up to show there’s a presence of someone besides David in the house.”

This year The Interns by David Tlale will be taking the concept of the programme to television as a reality show which will air on SABC on July 3 and 4.

The roadshow for the series kicks off nationwide on May 8, where Tlale will be scouting for four young designers to join the programme and make something out of themselves in the fashion industry.

Following The Interns by David Tlale was Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue’s collection inspired by a "Rose Garden".

He transported the audience to a royal garden wedding, complete with luxurious floral appliqués contrasted by beaded detailing. The collection offered classic styles for brides as well as the bridal party. The show-stopper champagne bridal creation complete with flower crown and bold bouquet closed the show.

Following the postponement last month, designers who missed out on an opportunity to unveil their latest collections got their chance to return to the runway.

The designer's show slot costs were waived, and flights and accommodation were covered by African Fashion International.

More than 36 designers showcased their creations yesterday and today.

The event was packed with high-octane shows by local and pan-African designers, such as Carducci, Stefania Morland, Craig Port, Laduma Ngxokolo, Taibo Bacar and Ituen Basi – along with a slew of exciting first-time brands.

Weekend Argus

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