In what is believed to be a world first, cork fabric made its debut at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Johannesburg at the weekend, in Durban fashion icon Karen Monk-Klijnstra’s range.
Monk-Klijnstra’s Zulu Freda range was a riot of colour that combined Zulu culture, mixed with the Indian, Afrikaans and English influences in our province – with cork cleverly spread throughout the range.
Embellishments and accessories were proudly Durban too, with graffiti artwork handpainted by artist Steve Mandy, headpieces made by Fay Abdullah of Hoi Poloi and jewellery by Yolanda Louw. The show was sponsored by KwaZulu-Natal Fashion Council and Trade and Investment KZN's Market Access programme.
Cork has been used for several years in decor applications, including floor and wall tiles, upholstery, shoes and sound-proofing.
And when cork fabric took to the runway, in an aesthetic rather than a functional application, it was a sensation.