CT designers get London showcase

By Wendyl Martin Time of article published Jul 28, 2015

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Cape Town - It's showcase time for 20 fortunate designers across the country – three of them from Cape Town – as they prepare to show off their best work at London’s Olympia.

Africa Fashion Week London is masterminded by Ronke Ademiluyi and shows off the best from this continent.

It has run since 2011, and this year 20 South African brands will show, thanks to Department of Trade and Industry sponsorship.

The Cape Town designers are resort wear brand BeachCult, leather handbag range Lemmi & Sipho, and bridal accessory company LilyBlue.

This trip and showing was arranged by the KZN Fashion Council in Durban, which curated the group of exhibitors and arranged for the sponsorship.

Nomondo Masoka, KZN Fashion Council acting managing director, said most designers would show two garments each, matched with accessories, bags and shoes from the various brands in the group.

“The designers reflect different ages and races, emerging businesses and ones that have been operating for a few years. These are items of an international standard,” she said, adding that their sponsorship covered flights, accommodation and ground travel.

 Joanna Hedley, the brains behind BeachCult, said she created her brand in 2011 in response to the lack of beautiful apparel in South Africa.

“I went travelling to India and bought back beautiful silks to make kaftans; I ordered bikinis from Brazil (before I started making them here), and I started BeachCult,” she said.

She has since moved into using her name as a brand, which she describes as “Bohemian lovechild” and a “free-spirited luxury brand”.

She is proudest of the fact that all her items are handmade in Cape Town.

“My prints are designed here for me by different local artists and illustrators specialising in different features of our beautiful country, and I feel my brand is a perfect representation of the amazing beach culture that Cape Town is all about.”

Her items on show will be from her collection for the upcoming summer, which includes swimwear, shorts, kaftans and kimonos featuring prints of Camps Bay palm fronds, West Coast crayfish and proteas.

Joining her from Cape Town will be Anina le Roux and her bridal accessory label LilyBlue, which creates earrings, hairpieces, bracelets, wedding shoes, garters, bouquets, handbags and dress sashes.

Le Roux opened the company in 2005. She now employs six people and has styled more than 1 000 brides.

 “This trip is the culmination of many years of bridal styling, styled photoshoots, fashion shows with other designers, and being true to our brand. It is our dream come true,” she said

They will showcase their hairpieces, handmade shoes and other accessories on models dressed all in black to make the accessories pop.

 Salt River-based Lemmi & Sipho will show the world their take on bags, when they arrive in London to complete the local trio.

Meghan Zwick said the company was born out of a passion for design and authenticity.

“We knew that this unique style would appeal to the discerning woman,” she said. They will launch their “Avand-Garde Collection” in London.

 “We are an enthusiastic team of female entrepreneurs with complementing backgrounds and experiences, and we feel that we are ready now for a bigger challenge.”

Wendly Martin, Weekend Argus

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