SA Fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee will unveil his Madiba- inspired clothing collection at SA Fashion Week. File photo: Moeletsi Mabe

Johannesburg - SA Fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee will unveil his Madiba-inspired clothing collection at SA Fashion Week on Saturday night.

He was the first designer on the ramp at the opening of SA Fashion Week on Wednesday, and will close this week with his Madiba collection.

The 25-year-old said he had shifted his focus from his trademark red-carpet showstoppers, to a clean and wearable ready-to-wear line with a touch of Madiba magic, that will sit comfortably in any woman’s wardrobe.

“Red-carpet gowns are about fantasy and special occasions, but most women would also love a bit of glamour in her everyday life, and this season I decided to cater for that,” said Coetzee.

“The new collection is aimed at retail stores, to make it possible for more South African women to wear GJC.”

He dedicated this people-friendly collection to Mandela.

“When Madiba passed away there was such a sense of a nation coming together to celebrate him, I decided that I wanted to pay tribute to our wonderful leader in my own way,” Coetzee said.

“Madiba personified royalty, and he was probably the biggest global newsmaker we will ever have – pages and pages and pages have been covered with news of his life, his death and his legacy.”

Newsprint and black and white make up the colour palette of the Spring/ Summer collection, to create striking contrasts.

Silhouettes are regal, with full skirts that sweep the floor and are cropped to just below the knee for a more modern feel; high necklines to elongate the figure, and, for the catwalk, Elizabethan collars and sparkling Swarovski elements.

“I wanted to combine styles from eras that are iconic to me in terms of costume… the Elizabethan era and the ’50s,” explains Coetzee.

“But then to make it relevant for summer 2014, I have added an edgy hi-fashion twist on that, with longer skirts, maxidresses that flatter all figure shapes and dramatic one-shoulder styles.”

The show ends on Tuesday.

Saturday Star