It’s matric dance dazzle time
Pretoria - The class of 2019 is all set for the matric dance season and this is more true for CBC Mount Edmund matric pupil Ayanda Arendse, who this week said she could not wait to stun her classmates with the special dress she will wear for the event tonight.
She had hers made by one of the city’s top fashion designers, Johan Botha, who has a shop in Faerie Glen.
The pair showed the beige silk dress off this week, based on one worn by American model Bella Hadid and which the teenager liked. He was so impressed he made her the dress which she will model after her matric dance.
Botha is self-taught and has more than 30 years’ experience. He specialises in high-fashion couture wedding gowns.
Speaking to the Pretoria News team this week from the Castello di Monte in Waterkloof, Ayanda said she had stumbled on the designer on Instagram while going through pictures for inspiration.
She emailed Botha and other designers. The other designers said they couldn’t work with the material she wanted.
Botha agreed to work with her. Their first appointment was at the beginning of the year and from the onset the two clicked.
She wanted a simple look - silky, sophisticated and at the same time elegant because she does not like diamonds and screaming colours.
She said she loved how the garment fitted and the material.
“He said, ‘Sure, lets do it.’ I really thought he could work out what I wanted. On our first appointment I showed him the idea and asked him if we could work around it and he said he could. That’s where he drew up the the design and things fell into place,” she said.
Botha said what he liked about Ayanda’s fashion sense was that she was more into the young Hollywood red carpet look, which has been catching on for the past months - the plain sophisticated look.
Due to the simplicity of the dress and the design, all attention would be on her because she had kept it simple, he said. The simplicity of the dress was the element that made it stand out, along with the fact that it was made out of silk curtain stretch. This makes it easy to fit Ayanda’s body perfectly.
It was difficult to work with but it suited her body, he said.
“She showed me two dresses. You don’t get a lot of girls at the age of 18 who know what they can wear and she knew exactly what was going to work for her and what she likes. I immediately said, ‘I want to work with this young lady.’ It’s quite nice to work with people who know what they want, have done the research and go to the designer and say ‘look, this is my idea’, but still give the designer freedom to work with the idea.”
He gave tips to other matriculants who are preparing for their matric dances, saying they should not put all their ideas into one dress. “Keep it natural and simple.”
Ayanda is also into sports and has been playing hockey since the age of 5. She has Northern provincial colours for Gauteng North for six consecutive years. She has been playing for the University of Pretoria’s club hockey for the past three years, and for St Alban’s Club hockey. She is also the hockey captain for her school, is the female player of the year and also a prefect.
Ayanda’s mother Deborah said the young lady had choices to make because she was provisionally accepted at the University of Pretoria, Stellenbosch University as well as the University of Cape Town. She wants to study sports science.
She said Ayanda had been making decisions that stood her in good stead and which have materialised. “We have photos of her where the hockey stick is taller than her on a hockey pitch in Cape Town. She has been excelling academically. She is well rounded and I’m proud of her. She has been an absolute pleasure to raise.”