Canderel/ELLE New Talent Competition
The idea behind the ELLE New Talent Competition is to design clothes that are really wearable and not just for a catwalk show. Although one of the requirements was simplicity, many of the talented new designers went over the top to the point where one model had granny's pin cushion on her head. Tony Mestre ultimately came out tops, he stuck to simple elegance in black, white grey and brown. Highlights of his collection were wide ribbons around the waist instead of the corset belt and layered ballerina-style skirts. When asked how he felt, Mestre simply laughed his bubbly laugh and said: "Happy!"
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"I look to the past for my inspiration," says Abigail Betz, and it was clear from her show that she was specifically reminiscing about being 13 all over again. Tank tops, Alice bands, pinafores and girly dresses with lace and chiffon overlays and lots of satin ribbons brought back memories of innocence, before sex, drugs and rock 'n roll corrupt little girls. Sure, pink silk shorts and see-through tops added a bit of sex appeal, but the overall idea was being a girl but not yet being a woman. Handbags and shoes matched the outfits perfectly, down to the fabric patterns. Betz' whole collection was made up of creamy hues and dirty pink, with some gold ribbons featuring here and there. In a word: pretty.
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Schoeman was pure class. Designs suited for a lady. Conservative but elegant and evocative dresses had lace overlays and thin beaded ribbons tied around the waist. Impeccable design and grooming but with unfinished seams hanging out underneath to contrast the perfection. Schoeman worked mainly in black, apart from the last few dresses that were white with black lace overlays, and a gown with a wide white skirt and a black and white lace jacket, topped off with a couple of feathers in the model's hair. Schoeman came out dancing to jazz. This was my personal favourite show of the day.
David's show opened with an image of a sphinx projected on huge screens, followed by the words "Under the beautiful African sky Haute Couture is taking over the motherland catwalk." All gold designs made up of shiny lace, beads and loads of bling set the scene. Harlequin-inspired tops as well as Chinese and Egyptian prints reinforced the fact that Tlale was looking to the ancient world for his inspiration. The design of an interesting brown corset hinted at the shape of a lotus flower, while a dress without sleeves really stunned the audience ? the shiny olive green gown wrapped the model's arms inside the dress, as would be the case with a mummy. And finally, Tlale had grassy green scroll-like roles of fabric tucked vertically into the front of a corset. All this while still being elegant, feminine and trendy.
Julian & Franz Grabe Flower Couture
Elegant white and creamy dresses decorated with little fabric-covered buttons in the same colour dominated in Julian's show. Necklines plunged into corset belts and fluff made an appearance under the collars of tailored jackets ? all very elegant. But it was Franz Grabe Flower Couture that stole the show, if not for the incredible gowns made entirely out of St Joseph petals or thousands of freesias and blushing brides, then because of the scent of the flowers that filled the entire room drugged the audience into sentsual bliss. As if that was not enough, dresses entirely beaded in Swarovski crystals followed, then dresses made entirely out of fluff, or decorated all over with fabric coloured buttons. A stunning show that overwhelmed the senses.
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