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Jessica Rabbit: Fashionista Takes Aim at Celebrity Designs

The fashion on display at this year's MTV Music Awards may just have just pricked the ego of the South African fashion industry with many describing these so-called red carpet events as still very much like “the Jessica Rabbit hourglass dress (with a cape!).”

Khanyi Mbau's naked posterior, legs that went on for days, a single blazer worn by Kelly Khumalo and tired dresses worn by the host Bonang Matheba did not escape the eyes of fashion gurus.

“…either their look was a hit or an epic fashion fail, the celebs who attended the 2016 MTV MAMAs all get bonus points for paying attention to the runways at international fashion shows,” said a weekend newspaper critic.

But award winning fashionsta Albertus Swanepoel, in an interview with Africa Daily, did not agree.
Albertus Swanepoel 

“South Africa is several years behind on trend and quality of workmanship. South Africa is sadly geographically so far away that it lives in a vacuum,” Swanepoel said - and this comes from a man who has collaborated with New York designers in the mold of Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera and Alexander Wang.

Pretoria born and proud of being South African, Swanepoel said, “Whenever I see “red carpet” looks in SA, it has no correlation to what is happening internationally. It is as if they have not looked in a magazine for years… it’s still the Jessica Rabbit hourglass dress (with a cape!)”

Swanepoel has been resident in New York for 27 years but still adores South Africa. “What I love about South African fashion is that it’s very true to who we are; we are such a diverse nation. It’s full of colour, it’s very vibrant and has a heartbeat…”

Asked if these red carpet events are being used to properly showcase fashion and talent, he insists designers are trying too hard.

“Celebrity dressing or dressing performers are a different category as fashion. Sure there is business in dressing up for the occasion, but this has little to do with commercial trends. Often designers try too hard to make a statement when it comes to red carpet or event dressing, even here.”

But Swanepoel is positive about the future for local fashion creators.

“Yes, fashion designers need to learn the skill of draping, pattern cutting and using great fabrics- although one can do wonderful things with inexpensive materials- the cutting of garments need to be impeccable. - Africa Daily 

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