South African Fashion bigshot designer David Tlale saved Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town from being a complete and utter disaster.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week's first two days were interrupted by evacuations and the third and final day had been cancelled, due to erratic winds which the event's venue in a marquee at Camps Bay could not compete against. The event's host African Fashion International.
Given the clout behind his brand, Tlale has built a legacy for setting himself apart during fashion weeks by hosting offsite shows held at different locations from the designated venue, followed by a grandeur after party. He is well-known for bringing theatrics into his shows and, at this year's Fashion Week, Tlale took us back to the roaring '20s.
In partnership with Courvoisier Cognac, Tlale presented his show "Let's Play Dress Up" at the Cape Town Club, a national historical site founded in 1858. The club is walking distance from Cape Town's major inner-city park which was established in 1652. The cavernous old building with its creaky teak doors, old wooden floors and walls lined with old paintings of past presidents, was restored almost three years ago to its original "members-only" institution where bouts of drinking, fulfilling eating and mannered conversation are conducted in style. Tlale defied all laws of convention by embracing installation and performance art, swapping a runway for an installation of models draped on windowpanes, plinths, and tables.
The mise-en-scène of models in underwear draped with feather boas, closely resembled the decadence of party life in Paris during the roaring 1920s. His show, he says, was his way of "having fun" in unveiling the Jockey by David Tlale collaboration.
The theme of his collection is "What's beneath", inspired by the contours of human bodies, our movements and our hidden desires.