Last night SA’s most celebrated fashion designer David Tlale, in partnership with Courvoisier® Cognac, celebrated “Let’s Play Dress Up” his latest collection that was showcased during MBFW Cape Town at the prestigious Cape Town Club Words: Nadine Oosthuizen


Renowned for his showmanship, the night defied all the conventional moulds, when Tlale swapped a runway for an installation of models draped on windowpanes, plinths, and tables. The scene, which resembled Paris’ fearless and decadent Golden Age and a mood that alluded to the joie de vivre associated with Courvoisier®, culminated in a grand finale when 45 models led guests to the club’s private basement for an after party of celebrations.

Leading the celebrations was former Miss SA, Tatum Keshwar, who was chosen as the face of this season’s campaign – shot by fashion photographer Sean Laurénz earlier yesterday afternoon – and the star that closed Tlale’s show. Other personalities in attendance included internationally renowned stylist, Jenke Ahmed Tailly, businesswoman Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, award-winning rap artist Annati, SA’s talk show queen Felicia Mabuza-Suttle and the much admired socialite K Naomi, to name a few.

“Let’s Play Dress Up” will create a journey of luxury in African fashion when it travels from Africa to Paris where it will be introduced to Europe later this year.

In addition, the show also marked the second of a four season collaboration with Jockey, moving the attention to the question “what is beneath” – a celebration of one’s inner self and the pleasure of feeling beautiful and powerful.

We sat down with the man of the moment…

Describe the ladies and gentlemen who wear this collection
It’s a person who is very distinct, assertive, and a power dresser. Someone who likes things. It is a collection for those who see getting dressed as a journey from underwear to outerwear, until it all comes together in glamour and elegance.

Describe the atmosphere you wanted to create with your show?
The idea is to place people into an experience, inside the world of the David Tlale brand, where you enjoy your cognac and good cigar, being in beautiful mood of luxury. This is where the theme “Let’s Play Dress Up” originated, guests who attend want to dress up and make an effort. All the being a mood of celebration more than anything else! I’d say, the show is purely a reflective journey of our 15 years in the industry and the tone of years to come.

How did the collaboration with jockey come about?
Two years ago I approached jockey to produce David Tlale underwear, and instead of them doing that for me we decided to rather collaborate. I took up the challenge, and started out with our first season (Spring/Summer) last year. The show launched our second season, (Autumn Winter).  It’s very exciting as we have four seasons with Jockey.

Describe the collaborative look:
It’s not your average underwear, it’s not what Jockey would normally do – we brought a bit of sexy into the collection. We developed the print in-house and then translated into fabric. It’s a journey. The theme was “What’s beneath?” We need sexy, a feeling inside of “I’m beautiful, I’m powerful” sort of thing.

Why did you pick the Cape Town Club?
Because of its stature, it’s iconic. It’s so underrated, underused, and I feel this building is over two hundred years old, and that’s what we aspire to be as a brand. We want to be here for a very long time.The most amazing part is that the whole Cape Town Club venue can be used, where people will play poker, dance in the basement, mingle, drink Courvoisier, it’s just one beautiful journey.

What is your relationship with Courvoisier® cognac?
This collaboration with Courvoisier® is a new journey where we want to take people on an experience of luxury and decadence, creating and celebrating special moments in only one way – with Courvoisier.  It’s a distinct brand with a district taste that separates boys from men and women from girls.

Let’s talk about the new collection:
The collection wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. First of all, we have developed our own prints in-house and were printed in South Africa. All the garments were made in South Africa which we are very happy about!
Textures include velvet, silk, crape, a bit of lace, fur a bit of feathers – it wouldn’t be a show without feathers and fur! It’s a beautiful celebration of luxury and decadence.
Colours start from light greys, deep greys, and charcoal that go into black with pops of colour alluding to Courvoisier’s signature purple and gold and the cognac’s burnt orange. It’s a rich story!


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