Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2.0 is kicking off tomorrow and The Wire will make sure you have front row tickets to all the action! Words: Bianca Agenbag
Meet VINIGA set to show on the 7th of April at 16h00 
Award-nominated Jazz singer and celebrated fashion designer, Brigitte Mitchelle Da Silva, is the woman behind the stylish yet edgy brand, Viniga. Although South African born and bred Brigitte has been living in Hong Kong for over a decade and cemented her reputation in the industry with a brand that has become synonymous with  luxurious quality, breathtaking silhouettes and refined tailoring. We caught up with the busy lady ahead of her MBWF show (and new album supporting tour!)
         
What are some of the elements that we can expect to see in your new collection?
The collection,“Chic Asylum”, is glamourous with a bit of edge.  I played with a variety of textures from full sequin garments to faux fur, leather, silks and wools.
What inspired your collection? And where do you usually draw inspiration from?
People are generally my main inspiration. I look at where the world is at and how my collection can inspire. The title “Chic Asylum” refers to fashion being our refuge from the political and economic chaos the world is facing.
How far in advance do you start planning for Fashion Week?
Straight after the one collection goes down the runway, I start planning and researching the next season. It’s non-stop.
What criteria do you use for selecting models for your show?
I like them tall and feminine.
Do you have any rituals before a show? Any superstitions?
Oooh, best I not talk about it!
Describe your design aesthetic?
I think it’s consistently chic and strong. Elegant and glamorous with tons of edge.
What are your favorite colors, patterns & prints to work with?
I prefer focusing on texture, detailing and silhouette in monochrome palettes. However, I introduced some metallic animal inspired design on some pieces in this collection. Very daring of me… hehe.
Which designer would you like to collaborate with?
Locally, David Tlale, he’s got his vision on a global scale and I love that about him. Internationally, Jeremy Scott. I think he’s such a “keep it real” kinda designer… love it.
Most memorable career moment?
Can’t think of any… Now? LOL, my first Mercedes Benz show.
You have travelled the globe – what experience/ place stood out?
I loved most of the countries I’ve visited, however, couldn’t see myself functioning there as well as I do in Hong Kong. However, I love Los Angeles and especially Paris, my best friend who is also in fashion lives there and guess that’s what makes the city so much more fun.
You are also an award-nominated jazz artist! Tell us a bit more about that?
Oh wow… someone’s done their homework. LOL, yes, I’m a jazz recording artist going by my maiden name “Brigitte Mitchell”. I sing regularly and will possibly do a tour of my recent album release “Let’s call it love”, soon.  It’s doing great in Japan and via the internet. Music and fashion go so well together, I suppose that is why I can manage both.
Current obsessions?
Netflix!
Why choose did Hong Kong?
It chose me! I was meant to only be there for 3-6 months and now…17 years later I’m still loving it. It’s a great city and I’ve been noticing more and more South Africans around lately.
What is the most expensive fashion item you ever splurged on?
ME? No, my husband does the splurging! I just point things out and he shows up with it.
I own a substantial collection of Chloe bags because somehow he got the idea that it’s my favourite bag brand (not that I’m complaining).  I do have tons of other luxury bags in my wardrobe. I have an obsession with shoes and bags (as all ladies do… right!?).
Actually, I buy all my shoes, so I guess that is what I splurge on. My most daringly priced purchase must have been a pair of Lanvin boots. Gloriously gorgeous. No guilt on my part.
Where can readers get their hands on your designs?
Unfortunately, it’s only available online and in Hong Kong retail.  I’m hoping to introduce it to SA stores in 2017 still, hence the reason why I’m showcasing this collection at MBFW. It will be produced in Cape Town and hopefully, I’ll have some buyers interested in stocking VINIGA locally. People have been asking for it… and I’d really like to deliver.

 

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