Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town is around the corner and with designers from across the African continent coming together to showcase their latest collections, it’s bound to be three spectacular fashion-filled days. This season, The Wire will make sure you have front row tickets to all the action! Words: Bianca Agenbag
First up we chat to the designer Joanna Hedley set to show on the 23rd of March at 18h30.
The beautiful Joanna Hedley brings international flair to the South African market drawing from her vast travels, European roots and of course her free-spirited nature. Having taken her bohemian luxe brand BeachCult from strength to strength, the creative sought out a new challenge, which resulted in launching a second brand using her namesake and it is this high quality, edgy, eco-friendly line that she will be presenting at MBFW 2017.
CSA The Wire: Fashion Week is on us! What are some of the elements that we can expect to see in your new collection?
JH: Flowing silks, vibrant colours and prints.
What inspired your collection?
My collection is inspired by, and aimed at, the sophisticated modern gypsy, influenced by a combination of 70’s liberalism, and South African colours and prints.
How far in advance do you start planning for Fashion Week?
Never far enough!
How do you approach the production process?
I usually start working with colours and prints first, then I find the silhouettes to best explore these.
What criteria do you use for selecting models for your show?
I like models with a natural look, especially those who have something unique and different from your typical beauties.
Which designer are you looking forward to most for Fashion Week?
I’m sharing a show slot with Cleo Droomer and Lara Klawikowski and I am really looking forward to their shows!
Do you have any rituals before your show?
A glass of champagne 😉
Describe your design aesthetic?
Bohemian and colourful with luxe fabrics and interesting silhouettes.
You have traveled extensively – what has been your favourite place and why?
I like many different places for different reasons – I love to travel precisely because I love to experience different things! Puglia in Italy is fantastic for food, beaches, and romantic road tripping, Zanzibar was amazing for culture and the desert island atmosphere. My absolute favourite place is Tulum, Mexico for just about everything – I spent a few months there last year and they now stock my clothing in some of their boutiques.
Have your travels influenced your work?
I’m influenced by everything around me, and really like to expose myself to different experiences and cultures to get my creative juices flowing.
How do you keep your ideas fresh?
By constantly changing things up, traveling and meeting new people.
Who is your all time favourite designer?
Chloe or Celine.
Most memorable career moment?
You’re stranded on a desert island and can only bring five things from your closet — what do you grab?
1.      Celine sunglasses (cannot live without sunglasses)
2.      BeachCult Alegria Bikini in Camps Bay
3.      BeachCult Venus one piece in Dark Strelitzia
4.      Summah Sarong
5.      Espadrille Pichulik Collaboration sandals
Most expensive thing you ever splurged on?
A Gavin Rajah gown.
What decade should you have been born in and why?
I don’t really feel defined by any decade or era – I draw on influences and have favourite parts from all of them.
Current obsessions?
Espadrilles from the store on Bree Street, one piece swimsuits from my BeachCult collection, 3D printed fashion from Iris Van Herpen, Dim Sum and printed wallpapers.
Best fashion advice you’ve received?
I don’t take fashion advice from anyone. My personal advice is always – If you’re going to be anything be fabulous.


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