A stylish Saturday in Stellies

The Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion has their annual fashion show in two weeks. Willow-Ruby van der Berg spoke to a few of final-year designers in BA (Fashion) about their designs and excitement for this evening.

Elizabeth Galloway has been around since the 90s. Yet, every year their annual fashion show is one for the books and the perfect example for why “local is always best”. This year the fashion show is taking place on 24 August at the Protea Hotel in Stellenbosch’s Techno Park. The event starts at 19:00.

The academy now affords designers an opportunity to get a full degree in fashion, and not only a diploma as in the past. “We are Elizabeth Galloway’s first degree year to graduate, so that is very exciting,” said Lerieze Erasmus. This is the night where the blood, sweat and tears of all the designers at the academy finally pays off and where the public can get an idea of the best looks for the future of fashion in South Africa.

“We started the design process at the end of last year, so I think we are all quite tired at this point, but extremely excited! We started the process with design ideas, then moved on to pattern-making, then mocks, then prototypes and only then final garments. It is extremely rewarding to see everything coming together now. Especially since it is our first time having complete free reign with what we want to do (we usually adhere to a brief). So our ranges all speak very true to our personal styles,” said Jordyn Morley.

It is in the final year that the designers in the academy really get a chance to have the freedom to build up a collection from scratch. “Each third year designer could choose between self-expression and client range for the show. Self-expression is more free and you can do anything you want. Client range is more specific and you have to choose a fashion brand to work with. I chose to do client range, because I want to go into kids wear and I am working with Keedo. I still had a lot of freedom and could do what I wanted and envisioned, I just had to meet with Keedo and discuss my ideas and designs with them. My theme is very earthy and organic. I drew inspiration from nature, but also from children and how we need to preserve the earth for our children and future generations,” said Erasmus.

Jeanie Schoeman chose to do a self-expression range instead. “I desired to create a range that had loads of significance and emotion. The meaning that could only be unravelled as a storyteller tells a story. My range, Promise, is a small part of who I am. My range showcases the imperfections, textures and unravelled edges in nature,” said Schoeman.

The show makes it very clear that all the designers have different visions and styles in mind. “We have all worked so hard and it’s been a really long process to get everything ready and done for the show. I am really excited to finally see my clothes on the runway and see everything as a whole. I am also looking forward to seeing all of my classmates’ pieces on the runway as you can see everyone’s personalities in their designs,” said Erasmus.

“It is amazing looking around the class and seeing the diversity of colour and style! No one’s ranges are remotely similar, but they are all too cool,” added Morley. “I am most excited for the adrenalin rush 10 seconds before the models go onto the ramp at the fashion show. This is the time when I can see my range coming to life as a whole for the first time. This is when I can give my first sigh of relief that it is done.

“Before that sigh of relief occurs you have to get the correct model into the correct outfit in less than 40 seconds from coming off the ramp to on again. This is always such a blur, and often makes me wonder why people even bungee jump if they can experience the same adrenalin rush backstage of a fashion show?” said Schoeman.

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