Revered SA designers to showcase World Heritage Sites inspired couture at INDABA 2013
South African Tourism has proudly partnered with South Africa’s most celebrated fashion designers, who will showcase their much-anticipated couture interpretations of our country’s eight World Heritage Sites at INDABA this year.
The designers – David Tlale, Marianne Fassler, Thula Sindi and Nkhensani Nkosi – have set catwalks alight all over the world, and now they will present creations that are inspired by South Africa’s UNESCO treasures: Robben Island, Vredefort Dome, iSimangaliso Wetlands, Mapungubwe, Cradle of Humankind, Richtersveld National Park, uKhahlamba in the Drakensberg, and Table Mountain at INDABA.
The garments representing these sites will adorn the ‘South Africa Heritage and Culture Pavilion’, a first at INDABA and a one-stop-shop for every delegate and visitor to enjoy the best kaleidoscope of Heritage and Culture experiences, products, services and offerings in South Africa.
The Heritage and Culture Pavilion, a partnership between the National Department of Tourism and South African Tourism, in collaboration with the Moja Heritage Collection, will be situated at the Durban Exhibition Centre during Africa’s top travel and tourism trade show, INDABA.
Thula Sindi used the mountains of uKhahlamba in the Drakensberg as his inspiration. “These mountains contain the largest collection and most concentrated variety of rock art in the world. Some of the paintings are as old as 4 000 years! To be inspired by the natural beauty of the sky, land and paintings of Eland, which were the source of the original works, is an honour. My dress will encompass three inspirations (sky, land and wildlife) that inspired the San people to paint the cave walls more than 2000 years ago,” Sindi says.
David Tlale derived his inspiration from the Robben Island and Vredefort Dome heritage sites. “For Robben Island I’ve created a man’s structured cape and suit that will embody the historical architecture on the island, such as the light house. For Vredefort Dome, I’ve looked to its wonderful textures and earthly colours, so the dress will personify that,” Tlale says.
Marianne Fassler’s studio, meanwhile, has created two evening gowns representing Cradle of Humankind and Mapungubwe National Park. “I have always been fascinated by the Sterkfontein caves and very conscious of the archaeological wealth of the Cradle. Mapungubwe is another one of my romantic African love affairs. I think of it as the original ‘lost city’, possibly the Palace of the Queen of Sheba herself,” Fassler says.
Nkhensani Nkosi has focused on iSimangaliso Wetlands and the Table Mountain national park for her creations. “We chose the art of airbrushing to capture the beauty of the wetlands, to inspire awe and wonder in the fascinating mix of fantasy and nature, where the water spirits gather to conjure the magic of what can manifest when time stands still,” Nkosi says.
The Heritage and Culture Pavilion will bring to vivid, colourful life the mandate of the National Department of Tourism’s Heritage and Culture Strategy that was launched last year, that gave the South African travel and tourism industry more inspiration to unlock the immense economic potential of heritage and cultural tourism in South Africa.
“We have placed a major emphasis on our country’s heritage and culture, and its important tourism role at INDABA this year. Having the support of our country’s top fashion designers in promoting our country’s world heritage sites through their incredible work is a major boost and a wonderful creative addition to the show,” said South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima.