This officially kicks off the all-you-need-to-know-interviews for Cape Town Fashion Week. We start off with the a well-known brand in local fashion circles, Danielle Margaux. Here is exactly what you need to know about her, her brand, her expectations and her vices for Fashion Week. Remember to subscribe and you can visit Danielle Margaux's website here - http://goo.gl/D0Ql5.
Tell us about yourself. What inspires you, what drives you and what challenges you?
"I studied at the CPUT and did a National diploma in Fashion design. After studying, I worked at Truworths as a trainee buyer, but when I met Malcolm and Christiaan after a fashion week show, I started to do freelance patterns and was later permanently employed. I spent most of my career with KLUK CGDT and have also worked with Gabi Rosenwerth, Paul van Zyl and Errol Arendz. I love anything old school and it really inspires me. Old movies, art movies, old school tailoring from the Saville Row, Old English culture, [I] love love love [the] French culture [and] Italian culture, [as well as] Long island, [the] Hamptons and the country club lifestyle. Properness, impeccable manners, tradition [and] anything that was made with proper care and love. I love icons such as Coco Chanel, Cecil Beaton, Thierry Hermes and Elsa Schiaparelli. I love Celine, Max Azria, [any and every] Calvin Klein Collection, Donna Karan, Jil Sander, Anne Fontaine [and anything] by Malene Birgir, Valentino and Armani. I am driven by new ideas that constantly enter my brain and am challenged to make them real."
What do you hope to achieve from showcasing your work at the Cape Town Fashion Week?
"I just want to continue making clothes that I find tasteful and beautiful. I would also like to establish myself as a designer who shows at fashion week every season."
What are your expectations of Cape Town Fashion Week?
"I did not expect to get such a good response to the collection I showed at fashion week. I expected that it would be a good platform for my label to get out there, but the response has been phenomenal. I am very blessed."
Do you have any Cape Town Fashion Week vices/What are your guilty pleasures during the Cape Town Fashion Week?
"Oh gosh, we worked so hard leading up that I have had way too much chocolate and good coffee…what can I say, it keeps me happy."
What are your Cape Town Fashion Week essentials?
"I would say that the essentials are : the Yellow linen Spring Coat, the detailed shirts and also the Summers dresses. All bringing a fresh splash of detail and colour."
What lesson(s) do you think the fashion industry, in the global sense, could teach South Africa? And vise versa, what do you think the South African design industry could teach the world?
"Organisation within the international fashion industry is impeccable. Nothing is left to wonder about, every last detail is thought of and nothing is left for guessing. On the other hand, the creativity in South Africa is astounding! Designers are so diverse and so creative with raw materials . There are so many young designers in Cape Town alone and the spirit and will of South Africans are inspiring!"
Which trends to you wish to see regain popularity in the South Africa fashion industry? Which fashion trends do you see becoming popular in 2012? Which of these fashion trends, in your opinion, will continue on from 2011?
"Even though I am a designer and I keep trends in mind, I do not focus on it too much. I design clothes that are beautiful and what women would look and feel great in. For Spring/Summer 11/12 strong colour is very important and lots of colour blocking. Neutrals and pastels will also be coming through together with bold stripes and florals.Maxi dresses are huge for summer, as well as high waisted garments and Sarouel pants.
Which colors and textures would you like to see regain popularity in the design world and why?
"Colours and textures will always come and go. So it is just a matter of time for the cycle to reach full circle and for the trends to come around again, obviously in a new innovative way! I think that is why we sometimes fall in love with certain items. It reminds you of something you used to love, but it is done in a new and innovative way and therefore seems fresh!"
In your opinion, what is the secret behind or biggest contributor towards your success?
"The biggest secret is not to ever give up. The fashion industry is a very hard industry to survive in and I really do believe that if you just keep going , that you will succeed. Hard times will come, but they will go again and therefore it is important not to give up."
How would you describe your design style? How has this style developed over time?
"[I would describe my style as] elegant, clean, chic [and] classic with a modern twist. I have always designed feminine clothing with clean lines. If I look at early designs that I have done, the designs are clean yes, but with the experience that I have gained over the years, my patterns and shapes have most definitely improved and also the fit."
What advice can you give up-and-coming fashion designers/ what is the most important thing you have learnt in the design industry?
"Work for other designers before you start your own business. The experience you will gain there, no college or fashion school can teach you."
What is your design mantra/motto?
"The possibilities are endless!"