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Barbie's birthday adds flavour to SA Fashion Week

Sanlam's SA Fashion Week's opening last night, Wednesday, 16 September 2009, was well attended by a broad spectrum of eager and excited fashion fanatics, all dressed to the nines. Amid flashes of fuschia, ribbons of rose and pink posters, trendspotters gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre to see what local talent has to offer while celebrating the 50th birthday of pop-culture princess Barbie.

Something for everyone

Attendees' desires for design and curiosities of chic were well satisfied by the various exhibitors who presented home-brewed wares catering even to the most eccentric consumer.

The smorgasbord of merchandise on display included something for every taste, age, gender and sexual preference - from clothing to jewelry to shoes and accessories. Exhibitors included Chimera, Sies! Isabelle, Nguni Shades, Neon, Dollhouse, Homegirl, Kristen Malan BeJewelled, and Lunar.

Barbie's birthday adds flavour to SA Fashion Week
Barbie's birthday adds flavour to SA Fashion Week
Barbie's birthday adds flavour to SA Fashion Week

Taking to the runway

At 6pm, the Centre Runway sprung to life with models strutting decorative outfits created by LISOF student teams. In partnership with Soviet, Teen Zone magazine, 5FM and Vega, aspiring fashion designers had the chance to show off their budding talent to the South African style market.

7pm saw the Elle New Talent Awards taking place in the auditorium. In association with Mr Price, this ceremony had seven finalists competing head-to-head for the honour of the 2009 crown. Taking into account this year's theme “one world”, competing designers coloured the catwalk with African chic garments, pulsating with playful patterns and multicoloured materials.

At 8.30pm designer Black Coffee showcased the results of a collaborative project involving crafters from Mpumalanga - a venture that was done in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture. Intricate crocheting, vibrant beading and classic shades defined the team's innovative apparel.

At 9.30pm, the auditorium opened for the main event of the evening, a Barbie-inspired fashion extravaganza featuring works by designers such as Guillotine, JJ Schoeman, Stoned Cherrie, Thula Sindi, and Heni.

Barbie's birthday adds flavour to SA Fashion Week
Barbie's birthday adds flavour to SA Fashion Week
Barbie's birthday adds flavour to SA Fashion Week

Bodacious Barbie

With shoes supplied by Zoom and jewelry from the De Beers Shining Light Collection, the SA Fashion Week opening night's final showcase paid just homage to the five decades since the the inception of the world's most popular and idolised dress up doll - the bodacious Barbie.

Sanlam's SA Fashion Week will be running at the Sandton Convention Centre until Saturday 19 September 2009. For more on times and shows, go to

Photos by Johnny Lai Sang

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About Ilva Pieterse

Ilva Pieterse has been involved in the media industry for over 13 years. During this time, she has written for and been involved in many online and print publications across a wide variety of industries, but mainly focusing on the IT sector. Examples of her creative work can be found at

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