I've always had this fascination towards people who kind of just "land" in the fashion industry as a designer.
It's becoming clearer to me how all the vocations we have in today's world are somehow relevant and interchangeable.
When I did some initial research on Vanessa Gounden's political background, how she served in Nelson Mandela's ANC (African National Congress) administration, how she happened to be South Africa's first female mining magnate and one of South Africa's most successful female entrepreneurs, to her venture into the fashion world presenting her first ever collection under the label Vanessa Gounden, I knew I had to meet her.
She put it this way:
"Fashion is a platform to express topical concepts or issues to then create conversation."
And indeed, her autumn 15 collection preview would represent just that. Print heavy satin trench coats, embellished couture gowns, cropped jackets, and boxy kimono inspired coats each encompassing motifs of the bird and its representation of furaito, the Japanese word for "flight," would each tell tales of its own. Vanessa very much believes in talking pieces, making sure each garment tells a story within its luxury fabric selection and elaborate garment linings as well as in each hand painted button, carried throughout. One can expect the woman who wears the label to be smart and conscious of her surroundings, with an appreciation for detail.
And as I got to prance around Vanessa herself in my favorite piece from the collection, that is, the jewel tone jacket made up of all the yummy colors the collection had to offer, belted at the waist with the sleeves cuffed up to expose the inner beauty, I must admit I was feeling pretty significant. Inside and out.
**Vanessa Gounden's flagship store will open in London in April.