The School of Fashion Design 50 Years on

The School of Fashion Design 50 Years on

The festive season started early for Pietermaritzbur and The Meander Chronicle, as The School of Fashion Design, based in Retief St , Pietermaritzburg, presented it’s annual showcase of work done by 1st and 2nd year students, to the general public this November.

Fashion show judges and dignitaries, with Priscilla Bhika

Fashion show judges and dignitaries, with Priscilla Bhika

As the title of the show promised, it was an “Unforgettable” evening as dignitaries, who included City Mayor Chris Ndlela, Umgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee, guest judge and fashion designer Greg Wallis, Nomonde Masoka representing the KZN Fashion Council, the Bhika family, key sponsors, PCB’s Melanie Veness, an appreciative public, enthusiastic family support, celebrated with the School, a 50 year anniversary of creating beautiful fashion, and transforming lives.

Director of The School of Fashion, Priscilla Bhika was honoured for what she has done for the community, the fashion industry and indeed Pietermaritzburg, and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award on the night. The towering celebratory cake, was the sweet accompaniment to the vibrant, joyful and funky display of creativity that strutted the catwalk on the night. The Pietermaritzburg City Hall resembled the most glamorous European catwalk, and revelled in the glamorous parade, with fabulous lighting, foot tapping music and Irene’s Models yet again providing an evening of top quality, slick entertainment.

Winner, Martin Kohn Steenkamp, flanked by Msunduzi Distric Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee and Priscilla Bhika. Picture supplied by Vishal Singh

Winner, Martin John Steenkamp, flanked by Msunduzi District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee and Priscilla Bhika  .

There were awards aplenty with the KZN Fashion Council awarding part-bursaries to the most outstanding collections, in order to further their studies. First Year Designer of the Year went to Samikha Sivnannan and Lindelwa Siboyana for their collections. Second year designer Martin John Steenkamp received the award for Most Innovative Range.
Durban Fashion Designer Greg Wallis, judge on the night and who works many Saturdays with the The School of Fashion voluntarily mentoring would be fashion stars, was fabulously impressed by the quality of work presented on the night, from the first year, as well as the second year students. Interviewed by The Meander Chronicle, he had this to say about the occasion, and the standard of work presented.

A Fabulous evening in the city hall.

A Fabulous evening in the city hall.

“I sent a mail and pics from the City Hall entitling it Magical Maritzburg! to my associates in Milan , where I have just returned from the exciting Milan Fashion Week . I am so proud of their presentations, in what was an amazing show. Quite UNFORGETTABLE.
The first years’ and part time students show lots of promise, and of the second year students there are 8 winners . I would be delighted if I could get 3 or 4 of them onto my mentorship programmes . There are some who can compete with anything I have seen countrywide. The top 3 would do me proud abroad . In fact, many of the students entered the Vodacom Durban July and won their categories.

The pic that I sent to Europe of the interior of the city hall, all specially lit up, drew comments like. . . .”That must be somewhere in Austria.”
If I felt proud , you can only imagine how Priscilla Bhika felt. Justifiably so! I look forward to great collaboration in 2016”
We salute you Priscilla Bhika – visionary, inspirer and empowerer!
Designers from The School of Fashion Design
Models from Irene’s modeling agency
Pictures supplied by Vishal Singh