If Beads could talk…

As is usual for our September/Spring edition, it’s filled to bursting with All things Bright and Beautiful and a lingering look into the windows of Marco’s Jewellers at Park Lane, Pietermaritzburg provides a visual feast. It’s not only the beautiful adornments on display, it’s the dazzling beadwork that decorates the window display that catches my eye. And here lies a delightful Spring story.
Invited in by the elegant Nicky, I am introduced to Teresa Millin, resident in Howick’s Amberfield, and the retired dress designer responsible for the magnificent bead creations casually draped amongst the jewellery for sale. A most invigorating conversation follows in which I am taken on a personal reminiscence filled with glamorous names, stories of politicking in the 80’s and 90’s, a marriage to a colourful creative, Peter Millin, best known for a long and varied carrer with NAPAC. We touch on matters as personal as childbirth, and weight gain and best of all, detailed descriptives of each piece displayed in the window display. With a long career in Fashion Design which included lecturing, designing and making wedding dresses, dressing the who’s who of particularly Durban cogniscenti for Race Meets, Balls and Cocktail parties (a bygone era says Teresa), it’s easy to believe the glamour she describes. She is still very beautiful, immaculately dressed and groomed, and every inch a lady. The eyes give away an adventurous spirit though, and light up as she describes aspects of her life with Peter and her two boys, and laugh as she gives each beaded piece a story to own.
Do pop in to Marco’s Jewellers, Park Lane, Pietermaritzburg. In the current mode of throwaway fashion it’s a treat to admire “clothing” that is still loved, and brought out to be admired.

Peter and Teresa Millin

Teresa Joyce married Peter Millin in 1963

Teresa Millin 2014

Teresa Millin 201


A set of cuffs, to match the black and gold collar which I wore the very first time I actually met Buthelezi personally, in 1992 when he came to address the masses in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Buthelezi and I had been corresponding for a while and then Arthur Konigkramer phoned me to request, on Buthelezi’s instruction, that I do the vote of thanks in the City Hall. It was an incredible event with the gallery filled to bursting with jubilant singing. I had found a section of nKosi Sikelele in which “God Bless all the Traditional leaders”. This hit the right note for Buthelezi and he stepped out of his chair and gave me a big hug. This was revolutionary for that time and much ululating ensued.

Dress sketch 1 ed144 sep14

Harold Strachan of Natal Mercury renown was my life drawing lecturer in the late 50’s. He taught me the art of the perfect life drawing.


Another design sketch black and white outfit

Iwas inspired by a beautiful design i had seen in a Vogue magazine in a lovely rich silk and I wanted the back to be the most dramatic… 

Collar 2

Collar to match the cuffs!