project runway sa

It had to happen… the top 3 had to face the challenge of their lives. Here’s what you missed on episode 12 of Project Runway SA, presented by Mzanzi Magic and Ndalo Pictures in association with 4th Street Wine.

As Project Runway SA’s top 3 designers, Jaime, Kentse and Kireshen will all showcase at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, but now the big question is: who will showcase as a pop up at Paris Fashion Week?

Well. Their collections will tell. Their 12-piece collections, to be exact. Their final challenge. To create a twelve -piece collection by drawing inspiration from the eleven previous challenges.

At least they were given 3 months to create those collections, R25, 000 for fabric, and the comfort of going home to work in their own studios.

From Bethanie in the North West to Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town, Gert travelled around the country to take his mentorship right to the doorsteps of the 3 designers left standing.

He also took some time out to get to know them a little better over family lunches. Kentse’s father told Gert that as a young girl Kentse used to draw her designs all over her bedroom walls, Kireshen’s mother revealed that in Grade 1, Kireshen designed a wedding gown for one of his classmates, and Jaime’s mother said she knew it was her son’s time to shine.

Back in her studio in Bethanie, Kentse was digging deep into her roots, the Bakwena tribe, and the symbolism of the crocodile. She showed Gert samples of fabric with embroidered shapes of crocodile scales, but it was when she showed him her sketches that he was really blown away.

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This moment will remain in my heart and memory forever! Standing on this runway just after the top three @projectrunwaysa designers were announced! With our mentor @gertjohancoetzee and our host and mama @leratokganyago Catch tonight’s episode of @projectrunwaysa on @mzansimagic channel 161 Dstv tonight at 9-30pm. Project Runway is presented by @mzansimagic and @_ndalo_media , in association with @4thstreetwine . #RapidBlueTV is the production partner. With: @edgarsfashion, @kelsobeauty, @tresemmesa, @menlynsa and @lexus_southafrica @projectrunwaysa @4thstreetwine @edgarsfashion @lexus_southafrica @menlynsa @tresemmesa @leratokganyago @mzansimagic @gertjohancoetzee #RapidBlueTV #kireshenc #kireshenchettyofficial #projectrunwaysouthafrica #ProjectRunwaySa #designers #runwayready #tresemme #mzansimagic #4thstreetwine #edgars #lexussouthafrica

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Kentse felt that this was “do or die” for her, so she was going to give it her all.In Pietermaritzburg, Kireshen was inspired by the iconic fragmented portrait sculpture at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. He spoke of his vision to create something that could transform from one piece to another on the runway and showed Gert his colour palette of dusty blues and golds, which Gert said was so big on runways all over the world right now.

Kireshen couldn’t wait to wow Gert with his collection.

Jaime, in his Cape Town studio, was drawing his inspiration from the Lexus and Maboneng challenges. He was planning on marrying the two together – the lines of the Lexus and the diversity of colours from the story of humankind. Gert was loving the purples he was bringing in, but he also wanted to see “the next layer of Jaime”.

And when Gert popped in to see Jaimie with just 3 weeks to go to their final showdown on the runway, Gert still had to push Jaime for more. Jaime only had 7 incomplete looks so far, and Gert felt they needed more layers and an updated look. One of Jaime’s pieces, Gert said, looked like it could have been his grandmother’s jacket.

Kentse didn’t escape Gert’s sharp eye either. Her theme had moved from her clan roots towards paper sculpture and data visualisation. He loved the unusual embroidery she was creating on one of her dresses, but he threw out a shirt dress saying that it didn’t belong on the runway and she’d be better off using it as a dust rag. Out of her 8 garments, Gert felt that only 3 looks were Paris Fashion Week ready.

Kireshen though, found that he almost had to start from scratch after Gert’s visit. Gert was wowed by Kireshen’s colour palette, but that’s where it seemed to end. His garments, according to Gert were too theatrical, featured unnecessary drama, and were too “costumey”. One piece, Gert said, looked like “Mary has a little lamb meets Michael Jackson”.

By the time the designers were reunited and in their new workroom, Gert was impressed with the transformation of Kireshen’s dusty blue and gold, Nelson Mandela sculpture-inspired collection. He was pleased to see the way Jaime had brought pops of colour into his otherwise dark aesthetic, and he loved the new pink Kentse brought into her collection.

But Gert’s haunting question hung in the air, “Do you feel comfortable putting this on an international runway?”

They all still have plenty of work to do. And only 30 hours to runway.

Who will be the first winner of Project Runway SA?

We’ll find out next week.

Don’t miss the final episode of Project Runway SA on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 at 21h30 next Tuesday.