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BN Style Exclusive: A Moment with South African Design Maestro – Gert – Johan Coetzee

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From South African style and Television sensation Bonang Matheba to Oscar award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, designer to the stars Gert-Johan Coetzee has dressed them all among many others including the likes of Kelly Rowland, Kourtney Kardashian and AMVCA 2016 host Minnie Dhlamini – it is no telling that Gert absolutely knows the stuff that he’s made up of . Which luckily for us is the incomparable ability to make every woman the belle of  the ball.

Fresh off his South African Fashion Week opening presentation, BN Style exclusively had a brief chat with the celebrity designer.

Read below for excerpts from the interview

Gert Johan Cortzee on dressing South African celebrities such as Bonang Matheba and Minnie Dhlamini

Dressing South African celebrities is always a great pleasure, because the level of beauty and confidence and boldness always compliments my dresses. Dressing a celebrity is similar to dressing any other client or fashionista. We take the utmost care to make sure that every single client’s red carpet moment is a highlight in her life.  Aside from designing the dress to enhance her best features, we also plan hair, make-up and accessories  carefully to ensure that the whole look comes together.

Gert on how he met Bonang Matheba
Bonang Matheba and Gert-Johan Coetzee (Bonang is wearing one of Gert's dresses)

Bonang Matheba and Gert-Johan Coetzee (Bonang is wearing one of Gert’s dresses)

We met back in 2006 when we were both new on the SA social scene. We soon realised that we had a similar taste in fashion and style and decided to work together. I know how to enhance Bonang’s best features, and she knows how to wear my dresses to best effect – it is a collaboration that keeps working!
Do you sketch your designs your self? and in your opinion how important (or not) are sketches to what a designer finally puts out?

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Some sketches from Gert-Johan Coetzee’s recently debuted Spring/Summer 2017 collection at the South African Fashion Week 2016

Yes, I love being creative by illustrating designs and forming a collection of drawings that allows for a runway of ideas. A sketch is essential to the planning and conception of any garment. Not doing it would be like  building a house without plans.
On the Nigerian celebrity that he’d love to dress
I love the red carpet look of Rita Dominic, she’s always classic and stylish.  Cynthia Morgan, on the other hand, has such a unique style that really makes her stand out. It would be an adventure to work with both of them.
Gert on a possible Nigeria take over
We might be doing a fashion show in Nigeria soon, keep an eye out on my social media.
Some Looks from Gert’s SS’17 collection recently debuted at the South African Fashion Week 2016
imageGert-JohanCoetzeeSAFW2016Gert-JohanCoetzeeSAFW2016_01
Pictures of some famous ladies wearing Gert’s design’s
Minnie Dhlamini in Gert-Johan Coetzee

Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards 2016 Host Minnie Dhlamini in a silver Gert Johan Coetzee dress

Bonang Matheba in an all white Gert-Johan Coetzee dress

Bonang Matheba in an all white Gert-Johan Coetzee dress

Bonang Matheba in a canary yellow Gert-Johan Coetzee dress

Bonang Matheba in a canary yellow Gert-Johan Coetzee dress

Bonang Matheba in a yellow Gert-Johan Coetzee dress

Bonang Matheba in a yellow Gert-Johan Coetzee dress

Kelly Rowland in an embellished mini Gert-Johan Coetzee dress

Kelly Rowland in an embellished mini Gert-Johan Coetzee dress

Pictures Courtesy: Melinda Shaw  PR

Richard Akuson is founder at The PR Boy a boutique media and press relations agency for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands with a specialty in raising the overall awareness of a brand, product or image of a company or person. Richard is also a weekly columnist at Bellanaija.com ('On The Catwalk' and 'Collection Conversations'), he's also a party host at The Front Row and a vlogger at Get Pink with Richard . Want to reach out? Follow @richardakuson on Instagram and @richardakuson on Twitter or send an email to [email protected]

6 Comments

  1. Janeee

    April 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Rita Dominic is indeed a fashion icon! Thank you Gert for recognizing, love your designs but I can’t afford them Hehehe

  2. Rayva

    April 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    When would Nigeria designers get to this level with their current over prized and over flogged or copied designs?

    • Tonga

      April 9, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Yawns… Abeg go and sit down, appreciate the clothes if you want to and keep it moving, I knew one nutjob will come here to compare mtsheww!

  3. Felinda

    April 9, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    As a petite lady like Rita Dominic – Rita really Inspires me. I really look up to her when it comes to fashion and from my understanding she doesn’t even use a stylist unlike some who desperately think they do to get noticed. Rita can wear a simple jeans a simple top and still slay with it.

    IF YOU HAVE CLASS, YOU HAVE CLASS, YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRY TOO HARD TO GET NOTICE

  4. Trina

    April 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    These look nice and wearable unlike that other South African designer David Tlale with his ugly and awful looking clothes.

  5. Ama (Ghana)

    April 10, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Although the clothes look nice and wearable, the designs are nothing new. It is quite boring. Designs like that have been used by designers for many decades.

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