Eye Makeup For Blue Dress

When women of all ages emerged from the wings of the studio space at the launch of Jackie Burger’s Salon 58, silence fell over the crowd. Gliding out while Lindiwe Suttle sang to the music of an accordion player, they radiated poise, elegance and beauty. The women were all dressed in garments that captured our attention at first glance. Hand-pleated skirts, off-the-shoulder pinstripe pantsuits and full dresses all took a turn. These designs were Drotsky. A name few people had heard before and now one that many can’t stop talking about. Drotsky is local designer Elaine Du Plessis’s newest venture – and she has big plans for the label. ‘I want to slow things down from the design perspective and not rush along with seasons and collections.

I want to get to know the women I’m designing for and grow a sustainable business based not just on trends but on longevity,’ she says. Du Plessis spent her childhood in the workroom of her great-grandmother, surrounded by boxes of trims and bottles of buttons. The unusual name for her creative outlet is, in fact, her great-grandmother’s surname; she had escaped from Poland and supported her family by making clothes. ‘I have all these photo albums of dresses she made from the 1930s to the 1990s.

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I treasure them not only because they were hers but also because they are a fascinating record of fashion styles in South Africa over those decades.’ In her final year of studying fashion design at the Tshwane University of Technology, Du Plessis, along with a group of classmates, created a menswear label that was chosen to show at South Africa Fashion Week in 2005. Drotsky stretches beyond a collection or a brand – it is a platform through which Du Plessis intends to express all of her interests.

Today it might be a vintage look and tomorrow it might be something minimal. The collection will form its own story over time but at the moment I’m creating individual pieces I love that speak to the individual women they are created for.’ Although she dreams of one day being a hermitic ceramicist, playing the harmonica in a cottage in the Karoo, she will not be doing this any time soon: Drotsky is her priority. When asked who is her favourite international designer, she barely hesitates before naming Phoebe Philo, who she admires for being sensitive and intelligent and ‘seems to know where everyone is headed before they do’. We will be keeping a close eye on Drotsky in the future – Elaine Du Plessis could well follow in the footsteps of her role model.

Eye Makeup For Blue Dress

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