Mzansi designers get global exposure

Louise McAuliffe

Louise McAuliffe

Miss World 2008 contestants paraded designs from the cream of South Africa's fashion designers at the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication in Kliptown, Soweto, on Wednesday night.

The 112 contestants were given an opportunity to strut their stuff on the ramp to earn the "Top Model" fast-track ticket, which would guarantee placement as one of the 15 finalists in the pageant to be held on December 13.

Miss Russia, Kseniya Sukhinova, came out tops. First runner-up was Miss Angola, with Miss India as the second runner-up.

The Miss World contestants showcased strictly South African clothing designs by African Mosaique, Clive Rundle, Palesa Mokubung, David Tlale, Marianne Fassler, Fred Eboka, Gavin Rajah, Machere Pooe, Julian and Thula Sindi, among others, to an international television audience of more than twobillion in 220 countries.

Gert-Johan Coetzee, of Diamond Face Couture, who dressed Miss Turkey, told Sowetan Online that the garments commissioned for the contestants had to show an African influence, with some form of beadwork incorporated into the design.

"The gowns had to be suitable for a 'red carpet' event and attractive to the overseas market," Coetzee said. "We adorned Miss Turkey in a silk chiffon giraffe print with a turquoise beaded corset specially crafted by a local bead technician." - Sowetan Online

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