"THEY may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such bagatelle; but to me a modest woman, dressed in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of creation."
Local designer Abigail Keats has made these profound words of Anglo-Irish writer Oliver Goldsmith her mantra.
In just three short years she has shown her elegant designs at the Johannesburg Fashion Week, Arise Africa Fashion Week and the Audi Fashion Week.
After graduating top of her class in 2007, she had her first professional ramp show and her collection of trendy street wear impressed critics.
But since then Keats' style has evolved and she now embraces a more classical style intended for businesswomen.
"I find designing for businesswomen is more fulfilling," Keats reveals.
Her designs were worn by 2009 contestants of the Miss FTV Grand Finale.
Keats has also been named Designer of the Month by Elle magazine and Designer to Watch by Cosmopolitan magazine.
Keats started designing when she was in Grade 7.
"It's exciting to design a piece of art that can be worn and taken out into the world," she says.
She has designed for Edith Venter and Precious Motsepe, among others. Her ultimate dream-come-true would be to design for British supermodel Twiggy.
With regular invitations to show her designs in New York, London, Miami and Dubai her dream might well come true.
"But my focus is more on everyday women. I want to create clothes that have a Louis Vuitton level of style but can be worn by all women," she says.
An unexpected passion of Keats' is tea. Having been introduced to the more exotic brews she is now a fan of Asian teas such as Milk Tea and Concubine Tea, which promises to leave you feeling rejuvenated and beautiful. Today she puts a local favourite to the test.
She first tries Pick n Pay's Organic Rooibos Tea. "This one has quite a full-bodied taste. I like that it's organic."
Next up she tries Vital Rooibos. "This has a subtle flavour. I do think it's a bit too smooth and doesn't have enough flavour. I like my tea strong."
She then tries FreshPak Rooibos. "This one has a bitter taste and Rooibos is supposed to have a sweeter taste than other teas."
Lastly she tries Laager Rooibos. "This one is quite good. It's both strong and sweet."
Her verdict? "Generally I'm disappointed that none of them came with a string to help move the tea bag around. Of all of them I enjoyed the Organic Rooibos Tea the most. -Keitumetse Segoai