Gorgeous gowns to dress up in for all those special occasions

TV actress Enhle Mbali Maphumulo wearing Keys Fashion by Ryan Keys during  South African Fashion Week./  Lefty Shivambu /  Gallo Images
TV actress Enhle Mbali Maphumulo wearing Keys Fashion by Ryan Keys during South African Fashion Week./ Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Designer to the stars Ryan Keys is known for producing gorgeous gowns for almost any occasion. From cocktail dresses to wedding dresses, Keys Fashion does it all.

The store is situated in Hyde Park Corner, nothern Johannesburg, its best-known clients being Enhle Mbali, Khanyi Mbau and Terry Pheto.

The Metro FM Awards in February this year was full of stars in Keys Fashion.

Khanya Mkangisa stood out in a beautiful sheer blue beaded gown.

Being very artistic at school, Keys initially went down the photography line.

"At the beginning I did the basic subjects like history, biology and accounting.

"I dropped accounting for art because I didn't understand a thing about it [accounting]. I actually wanted to become a photographer and do more fashion editorials," says Keys.

"I couldn't find anything I liked to shoot so I started making the things I wanted to shoot.

"I still have those pieces, looking back at it now it's actually quite funny."

Now, at the age of 25, Keys has become a household name locally and internationally.

He honed his love of couture at the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy.

He also studied through Parsons School of Design in New York and received accreditation by the City & Guilds of London.

The lovely beading and attention to detail on his garments is all done or overseen by Keys himself.

He will be launching a men's line as well.

"I want everyone to look bloody good in this country," he laughs.

Style tips:

A simple look for a year-end function:

  • If it is a day-to-evening function, opt for a cocktail approach. Make sure that it fits properly. Ensure that it is tailored for your body.
  • If you aren't a cocktail type of person, you can never go wrong with a simple black dress or skirt and top paired with a statement jacket.
  • The biggest trend for the December period is natural fibres such as silk and chiffon.
  • Going sheer and dressing sports luxe (wearing track pants or leggings coupled with heels and bling) is also a hot trend at the moment.
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