The Intern | The Intern By David Tlale Seventh Challenge
The Intern By David Tlale episode 7
The Intern, The Intern By David Tlale, Challenge, seventh challenge, fashion design, fashion design challenge, behind the scenes, Cradle of Humankind, Golden Glow Textiles, Gert van de Merwe
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With Denver having gone, the contestants reflected on how far they have come in the contest, and the face that they are now in the top 7. After Nico checked in with the team to see how they were, he took them off to their next challenge.

They headed on to Jozi’s CBD and ended up at St. Mary’s church in downtown Johannesburg. Nico gave them a little history behind the church. In the 1950s it was one of the few interracial churches in South Africa, and its first black Dean was Desmond Tutu himself – and in 1993 the body of Oliver Tambo lay in state there before he was buried. Talk about a history lesson! Nico then introduced the contestants to Gert van de Merwe, couture wedding dress designer. Gert has been in the industry for the past 25 years. He spoke about how he loves the one-on-one interaction with customers, and loves an idea can evolve into something wonderful. His advice to contestants to not to overcomplicate their designs; keep it clean, keep it simple. David described Gert as the ‘king of couture’ – so the pressure was on. 

The challenge this week was dubbed ‘Wonderland’, and they needed to design for a bride –  creating the ultimate showstopper for the ultimate bridezilla. Of course the contestants would need some brides, and Nico then introduced the special guest brides for this week’s challenge. To everyone’s surprise, in walked well know celebrities and personalities. The contestants were randomly paired up with the brides, but oddly there was one bride missing. She did not show up, but that’s to be expected, contestants were told, as brides often miss their fitting dates. Everyone had a bride except Michalene, who would hang out with David during this part of the challenge.

David and Gert lay down the realities of the challenge: To remember that they not only are the brides, but they are brands too. They need to feel special and important. The contestants grabbed their brides to get measurements and start sketching.  Kuena was paired with Michael Russel, who is an actress and model. Keletso was paired with Candice Abrahams, Mrs World 2016. Sam was paired with Simphiwe Dana, a musician. Boitumelo was paired with Catherine Grenfell, a radio personality. Wilhemina was paired with Savita Mbuli, who is an entrepreneur.  Cyla was paired with Azania Mosaka, a radio personality. Michalene’s bride did not show up for the day’s meeting.

After the contestants met with their brides at St. Mary’s, they headed on back to the studio and Gert and David gave them last tips in the CNA Inspiration Bar. Gert said the dress had to be perfect, and that the focus on any bride is always on the bodice.  It’s the next day and the contestants headed off to collect fabrics to start their selection, so they were taken to the workshop of the fabric sponsor, Golden Glow Textiles. They were only given 30 minutes to make their selections!

Feroz Patel from Golden Glow Textiles spoke about how he met David. They met when David was an intern himself, the year David won the Designer of the Year. As a guest judge, Feroz will look at the selection of fabrics and how it works with the design and the brief. To add to the challenge, contestants were told that they weren’t allowed to use the typical whites and pinks that one would expect from a bridal design, but instead they had to use vibrant colour and bold design. Time was up and the contestants headed on out to meet with the brides again to show designs and to do fittings. Michalene’s bride finally arrived and she was none other than the lovely diva Khanyi Mbau. This could spell trouble, as Khanyi has a big personality, to say the least, and Michalene comes across as timid and quiet.  David checked in with the contestants to give last tips and left them to finish their designs. By Friday at 16h00, David wanted the dresses done and ready for viewing.

Friday arrived and Nico checked in with the contestants, and, predictably, the tensions and stress was running high. Most hadn’t slept at all. The brides arrived to view their designs, and while some were happy with the creations, others went full Bridezilla! With the brides’ viewing done and dusted, the contestants headed back to finish their dresses. David walked in and saw how messy the workshop was, and calls all contestants to stop what they were doing and start cleaning the workshop.

David walked around and checked the contestants’ work so far. Keletso and David have words with him about arriving late for the 16hoo deadline. Keletso went back to Golden Glow Textiles to get more fabric, his reason being that the fabric wasn’t enough. David replies with the cutting, “You’re not enough.” Ouch! Brides arrived for the fitting review with David. The feedback was a mixture of love and eyebrow raises. With reviews done, David informed the contestants that call time is 08h00 the next morning to head out to location. This put more pressure on the contestants to get their work done and ready for the judging.

This week’s elimination was at the Cradle of Humankind. David and guest judges Gert van de Merwe and Feroz Patel arrived in the cave, took their seats and got straight to it.

Top looks:




Bottom looks:




Falling off the seams: