15 Sep BLANKET CHALLENGE
The Interns started off their week off lakeside in the great outdoors. Nico caught up with them on their thoughts and their progress, Welhemina’s shock elimination and what was like having Denver back amongst them. Quite surprisingly, most of the original contestants didn’t feel any sort of threat by his return – at least that’s what they said!
Since it’s Heritage Month, which is why they were presented with Aranda Blankets and were introduced to Palo Mokoailane, the brand ambassador for Aranda Basotho Blankets, which pride themselves on their range of products inspired by the beautiful traditional designs. And in manufacturing, they provide local employment and boost the South African economy. This week’s challenge centres on the blankets. David explained that the Interns would be challenged to create a globally appealing look that captures the essence of being South African, using blankets as their primary fabric. Structure, shape and form would be the judges’ biggest concern this week. Given the complexity of the task, David took the contestants to a Masterclass to showcase all the blankets they would get to work with, and shared some invaluable tips and tricks on how to make the look work. David then announced that he himself would be a part of this week’s challenge and will be creating his own look using the same fabrics. May the best designer win, it seemed!
The Interns headed on back to the studio to start sketching their designs, and while they were busy Nico entered the room to check on them and, in particular, Denver, who said he was grateful for the second chance David had given him. Speaking of David, he then came into the studio to look over the contestants’ design, and told them that they would need to work with graphic designer Abner to reinterpret their designs in the final printed product. The Interns soon realised that blanket fabric presented far greater challenges to work with than regular material, and with time running out, the pressure in the room started to mount. Coupled with that fact that they still needed to head to the Rosebank Market to shop for accessories, this week’s challenge was starting to look like the most demanding so far! Returning to the studio, the contestants were frantically pulling their creations together, all while David was calmly telling them how amazing his design is coming along. The lesson this week was about thinking outside the box, a concept which has been the centre of David’s own success. Which he why was trying to teach them that if they can take something as often-overlooked and traditional as a blanket and transform it into couture, they will have what it takes to make it in the industry.
Elimination Day arrived and the Interns assembled on the rooftop overlooking the breathtaking Jozi skyline at sunrise, armed with a much needed cup of coffee. But there was no time to chill, since and soon they were back in the studio when making last minute adjustments to their garments when the unthinkable happened: the power went out – in the whole studio. But elimination time was fast approaching, so they simply couldn’t down tools and wait. Some of the quick-thinking Interns went so far as to work by the light of their mobile phones, some went on stitching by hand, and other just sat back helplessly hoping and praying that they lights would come back in. Naturally, in walked David at that moment, amazed that, only two hours from elimination, some of the contestants weren’t working. Setbacks like these happen in the industry, said David, and professionals have to make a plan! To prove his point, David walked upstairs to start the generator – who knew, right? David Tlale – truly a man of many talents! But not only did David give them power, he also brought his leading ladies – the machinists – to help the Interns. With the lights back on, they everyone was back at work to finish up. Along with the dizzying pace, David also introduces Chereece Samuels-Balkisson from the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) SETA, who was to be this week’s guest judge. Aranda was Chereece’s choice for this challenge, mostly because of their dedication to the local manufacturing industry.
The models arrived and immediately got ready for this evening’s elimination. Soon we’re back on the rooftop for a sunset elimination. It’s judging time and the models took to the rooftop runway!
All the designs looked amazing and the judges were visibly impressed, but one last look hadn’t taken to the runway yet, and that was David’s. And it certainly was a stunning showstopper!
Keletso, Kuena, Cyla
Sam and Denver
Falling Off The Seams: