Sunday, 29 January 2012


Back from Cape Town and WHAT an amazing trip.  Binky, my wonderful hostess, had my bedroom ready and waiting, the clothing I leave there all freshly washed and ironed, new satellite TV installed (which, as those of you who know me well will be surprised to hear I didn't watch once (didn't have time!)) and she was bursting with her usual enthusiasm for my projects, her projects and anything inbetween.

This was a particularly satisfying trip in that as well as finding more lovely jewellery to sell in the shop this coming year, I have succeeded in making the link between my clothing designs and some of the beautiful work coming out of Cape Town.  The first great news I had on arrival was that Binky has assembled a group of knitters/crocheters; I have wanted to get my knitwear made in Cape Town ever since I went there the first time, and now Binky has made it happen.  Teresa, Francina and Claudette are refugees from Rwanda; they knit, crochet, bead, weave.  So clever.

From L to R : Teresa, Claudette and Francina

We spent several days together working on my designs as well as brainstorming projects for Binky, and here are some of the results. Beautiful handknitted pieces, no two the same.

I wore them around while I was there and got a great reception, so that led me to thinking that I might be able to market my knitwear designs in South Africa.  To this end, Binky put me in touch with Helon Melon, a well know Cape Town designer, and we are in full collaboration mode as I write.  Between South Africa and France I should be able to keep at least one of the knitters in full time work; that's my goal anyway.  

Second project dear to my heart:  I met up with Stephanie from Krafthaus and she is going to make and supply me with handmade felted woollen edgings for my coats, dresses and who knows what else!  Watch out for the results in my Winter 2012 range. This is one of her gorgeous creations, just to give you some idea how lovely her work is.

And finally, I shall be using the beautiful fine crochet work produced by Projekt as decoration on my dresses.  Doesn't this look wonderful?  Peta Becker runs the group which provides income to more than 28 women from Imizamo Yethu, (the informal settlement in Hout Bay, Cape Town). Working with 100% cotton, they focus on providing excellent contemporary design.

And then there are the fabrics I've brought back for the 2012 collection ....

And some of the jewellery ...

So you see, it was HUGE success!