SUNDAY TIMES - David Tlale to launch Joburg's own gala fashion event
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Sunday Times Fashion By Gabi Mbele, 2017-02-15 13:12:56.0

David Tlale to launch Joburg's own gala fashion event

David Tlale presents a collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Joburg in 2016.
Image: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

David Tlale is walking a mile in Vogue editor Anna Wintour's shoes‚ as he launches Premium Gala‚ his own prestigious Met Gala-style annual event.

The award-winning fashion designer hosted 60 VIPS on Tuesday‚ including Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina‚ model Tatum Keshwar and businesswoman Savita Mbuli at Saxon Hotel and Spa to show off his concept‚ set to take place annually on Valentine's Day.

"Nothing happens in Johannesburg‚ we are the hub of fashion and entertainment and this is where most stars live‚ but when events are created they are not held in this city.

"The idea is for Johannesburg to have its own prestigious annual event that all big names want to be a part of as they dress up according to themes and look forward to being part of every year‚" said Tlale.

His concept follows the Met Gala - founded in 1946 - a themed fundraising soiree chaired by Wintour that benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute in New York and is attended by international A-listers annually.

It's dubbed the "must have invite of the year" by the international press.

Like the New York institute‚ Tlale aims to build a fashion museum by 2019 that will hold heritage and cultural apparel while also being home to African garments that have made history‚ like Ester Mahlangu's Ndebele garments which‚ Tlale said‚ "have made her a fashion icon internationally".

"We will be holding two galas this year‚ in July and November‚ which will be a means to raise funds for the museum that will showcase how traditional garments are made and what they look like‚ from Voortrekker outfits to Shibelani (Tsonga traditional skirts). "This will also showcase items like Miriam Makeba's garments which have been imitated by many artists today‚ like Lira‚ who's carried on with that fashion sense.

"It will be a great way to educate schoolchildren‚ fashion designers and the world about our fashion‚ where it comes from and how it has transformed." Although he refused to disclose the cost of a seat‚ Tlale has already received the backing for his first gala from Masina‚ who vowed to host the Christmas in Winter-themed event on July 14 in Ekurhuleni.

"David is from the east and there is plenty to be seen in the east that many might not know about‚ which is why we are opening our invitation to hosting this event there‚" said Masina‚ who attended the three-course dinner with his wife Sinazo.