How varsity students brought the 'art of fashion' to life at SA Fashion Week

The creative director of the Durban University of Technology, Gideon, takes us behind the seams of the 2019 DUT show at SAFW

14 April 2019 - 00:00 By Keneilwe Pule

Describe your involvement in the DUT fashion show
I am head of Creative Design for DUT, creative director of the DUT graduation collection show and creative director of the SAFW/DUT show. I lecture all the third-year students and select the theme for the year's integrated curriculum.
What is the selection process for students who show at SAFW?
I select according to ranges that are forward thinking, innovative and original.
The theme of this year's collection was "The art of fashion". How did you decide on this theme?
I normally have the future theme in mind as soon as I have completed the collections with the students. It's a carefully thought-out process, allowing enough scope in the base of the theme, and granting an element that the students can identify with and share their unique vision for their respective collections. I am here to help guide them to be the best of themselves and the voice they want for their year-end collection.
How would you describe the Durban aesthetic?
Durban is a mix of culture, pride, equality and tolerance. It's a vibrant mix of textures and colours and the underlying self-worth of every person.
What do you think is the biggest influence on design for your students?
I find the influence has moved from social media to their environment and their personal feelings and thoughts on global events, as well as lifestyle stories.
What do you hope is the biggest lesson for the students to learn from this experience?
My main aim is to teach the students to get a sample of what the outside fashion industry has to offer and what is expected of them. A show like SAFW helps the students understand that the process they are taught at DUT has far-reaching benefits in the world of fashion. My main aim is that they can walk away with the base of a strong, diverse curriculum and then the lights and glamour of SAFW.
What do you hope to achieve with the project?
The ultimate goal of this project is to show the students that hard work, sacrifice and self worth, not arrogance, can help you achieve the ultimate goals in your life...

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