#SAFW Designer Q&A – Claire Mackenzie

The Iconic hand-painted fashion covers from Vogue in the 20s has inspired Durban-based designer Claire Mackenzie for her latest collection. It consists of colourful and luxurious garments which will be revealed at the South African Fashion Week…

Claire Mackenzie at KZN Fashion Council awards 2013
Claire Mackenzie at KZN Fashion Council awards 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo

1) For those who don’t know, who is Claire Mackenzie?

I am a deep thinker and beauty-lover. I love the beauty and miracle of the natural world as well as appreciate the immense skill of man’s ability to build skyscrapers and cathedrals that seem to defy comprehension. I don’t take myself too seriously either, choosing to laugh in times of difficulty and try to find a silver lining in every situation.

Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013
Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo

2) How would you describe your fashion label?

Feminine, whimsical with a touch of quirkiness.

3) What have your customers come to expect from you?

Great quality garments with exceptional fit and an ability to make them look their best.

Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013
Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo

4) What do you enjoy most about the Durban fashion industry?

I enjoy the familiarity, most of us are friends and we often get together to discuss local industry issues as well as where to find the best fabrics and trims.

Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013
Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo

5) Can you tell us more about what you’ll be showing?

I am showing a delectable array of colourful dresses and ensembles. The garments are intended to look sumptuous and luxurious.

Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013
Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo

6) What was the inspiration behind your collection?

The inspiration is the hand painted fashion covers of Vogue from the 20’s. It was a time when artists were regarded as artisans in their trade. The colours are soft pastels mixed with neutrals and a few pops of complementary brights.

Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013
Claire Mackenzie; KZN Fashion Council awards 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo

7) What, in your opinion, is the best thing about an event like SAFW?

SAFW is the epitome of what South Africa has to offer in terms of clothing design. It is an educational tool to the masses to show what local design is all about and that we can compete on an international level. It is also a way of keeping designers in the public eye which is most important in the early stages of launching a brand.

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