Gavin Rajah, revered designer and convener of the inaugural Cape Town Fashion Week in 2003, marked a decade of Cape Town Fashion Week (now Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) with an outstanding collection where the optimistic 1950s met romantic Victorian times. Rajah explains Luminescent Luxury was inspired by Boccaccio's love poetry, the language of flowers and "la dolce vita" (the good life) lifestyle of 50s Italy.
Models sashayed down the catwalk with soft, romantic up-do hairstyles dressed with flowers and clean silhouettes, with a focus on detail, intricate construction and seaming.
This new form of luxury was brought to life through the use of sensuous fabrics and solid colour silk brocades with metallic streaks. Coarse large-patterned lace dresses were embellished with gold and silver bullion embroidery and Swarovski crystal to create a 3D texture.
The 50s influence was seen in cropped bra corsets, high-waist pencil skirts and jackets in silk brocade, giving the garments a distinct vintage baroque feel. Evening dresses in hand-pleated Chantilly lace with delicate beading echoed sugar-coated flowers.
View the video to see the collection.