BY JEN SU
South African designer Jacques LaGrange, well-known as the “King of Couture” – showcased a collection of showstopping glamorous garments with a unique touch of drama at New York Fashion Week.
JEN: Hey Jacques! So happy to see you here in New York! Tell me more about your catwalk collection with Maarkah for NYFW?
JACQUES: Hi Jen! Maarkah is the Arabic word for ‘brands’. Maarkah, Runway Prestige and Rabab Abdalla invited me to show at Maarkah New York Fashion Week last year, and I’m honoured to have been invited back again this year. Rabab’s vision is to see greater representation of Middle Eastern and African designers in mainstream American fashion. The venue was incredible – the Museum of The City of New York.
JEN: Describe the vision for your new collection.
JACQUES: The new collection is my vision for the future how I see these modest ladies dress. It was specifically designed for Maarkah as I have a very strong private client base in Dubai and Amman – in addition to all through Europe, and of course, SA.
JEN: And the materials?
JACQUES: The collection plays with metallic floral displays for Spring/Summer couture. Very flowing elegant and feminine – it’s wearable couture for the modern client, with top quality fabrics and impeccable workmanship. Beaded silks, metallic flowers hand beaded and cut. Silver, white, and winter white were the main colours to provide a glimpse into the future. You could call it “Future modest wear”!
JEN: What are some of the challenges you’ve needed to overcome, in order to put on an international fashion show?
JACQUES: The challenge is always finding superb quality fabrics and highly efficient workers, which puts SA a bit behind the rest of the fashion world. Having 80% European clients that dress Jacques LaGrange and Chanel, for instance – I have to be a cut above the rest. Travelling is my oxygen! (laughing) It gives me new life!
JEN: So I take it you love New York then!
JACQUES: Indeed! New York is at the head of my Top 3 cities to visit. It’s a place where it’s up to you, to stand out – and not up to others. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere!
JEN: Sounds like a song we know! (singing) What can we expect from the ‘King of Couture’ in the near future?
JACQUES: Well, Jen – the good news is that I’m fully booked with private clients for the whole next year!
Fabrics for the Jacques La Grange Couture Collection at NYFW by Studio 47 House of Fashion Fabrics in Cape Town. Shoes by Charles Keith South Africa.