David Tlale has emerged as a fashion phenomenon known for marrying the avant-garde and the contemporary with a number of designer showcases that have ranged from the slightly adventurous to the outrageous. David's collections encompass everything from feathers to coins, to mixing tartan and satin in fashion exhibitions that are a display of ostentation and daring – some of the hallmarks of haute couture fashion.
When David started as a designer in the ELLE Rising Star Design competition in 2003, he was an experimental designer, pushing the envelope by mixing textures, colours and prints in dizzying, eclectic fashion. He then went on to consult for a retail company, while he crafted a space for himself on the runway.
His catwalk collections have been an alchemy of experimentation – his 2009 Africa Fashion Week showcase mixed deep reds and dusty earth colours with loud splashes of mismatched ethnic prints, while at the Joburg Fashion Week in the same year, he blended bright metallics and geometric print for a very sleek look that was much more accessible.
Over the next few years it became clear that his collections could not be predicted, with no two shows giving any sign of a ‘theme’.
David then became more and more popular for his fashion exhibitions, set up in decorated rooms with models posed on furniture. His collection at Cape Town Fashion Week 2011 featured a mixture of classic and African influences to create a dramatic show with elements of Victorian style about it. At Africa Fashion Week in the same year, he mixed pastel shades and stiff metallic textures – many featuring coins as trim – with a boxy, shaped silhouette.
David's first ready-to-wear line, Van Der Tlale, was produced for LEGiT for Autumn/Winter of this year. The glamorous range carries all of the character of the David Tlale brand, while giving it a fresh, street fashion spin, perfect for the on-trend fashionista. The line is available at LEGiT now (for a short time only!), so hurry to your nearest store to grab a piece crafted by this superstar designer while you still can.
With his upcoming collection for Cape Town Fashion Week 2012 already being much vaunted as one to watch, we can’t wait to see what he comes up with.
Image Credit: Simon Deiner Photography/SDR Photo/David Tlale