Five leading fashion designers’ creations will be on show at the Miss South Africa 2023 finale

By CityLife Arts Writer

Some of the country’s top fashion designers will be dressing the finalists in a fantastic fashion-forward Miss South Africa 2023 finale. The Miss South Africa pageant, which will be broadcast on SABC 3 this Sunday from 18h30, takes place at Sun International’s flagship venue, the SunBet Arena at Time Square, Pretoria and promises to be a spectacular, entertainment-packed show. It will also be live streamed for an international audience on the Miss South Africa app.

This year’s designers are Shelli, Gert-Johan Coetzee, Sherif Tailor, William de Beer and Tracy B.

While de Beer, designer and owner of Willetdesigns Couture, is designing the opening number, Shelli from Shell9 Handcrafted and Traci B are collaborating to do the resort and swimwear.

Says Shelli: “My signature style includes a high neck choker and shoulder epaulettes embellished with silver and gold tube beads and unique knot pattern combinations, allowing me to create a visually rich and captivating look and my luxurious macrame designs are handcrafted with attention to detail and are custom-made according to my clients’ needs, whilst also creating exclusive limited collections. For the Miss South Africa pageant, I was greatly inspired by the flowy, exotic and contemporary style of Michael Costello.”

Midrand-based designer Sherif Tailor is doing suits for the finale and says: “I have always wanted to create more suits for women, mainly because wearing a suit, regardless of gender, conveys a sense of refinement and sophistication. I wanted to create bold, strong suits that hold true power and character. If there’s anything that we’ve learned from the past, it’s that a suit symbolises freedom and power while representing the liberated woman.

“I believe the finalists should wear a power suit that reflects their personality, confidence, and screams ‘I am ready to take the crown and conquer the world’, so what better way to give each contestant a round of applause for the courage they have for embarking on this journey and for how far they’ve come, than by dressing them in a brocade fabric, a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics that makes luxury clothing. This material is highly valued because it is made of silk and contains fine gold and silver threads, which best describes the seven finalists. The admiration of various fabrics, colour schemes, and what I can create with them serve as my sources of inspiration.”

Gert Coetzee, the designer behind the evening gowns says: “In creating the gowns for the finalists, I’ve drawn inspiration from the captivating diversity of our country. South Africa’s spirit, especially embodied by its incredible women, is a wellspring of inspiration. These gowns are a testament to the power of unity and just as countless individual beads come together to form these dresses, our rainbow nation’s strength shines brightest when we stand together.

“Expect to be captivated by the extraordinary, and how the intricate details woven into each gown echo the threads of our society, celebrating our shared history and our journey towards oneness. These gowns aren’t mere clothing; they’re living symbols of South Africa’s heart and soul, a radiant example of what can be achieved when unique elements come together in perfect harmony. And a fun fact is that it took seven women more than 2000 hours to make the gowns.”

Final word from Werner Wessels, Creative Director for the Miss South Africa Organisation: “The creative for this year’s Miss South Africa was a love letter to Africa and showcasing the country, its colours and its couture techniques. We want to bring the whole stage to life with Proudly South African designs by Proudly South African designers. I am so honoured that we will be able to showcase these incredible and distinctly African pieces on a global scale and global stage.”

Download the Miss South Africa App from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with Sun International. SABC3 is the official broadcast partner.

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