In November 2009 I entered the J&B Fashion Challenge, a fashion design competition and model search which eliminated finalists over 3 rounds. After surviving the scrutiny of the judges and the competitors in the first two rounds, 'Start a Party' and 'Green Glamour', I made it through to the last stage of the challenge. The final round was named according to the J&B Met (a major horse race/fashion event) theme for this year, 'In Full Colour.'
Challenging it was, to design a winning dress overnight, choose the fabrics the very next day and create something to please the judges (whose taste I'd come to know over the previous two stages). I needed to create a colourful, glamourous showstopper, although my inherent style is significantly more subdued. The fabric I found was dauntingly bright and way over the kitsch borderline, but I had plans for this loud silk satin.
I spent hours creating paper patterns for an enormously full skirt and days hand beading the bust piece. But it was all worth the sweat and tears, because although it was only by two points, I won the first prize! An all expenses paid, luxury trip to Cape Town, a VIP ticket to the J&B Met where I would be surrounded by fashion big wigs and celebrities. Good fun.
The Met welcomed us with a glass of champagne, sushi, caviar and all the lovelies one can think of. A mini day spa offered massages throughout the day while GHD and L'Oreal Paris made us feel like stars with professional hair and make up. We were entertained by some of the country's top performers and socialized with the elite.