I don’t know how much thought goes into the choice of opening designer but Lalesso’s resort wear for me was the perfect choice of the “new” Cape Town Fashion Week. This is probably closer to what overseas audiences would expect from Cape Town design (many see the city as the Miami or Rio of Africa): laidback beach wear with a subtle African feel (from the use of Kenyan fabrics). Surprisingly there just aren’t that many labels like this in Cape Town – maybe the freezing shark infested waters and gale force summer winds put the local designers off the whole beach fashion vibe? What I liked about Lalesso, and some of the other designers on day 1, is there is a very strong sense that they know their audience: in this case well scrubbed heiresses with boyfriends called Charles, Sebastian or Pablo and plenty of trust fund rands. My next door neighbour at their show, the very knowledgeable Emma Jordan, mentioned that they have a concession in Top Shop, which is great work and I can see this going down with London’s Chelsea/Fulham girls (for their Bermuda jaunts with daddy and step mama).

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