The celebrated fashion designer, Gert Johan Coetzee maintains that a wedding is the biggest red-carpet moment for any couple, deserving all elements complementing each other.
From the food, the décor, the grooms suit and even the venue, the song, the rhythm must be complementary. Coetzee was in the country this weekend at the invite of the Grand Palm Hotel, and he was the guest at the hotels annual Wedding Expo. He says that those who wish to create everlasting memories on their big day should start planning in advance, and take care of all the nitty gritty details of a wedding. This, he says will set them for a perfect wedding day.
Speaking on the side lines of the expo, which was also coupled with a one of a kind fashion show, courtesy of the partnership between the hotel and the Fashion Without Borders brand, the versatile designer chatted about this and that with Style on Saturday evening. Earlier during the day, he had an interesting conversation with the public who came to the expo to learn about new wedding trends. On Saturday evening, he showcased six intricate and beautiful wedding gowns. The ballgowns were just beautiful, and spoke volumes about his talent, and what he can create for his many diverse clients from across the world.
One of these six ballgowns included a wedding dress that was worn by Larona Moagi who plays the character of Itumeleng Mokoena on the River, a telenovela that airs on 1Magic on DStv. In the TV show, Itumeleng wore the dress when she wed Zolani (real name Lawrence Maleka) at a beautiful ceremony. Besides dressing Itumeleng, many would remember that he was also the mastermind behind Minnie Dlamini Jones' wedding dress.
For as long as many can remember, Coetzee has been the most trusted hand when it comes to dressing the one and only Bonang Matheba. The relationship between the two spans many years. When Queen B turned 30, Gert did not disappoint. Talking about the ball gowns, he explains that they were all show stoppers, and pointed out that people would love them. Taking us through the process of creating a masterpiece of a show stopper, he explains that it takes him months to bring one to life. In total, together with 7 or 8 other team members, it takes eight months to breath life into one masterpiece. “It is very expensive to create one,” he tells Style.
He also says that whenever he has to create a show stopper, he tries to capture the personality of a client. Besides his second visit to Botswana, he notes that he has been busy with the annual South African fashion week, as well as an exhibition in Sandton of some of his most iconic dresses. The eight dresses include Queen B’s iconic 30th birthday dress, as well as Miss Universe SA's is dazzling gown. The gown was made with hundreds of crystals and is a vision of a dream, as well as Minnie’s wedding dress. “Social media is going crazy about this exhibition,” says Gert. Besides his exhibition, he shares that he has a lot of bride clients from Botswana.
Quizzed by a local fashionista, Loungo Andre Pitse about the level of fashion in the country, and his thoughts during the three-day event, he gushed that Botswana has a lot of talent. He also noted that the quality of work displayed by the designers who showcased was outstanding. “They have given me a run for my money,” he gushed.