Just hours ahead of the greatly anticipated event that is Cape Town Fashion Week, HL caught up with the über talented Gavin Rajah to chat about his designs for the imminent show and about his interpretation of local fashion design… Which ideas and motifs inspire your spring/ summer collection? This season I am inspired by an exhibition I saw at the V&A Museum on the jewellery collection of the Maharajah of Patiala. The rich landscape and traditional dress of the people from Rajasthan have inspired this collection. There is a mix of old World colonial India meeting contemporary Western silhouettes in the collection. The collection abounds with prints reminiscent of designs created by George Haite inspired by India at the V&A Museum in London. When do you start preparing for Fashion Week? I normally start as soon as the fabrics arrive and this year some of the fabrics took longer then expected so it’s been a last minute dash to get things out. What are your expectations for the event? For us it’s about showcasing our brand and the exceptional talent our studio has. It’s also about exposing our work to new clientele and to our existing clients. We sell exceptionally well after our show. What key trends do you think will come through at Fashion Week this year? I think this year we will see an emphasis on colour, loads of long skirts, attention to detail and bold embellishment and, on the flip side to this, a strong graphic silhouette. What kind of fashion designers do we have in Cape Town? What makes them unique? I think we have some very talented designers who range from the avante garde to the ultra commercial. Overall they possess a unique approach to fashion which is not always fettered by global trends. See some of Gavin’s extraordinary designs by visiting his website here. To find out more about 2011 Cape Town Fashion Week visit the Cape Town Fashion Council website or phone them on 021-461-4696.