With a soft pink velvety texture, my fingers progress’ along the perfect formation of the South African Protea. The genus Protea was named in 1735 by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form at will, because Proteas have such different forms. Proteas attracted the attention of botanists visiting the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. Many species were introduced to Europe in the 18th century, enjoying a unique popularity at the time amongst botanists. Unconsciously it made me think of the perfect metaphoric symbol for South African Fashion.

 South African fashion has evolved into a phenomenal curiosity world-wide that changes form in many ways. 

"If I think of Africa, my memory goes back to warm ginger-colour sunsets, animals with different types of fur and flowers with textures that are tangible."

    South Africans have been referred to as the 'rainbow nation', a title which epitomises the country's cultural diversity. With more than 10 different tribes and 11 official languages, it has given way to altered tastes and a fashion that is both influenced and stimulated by people, nature, tribes and historic controversy. If I look at a young up and coming designer, Terese Meijering is the personification of African inspired design. She gave us some background on her range Nooi:


So what is the History and background of Nooi?

Created and fashioned by Terese Meijering. It began as a final year project for my B-Tech degree in Fashion Design at Tshwane University of Technology,South Africa. One of ten series that I used for my final year design would be inspired and stirred by fashion during the Boere War (1899-1902). This was the era of Victorian clothing and Voortrekker hoods. I decided the Fashion range to go by the name off ‘Nooi’, since the clothing focused mainly on ladies clothing and ‘Nooi’ is the African term for a girl. The Voortrekker hoods have major significance in the series and would also conduct to the motivation of the Nooi logo. African Fashion International invited me for the Audi Joburg Fashion Week to showcase along with three other young designers in the New Generation Show in 2010. With the invite came the start of the revolution of ‘Nooi’.

What would be your design philosophy and inspiration? 

 By the time I finished my studies, I was ready to bring a fresh breeze in South African fashion, especially in terms of design, bright primary clothing, tribal prints and shwe-shwe fabric ... I wanted ‘my South Africa’ to mirror my designs, with South African culture as inspiration, it's the Field Shoes (Vellies), khaki shorts with socks and caps, that in my opinion epitomize who we as South Africans are. Everything is usually in neutral colours, because it is inspired by local landscapes (Karoo etc.)

   The Alice in Wonderland series is done because I believe fantasy is a big part of our zeitgeist. In the postmodern era, we were each a character in our own film, we hear music, we had everyone's individual theme song and the clothes decided on would be the costumes. I think it is still a step further summarized; escapism is something that could be associated with our own fantasy characters. Clothing is considered part of it, you can fantasize within what you wear, so we see many bows, balette shoes, vintage clothes, etc.. The Alice series comes from that initiative. I wanted the theme to stay with the Nooi background so that led to the ...’South African Alice’ inspired by the Victorian ‘Boere’ (Afrikaans for traditional African folks) clothing. The "Fantasy" home used for the photo shoot had to be Melrose house in Pretoria, South Africa. Melrose House is the location where the peace treaty in the Boer War was signed and is one of our National Museums. With the cool gentle African summer zephyr comes the new breeze of talent in a country filled with beauty.

In the words of Former South African president Nelson Mandela: "It always seems impossible until it's done."

- {South Africa} 












Clothing Line: Nooi

Clothing Designer: Terese Meijering

Photographer: WeLovePictures