Tuesday, June 14, 2011


It is without a doubt that one of the highlights at the South African Music Awards this year was the fashion, people went all out this year, I was impressed, everyone just looked good... BUT on the top of my list when it comes to the fashion that night is, Bonang Matheba who was one of the hosts. She looked impeccable, she had 5 wardrobe changes and she looked amazingly gorgeous in all of them. I was blown away...so we hunted down the man behind those 5 gorgeous garments, Gert Johan Coetzee and I had the liberty to chat to him. *YAY* So the main focus for this exclusive was to just discuss the SAMA's but Gert and I got carried away and we ended up discuss everything (well not everthing, everything but everything). I couldn't help myself, he is so down to earth and calm I just found myself flowing through questions that i had not even planned, he probably thought i was forward, lol... BUT true talent he is, any honest-fashion-loving human being will attest to that. I for one love and appreciate his artistry.

Gert Johan Coetzee

I loved all 5 outfits, after i saw the first one I was seating on the edge of my seat anticipating the next and when I saw the second one I almost jumped out of my seat. What I loved about them is that they were very well designed and beautifully tailored and that's the one thing we can not taking away from Gert, he is skilled tailor, lawwwd!! I always say no matter how gorgeous a garment is, if the fit is not right, trust me, you might as well go get your money back, cause its not gonna work honey. Not at all!!

OK! Enough yada yada... Let's get into it.... #Leegggooooo


I loooooooooove this!!!!!!! Long leopard print dress with long sleeves and bare back, pure elegance. I love how the front is sophisticated and the back is playful and sexy; leaving just enough for the imagination


STUNNER!! I love the simplicity of this dress, the band around the waist gives it great shape and the silver studs around the collar brings life and excitement to it. Its beautifully. Hahaha...I was actually at Gert's studio the day he was working on this dress, I came in with my friend Sisi on a mission to find an outfit for the SAMA's. Now the was on a mannequin both worked on and both Sisi and I were on some "WOW!!DEATH!!LOVE!! So we said to Gert "We'll take that dress"pointing at this dress", his response "Sorry honey, that dress is for Bonang"DEAD!!! 


The colour of this gown is amazing, the length is perfect and the metallic gold waist belt is the icing on the cake. I  love the subtle metallic gold detailing around the shoulders. I absolutely adore this garment, I am a fool for it, I will do anything for it, lol... I can actuall see it on the red carpet at the Oscars. Yip, the Oscars! 


This look is so well put together, it takes my breath away. Firstly the jumpsuit GORGEOUSLY made, its as if it was made on Bonang's body. Exquisite!!! The lacey, flowery detail gives it that sexy-i-wanna-eat-you look, without making it tacky. The jewelry is kept to a bare minimal because the suit is already very detailed, that also keeps it classy and elegant. The head piece complete the look, it bring everything together perfectly!! I would rock this outfit any day! LOVE IT!


We need to have a moment of silence for this look *moment* Gert please take a bow!! WOW!! HE nailed this look and Bonang rocked it like a super star!! Yolandy and I could not keep quiet about how perfectly correct the colour-blocking is, we loved this look. The plunging neck line, the knotted sleeves, drapping pockets, metallic gold waist belt PERFECTION!!!! #EnuffSaid

Q. How was it working with Bonang during the stressful period of the Samas?

A. Working with Bonang is always a pleasure and the SAMA’s project was no exception. We both understood the seriousness and importance of our jobs, but we still managed to make it a fun experience. Yes, it was a stressful period because so much had to be done, however we started planning and preparing weeks and weeks before the day of the of the event. We also had an amazing team to work with and that at least took off a bit of the pressure.

Q. What was the inspiration for each of the 5 different looks/outfits?

A. Well, what most people don’t know is that there were actually 9 outfits that we had made and planned for her to wear. However because the show is a 2-hour production, she didn’t get a chance to wear and showcase all the looks. That’s why you only ended up seeing only 5 of the looks. 

The inspirations came from both Bonang and myself, we sat down together and came up with a couple of ideas. Some ideas were good and they made the cut, some were not that good and they did not, hahahaha…

Q. How involved was Bonang with the designing and creation of the garments?
A. Because Bonang is very creative and opinionated individual, she voices out what she likes and what she does not like. I mean no person would ever wear what she/he doesn’t particularly approve of. Having said that, I as a designer also want the chance to showcase my craft and talent. So we met each other halfway as far as the designs are concerned. But because we have been working together for some time now, she has learned to trust and understand the way I work. So even thou she tells me what she likes and doesn’t like, she also allows me to work my magic and in the end we both come out happy.

Q. How long did each garment take to produce?

A. Like I said we started working on the looks many weeks ago, so I can not say exactly how long each garment took to make, what I can tell you is that each garment goes through the hands of about 7 people. And it really depends on how much work each garment requires. Some take a week, some take even longer. I mean there was a time I worked on a client’s wedding dress for almost a year, but there was also a time where I worked on a dress I was making for Elana Africa and it took me only 2 hours to start and complete and it come out beautifully.

Q. Which other celebrities did Gert-Johan Coetzee dress for the SAMAs 2011?

A. We had the opportunity to work with 5 other SA celebrities in the music industry. Louise Carver, Lira and the 3 ladies of the group Jamali. 

    Louise Carver at the SAMA's.

    Jamali at the SAMA's.

    Q. How did you manage to divide your time and attention between all the 5 ladies, while still making sure that things are at top level with Bonang?

    A. I work with a very reliable team of people, that have in time become my support base and they are there when I cannot be. But I am a very hands-on designer and try to be at every fitting, and the fact that we had enough time to plan allowed me to do so. Even though it was very tough, if you have the passion and drive you can do almost anything. I have so much love and appreciation for designing and bringing my creations to life so things turn to appear easy even when they are not. 

    Q. Are any of the garments Bonang worn going to be going on sale anytime soon?

    A. Not these one’s particularly, every piece I make is exclusive, therefore no. However, you will be seeing a lot of looks that are inspired by the garments Bonang wore. If for example a client comes in and asked for one of the looks, I will of cause make her something that will be inspired by which ever look they desire. And I am going to be starting a diffusion line soon and who knows maybe some of the clothes I will make will be inspired by some of the garments we made for Bonang.

    Q. Does this mean you’re starting a ready-to-wear-line soon? 

    A. That is in the pipelines at the moment. It is going to happen, but I don’t want to dwell much on it right now as it is still in the talks. All I can say is - watch the space!

      Q. Do you ever worry or stress about the public not understanding your design or garment?

      A. I would not say that I worry about it, although it is always in the back of my head. I realise that taste differs and sometimes people are scared to be daring. When I design, I try to be daring, pushing the boundaries as far as I can within reason. As in art, you will either love a piece or hate it. But if it does not bring up any emotion in you, then it has no life.

      Q. How do you know when you’ve got the design or garment right?

      A. When the client is happy. Understanding the client as well as the female form is key to the success of any dress. If she feels like a star, she will be wearing it with confidence. 

      Q. Have you ever felt like you’ve over worked a design??
      A. Sure I do, but when that happens I jump right back in until I am happy with the design. In time you learn, grow and you get to know certain pitfalls that you stay away from.  Since you plan a design before the production, it does not happen too often.

        Q. What should people be looking forward to for the Durban July as far as Gert-Johan Coetzee (Pty)Ltd is concern?

        A. This year we are going to be very strategic in picking the celebrities we are going to be working with. Of cause all ladies are welcome to buy and wear Gert-Johan Coetzee; we are not chasing anybody away. Gert-Johan Coetzee is for anyone to wear, celebrity or not. However in terms of the celebrities that we will be dressing and work in-conjunction with, we will have very strict measures and high standards this year. 

        Q. Tips for the winter season?

        A. I’ve got a couple…. I’d say the colours for the season are definitely your midnight blues and metallic gold’s, different shades of them. Lots and lots of laces and fabrics, which gives you a feel of elegance. And seeing that this is the last season for the military jackets I would say one needs to invest in a nice leather biker jacket, that’s the best advice I’ll give you for this season.

        Q. What’s next for Gert-Johan Coetzee (Pty) Ltd brand?

        A. There are a lot of exciting things that I am currently working on to grow the Gert-Johan Coetzee brand. As I mentioned before, we are working on a diffusion line and we are going to be opening a couple stores locally, so I’m very excited about that. And I’m very proud to say that we are going to be working with a couple of celebrities overseas, so you will be seeing a lot of Gert-Johan Coetzee garments on international stars on the red carpet. We are currently pushing the Gert-Johan Coetzee brand to go international, so yes do look out for that, proudly South African.

        Visit: www.gertjohancoetzee.com

        Picture credit: Thanks to Gert Johan Coetzeee for all the pictures.

        *Pheew* thats was a was a mouthful wasn't it?! Thank you so much to Gert for taking his time to do this, highly appreciated. You're amazing talent and you're a beautiful soul. All the best for your future endeavors, continue the fabulous work. Fashion Freaks loves you.

        Fashion Freak Forever,
        Melody Motha :)



          I Bow down to Gert.

          I bow down to Bonang she rocked them!

        2. amazing design, creative mind....respect!!!