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"Simon Rademan - Man for all seasons"
A celebrated South African
fashion designer, Simon Rademan’s vocation suits him down to the
ground, on which he takes good care to keep his feet. Besides his
obvious charm and affability, there is one characteristic that he
possesses that is an indisputable asset: the man has style.
eveningwear and wedding apparel, Simon designs enchanting garments
that have graced the country’s catwalks for more than a decade.
Inspired by Coco Chanel, his signature style may be described as
gloriously glamorous, stylish, simple, elegant and feminine.
Simon’s newest range –
his Classic Couture Collection 2007 – was recently launched at
Gallagher Estate. The range is predominantly black and white, with
elegant touches of blue. “Within black and white, you can see any
colour,” explains Simon, “and the colour I saw was blue.” While the
black and white depicts clarity, which, according to Simon refers to
“how clear life is at the moment,” the blue lends itself to that which
is natural and calm – his portrayal of a type of rebirth. The
inspiration for the intricate beadwork and finishing of the exquisite
garments Simon derived from the multitude of African cultures.
Unlike many other
designers, Simon favours a more personal approach in his work and his
relationship with his clients. It is for this reason that he has not
launched a multitude of shops worldwide – preferring instead to
satisfy the market’s need for a ‘personal touch’ to fashion design.
Simon considers himself more of a ‘style co-ordinator,’ and insists
that he has a “desire to do the right thing for the right person”. As
such, he commits to recognising the inherent differences between the
various clients he designs for, and treats each client as a unique
individual with distinct requirements.
Simon was born and grew
up in the small town of Ceres. Both his parents were deaf, so Simon
learnt sign language before he could speak English or Afrikaans. While
he confesses to being a businessman, Simon says he is not always
certain that he wants to take on the role and describes himself as
“slightly eccentric, though ‘together’ at the same time.”
A true testament to his
eccentricity, he divulges, are the 18 pairs of identical black denims
in his wardrobe. It is not surprising then, that the designer always
wears black, which he does so as not to visually interfere with the
colour of the garments that his clients fit. Simon appears to have
taken this maxim to the extreme, as he confesses to having
purposefully ‘deleted’ colour from his life – evident not only in his
black wardrobe, but also in his purposeful choice of both a white
house and car.
Boasting the smoothest of
manners, Simon is both engaging and intriguing. His strength of
character is most certainly evident in his calm temperament. Simon
believes that each new day brings a fresh start, and so he ensures
that every morning he is in the same mood, having forgiven any
transgressions the night before.
Having been a judge for
Miss SA, Mrs SA, Miss Deaf SA and other highly acclaimed beauty
pageants, Simon is respected countrywide for his vast knowledge and
honest opinions on fashion, beauty, style and etiquette. So much so,
in fact, that he is writing a book on these very topics, which he
hopes to finish early next year. Certainly knowledgeable on the
subject, this rather tongue-in-cheek book will delve into all aspects
of etiquette and divulge all that can and has gone wrong.
Simon highlights one of
the proudest moments in his career to date, as his involvement in the
2006 Rainbow Nation Bears Banquet – where teddy bears were auctioned
off to raise funds for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital
in Cape Town. Simon designed all of the “rainbow” bears’ cultural
attire – each of which represented one of South Africa’s eleven
official languages. The event raised a total of R408 500.
Simon fervently believes
that we are currently living in the most wonderful period of fashion
and he is eager to impart several style tips for summer. He points out
that there is no specific item of clothing that one should own, but is
adamant that outfits – including accessories – should not be too
matching. Simon is convinced that the unisex style no longer exists,
and that both men and women should wear their own clothes, stating
that it is a veritable “no-no to put the two together.” His rather
sensible advice to people is that they ought not to attempt to hide
the real shape of their figures.
When asked what he would
still like to achieve in his life, Simon states – in a most unassuming
manner – that all his dreams have already come true. Which is entirely
believable, as everything he sets his mind to achieve, he does – and
in most spectacular style. A top South African designer, Simon is
devoted to helping others realise that fashion really is for everyone.
© Simon Rademan Fashion
Design Studio CC
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