Fashion Stalwart, Fearless Fashionista and Undisputed Queen of Glamourous Repurposing …

Welcome to the Technicolour World of Designer and Maker Extraordinaire MARIANNE FASSLER.

 

All Image Credit and Images Sourced: Marianne Fassler Official Website, Social Media and AFI

https://leopardfrock.co.za/

 

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler, photography Kevin MacIntosh Marianne Fassler, the designer in one of her beloved leopard frock creations

 

A famous art director once remarked, ‘There’s Fashion, and then there’s Fassler’.

Fashion-loving fans all over the world should count themselves lucky to have enjoyed over forty years of Fassler Fashion Fabulousness. On the dusty crossroads where street meets tribal fashion, that’s where you’ll find Fassler. Throw colour into this already heady cocktail – and I mean proper, saturated, unashamed colour – russet reds and electric blues and Russian greens … and pile on the pattern – tartan, houndstooth, plaid, polkadots, twirls and swirls …. and texture – bling, sequin, rhinestones, beads, crochet, gauze, knitting, patchwork … and finally, for the pièce de résistance, add some – actually, copious quantities of – her trademark leopard print … Shake, stir and indulge in Leopard Frock, Marianne’s inimitable brainchild. (Oh, and perhaps you need a celebration of sorts. Ideally somewhere outrageously glamorous, like your own wedding or The Lost City or Paris’ Ritz. Or your back garden.)

Now, while maverick Vivienne Westwood and the punk-drunk, Mohican-coiffed Sex Pistols turned Britain’s relatively well-behaved fashion scene on its head in the Seventies, Marianne Fassler has been equally busy conceiving of an ingenious and novel fashion landscape down in the South Atlantic, her crimson dreadlocks shaking, her heart in tune with the rhythm of an African drum. Where Dame Viv took it upon herself to elevate native cloths – conventional tartan and humble Harris Tweed – to a duo equally fit for a king and Yohji Yamamoto, South Africa’s Marianne Fassler has been concocting a certain ingenious je ne sais quoi from the eclectic inspiration of textile and pattern that are so unmistakably, exclusively and abundantly of the African continent. And the parallel doesn’t end there – as for the degree of green-ness and quest to save our precious planet, both matrons sing heartily from the same song sheet too.

With an aesthetic mind in overdrive and sky-high on creative energy, Fassler finds her mojo in all things unabashedly African – the iconic continent and its vibrant colors, textures, culture and sunny climate, its insatiable energy, it’s diversity, its connectedness with nature, its awe-inspiring people. Her art – because what she creates goes w-a-y beyond the realms of fashion – is a curiously joyous thing, its quirkiness speaking to its wearer and luring us back time after time for yet another covetable Fassler fix. For each frock is the lovingly crafted product of a brilliant design mind, like the perfectness of a Lucia Berlin short story or a Francesca Woodman self-portrait. No wonder Fassler frocks become old friends in our wardrobes, and we love to introduce our new friends to our old friends, don’t we?

Give this undisputed Queen of Recycling and Repurposing and Re-inventing a bag of rags and a pair of dressmaking shears and, like Edward Scissorhands, she’ll magic up a leopard-print version of Rapunzel’s gown for you before you can say knife, with a few inspired snips (er… mmm … with the help of her devoted team) and voila! She’ll embellish your frock with a dollop of gold leaf, a touch of tartan, a feather and a bow and a smear of vermillion for good measure. Ready to hit the red carpet or meet the Queen of England.

Her eye-watering list of accolades and recognition – locally and abroad – stretches across the pages of books. Google me if you’re interested, I bet she’ll say. From Dubai to Barcelona, Paris to New York, Marianne Fassler has been invited to exhibit and show her wondrous collections over the decades. Lucky world. She’s been dressing some of the most influential women across the globe but most tellingly, her loyal customers – generations of them – keep coming back for more.

She’s been graced with many deserving titles – fashion icon, guru, doyenne (which she’s not very sure about) and Africa’s Alice in Wonderland. I think I could stick my neck out and say, in summary, to Marianne Fassler more is most certainly more (yes!) and brown (yawn …) is most certainly not the new black. But when it comes to pulling a shocking-pink rabbit from a leopard-print hat, I can confidently say she’s most certainly your girl.

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Camouflage skirt made from overlays of scrap tulle

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
A tulle couture evening gown from the 2017 collection

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
From the 2018 collection @aspireartauctions @smartestalec
A red dress like no other

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler @terrypheto
An animal dress to celebrate Terry Pheto winning two international achievement recognition awards: Best TV Actress 2017

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Bold African couture – a colourful dress from the 2019 Untamed collection

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
An African-Oriental creation – bespoke couture – 2017

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
The Untamed Collection, 2019

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
The Untamed Collection, 2019

https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Naomi Campbell wearing Marianne Fassler to the Gala Dinner at Conde Nast Luxury Conference, Cape Town

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Terry Pheto in the Animal Dress, 2017

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
The stunning @shomadjozi shows how a couture garment can be translated into a fun, flirty and vibrant ready-to-wear garment. Styled by @boogymaboi : @sdrphoto & @seed_rsa
Gold and bright blue – a match made in heaven!

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler, photography Simon Deiner
Frayed Kente cloth for the Untamed collection – pure floaty magic!

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Bold and beautiful: from the Untamed collection, 2019

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Naomi Campbell chose this spectacular dress from Marianne Fassler archives from the SS2015 collection for the Forever Young Gala

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
An opulent kimono – from the 2019 Untamed collection

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler, photography Simon Deiner
From the 2019 Untamed collection

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
From the 2018 AW collection – ‘Concrete Flower’

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Separates from the 2017 collection
Squiggles, plaid, tartan and some wild brogues

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler Photographer Zander Opperman // @uglybru Model Anyon Asola // @anyonasola Hair and MUATyron Sweeney /// @the_sweeney_
Poem Melissa Fontini // @melissafontini
Frayed Kente cloth and raffia dress

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Patchwork magic

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
@trevor_stuurman shooting images in preparation for the Condé Nast Luxury Conference
A sundress for African climes

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
From the 2017/18 Resort collection
Melissa Fontini // Photographer Zander Opperman // @UGLYBRUV
Model Laura Windvogel // @LADYSKOLLIE, CD &Styling. Lezanne Viviers// @LEZANNEVIVIERS
Assistant stylist Daisie Jo Grobler// @DAISIEJ, Hair & make-up Tyron Sweeney // @THE_SWE
Boudoir magic and a hint of leopard

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
@daniellamidenge
Unconventional bridal bliss in this strappy asymmetrical dress

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
Sequins, chiffon, leopard print and boldness all in one – from the AW 2017 Lookbook

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
A harmonious clash of prints and colours – patchwork as only Marianne Fassler can create

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler, PH. @dillonduplessis for the @theyrewonted || DIRECTED. @danielladupi || STYLED. @elenilabrou || H&MUA @tatum.tomic || MODEL. @iam_sio
No such thing as too much tartan – from the 2018 collection.

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
emaat at @oneleague_agency, Hair & Make-up. @aletviljoenhairmakeup at @supernovacm, Production. @lampostlustre, Model @ladyasingar at @icemodelsjhb, Digital Post Production @digitaltouch8, Digital Assistant @hyltonboucher, Lighting Assistant @theodoreafrika, Production Designer Assistant thomas hill, Fashion Assistant sindie
Bold plaid for stormy seas

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler, Photography & Design @janaandkoos
Styling @louw.77, MUA – Marilyn du Preez, Models @anyonasola & @bethany.dewaal @fanjam_model_management
Where the Orient meets Africa – from the SS2018 collection ‘Kwaai’

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler, Photographer Zander Opperman // @uglybruv, Model Anyon Asola // @anyonasola Hair and MUA Tyron Sweeney /// @the_sweeney_, Poem Melissa Fontini // @melissafontini
Inspired use of vibrant colours

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler, Photography & Design @janaandkoos
Styling @louw.77, MUA- @marilyndmakeupandhair, Models – @anyonasola & @bethany.dewaal @fanjam_model_management
A patchwork applique tunic from the 2018 collection ‘Kwaai’

Image Credit https://www.facebook.com/mariannefassler
A runway bride for Resort 2014 flanked by the designer Marianne Fassler

 

 

Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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