Posts tagged abigail betz
Posts tagged abigail betz
I don’t really have much to say about this year’s South African Fashion Week extravaganza, mostly because I wasn’t invited. Don’t worry, I’m not taking it personally.
But what has caught my eye is the furore surrounding one of my favourite designers, Abigail Betz. I don’t follow her, but a friend of mine told me on Monday morning that she was being rather unkind about the SAFW shows and organisers on twitter.
Some of her tweets included:
AFI RULES!!! After being at SA Fashion Week, I repeat: AFI KICKS ASS!!!
Front row at SA FW… Not that amazing. And the dodgy skywalk with the massive gap?? Hmm… #deathbybridge
When I saw these, my jaw dropped because I couldn’t believe that someone who I thought of as a consummate professional would make those kinds of statements in such a public space. And then came this morning’s article on The Times’ website, in which she said:
‘I was disappointed with some of the quality of the designs. There were bad hems, very bad fits, and there is no excuse for that,’ she said. ‘Also, if you’re going to be showcasing swimwear, you have to be careful whom you choose to walk in the piece … it’s important that the model compliments the garment and looks healthy.’
So I wasn’t entirely surprised when Milli wrote this on her great SAFW round up over at her blog:
One thing that wasn’t cool about that night though was sitting across from Abigail Betz who was saying some deeply inappropriate and tactless things on Twitter about the shows and SA Fashion Week. For someone whose brand exudes class and sophistication, her attitude and tweets were an #epicfail and reeked of the dustbins that are collecting all over Joburg as a result of the garbage collectors’ stayaway.
Abigail then retailiated by tweeting:
Oh I laugh at little insignificant people that can not understand opinions. I laugh. #missmillib.
She’s also released a press statement on her Facebook page.
On South African Fashion Week
i was disappointed in the organization by south african fashion week regarding the state of the venue, the marketing and the quality of select works shown. the venue, which i was told from a source within south african fashion week had not been finished on time and was still in production to the last minute, seemed to be an ill-designed space with various elements that served as safety hazards - proof of this was the skywalk connecting the different area’s of the venue which was an insecure construction without any forms of safety (apart from swaying railing) that hung 3 stories in the air. to add to these circumstances, there was a massive gap (approximately 25cm’s wide) on this skywalk that guests had to cross, which could very easily result in fatal injury. futhermore, the organizers of south african fashion week did not warn guests prior to their entry of this bridge, that it was only safe for eight people at a time to cross the bridge, and the result was extreme panic by the organizers when they noticed a group of over 20 people crossing at a time. i felt extremely unsafe and dissatisfied with the reception and the manner in which the panic was handled.
next, during more than one of the shows on the opening night, certain persona’s were placed on ramp (to the delight of the organizers and certain audience members) whom in my opinion were unhealthily overweight and would be considered obese. it is to be made clear at this point that i in no way aim at insulting anyone, but it is factually clear in south africa and in the international community that obesity is just as unhealthy as anorexia (which has been publically critisized ample times in the past within the fashion industry) and thus should in no way be celebrated by any designer or entity that ascociates themselves with the fashion industry.
when looking at the work displayed at fashion week, i was highly disappointed in especially the young talent displaying their pride and joy (which is exactly what it is meant to be) seeing as it was clear that the lack of attention to detail was not only present in the organization of sa fashion week. as a designer i’d like to repeat that i take my craft very seriously, and it is my right to voice my opinion if a mockery is made of the art i associate myself with. however, i have to also mention that it was omitted in all public content that i mentioned the following artists who’s work i thoroughly enjoyed:
it is clear to me that the established artists have grown amazingly and are delivering top quality, whilst the new crowd has a long way to go and also some very big shoes to fill - i hope they take my critisizm as intended (constructively) and grow into amazing artists.
this is how i feel, and it is to be made clear that all this is said within the spirit of clear and constructive critisizm and is not in any way intended to defame any person/s or entity/ies involved herewith.
On Milli’s blog post:
i would like to invite you with open arms and a smile on my face to enter into public conversation regarding my comments, and would also hereby on a public press release like to invite you to the abigail betz house of couture for coffee, or tea. we have great coffee. we have taste, class and we are opinionated. we work hard. we judge the lack of exceptional quality because we create exceptional quality. i am a person of high standards and values, and although i do not in any way respect your blatant attack, i will not remove your right to freedom of speech and would therefore rather take the first step towards healthy conversation.
i have no need whatsoever to explain myself to you, seeing as you obviously do not believe in freedom of speech, but would still offer a portion of my time towards this conversation - i believe in education.
I really don’t know what’s going on here, but as a fan of her work and potential future customer, I have to say I’m very disappointed in Abigail’s statements. I think it’s in bad taste for her to have said anything. I wasn’t at fashion week, so I can’t say whether her concerns about safety at the venue, disorganisation or glorifying obesity on the runway are valid, but to me, her statements come across as someone who’s picking a bone with her former ‘boss’ and ‘colleagues’ - in a very public way.
Also, her claims about the lack of attention to detail by young designers might be valid, but all I’m thinking is, give them a break - they are YOUNG DESIGNERS! They’re just starting out. Not everyone hits it out of the park on their debut appearance at fashion week. As an established designer, maybe she should offer support, advice and encouragement. That’s all I’m saying.
Look what dropped into the office yesterday … These pretties from Abigail Betz’s Autumn/ Winter collection. Fresh off the runway! Wowza!
It took three weeks to bead that skirt. Truly, a thing of wonder.
And then who can forget this Kluk CGDT that Lira wore on the February 2011 Fairlady magazine cover? I think she wore it better than the model #Hides.
[MY FAVOURITE THING TODAY] This picture. This model’s beautiful face. The gorgeous make up.
Abigail Betz Autumn/ Winter Collection. Johannesburg Art Gallery. Johannesburg Fashion Week. 17 February 2010. Pic via.
Abigail’s bridal gowns were shown during her main autumn/ winter collection yesterday, but I think they deserve their own post because they’re just so beyond beautiful!
You don’t have to know me very well to know that I absolutely love this woman! Her clothes speak to me. I swear, in an alternate universe where money and practicality weren’t issues, I’d be prancing around, having tea and eating cupcakes wearing Abigail’s fabulous, feminine frocks. Sigh.
I had a total groupie moment when I met her last year during the Fairlady July 2010 cover shoot and I told her it’s been my dream for years to have her do my wedding dress some day (if and when I finally decide to sit my ass down and settle). Her response? ‘Anytime’.
So I was quite mad at myself for choosing to chill instead of heading to the show. And, judging by the pics (courtesy of AFI), I missed out!
The entire collection falls into my ‘favourites’ category, but I whittled them down to these: