These Times and How We Maintained Focus
“Growing up in Cape Town I was exposed to so many different cultures, each one with its own vibrant activities.
I specifically remember a fascinating district known as the Bo-Kaap, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill, just beyond Cape Town’s city centre.
This area is filled with colour, culture, contrast and cuisine.
The defining features of the Bo-Kaap are its multitude of vividly painted historic houses and its quaint cobbled streets.
Throughout my life in Cape Town, there are specific memories that I have of visiting this unique place. My first memory was as early as eight years old: I remember jumping off the school bus onto the cobbled streets and being immediately immersed into a rainbow of colours. Each house is painted in a different colour making the streets look almost too perfect as if they belonged on a film set.
During this trip, we visited some local crafts people, explored the colourful streets and ate some deliciously sweet foods.
The next trip that I remember, I was about to turn sixteen and the experience was quite different from the first. Our group of school students were invited into one of the original historical homes to participate in a cooking class. We were submerged in the culture and the wonderful smells of Malay spices.
The last memory I have of the magical streets of the Bo-Kaap is just before I left the beautiful city of Cape Town to move to England. I remember standing in the cobbled streets, surrounded by colours from lime green to fuschia pink to cerulean blue and sunflower yellow. Absorbing the atmosphere and bathed in the golden summer heat, I remember looking up at the granite greys and earthy browns of the rocky face of Table Mountain and noticing all the exquisite harmonies and contrasts.
This is what makes the Bo-Kaap so magical: the rough natural textures of the mountain juxtaposed with the smooth, kaleidoscope of colours in the houses.
Today I can still remember the glow of the sun on the rainbow houses, the smell of the Malay spices, the natural rocky texture of the mountains and the sweetness of the food I ate that very first time I walked the cobbled streets of the Bo-Kaap.
From this inspiration, I will design a collection of woven samples for the purpose of fashion.”