Fashion and confection at the Nellie

Cape Town’s iconic “Pink Lady” plays host to a showcase of South African luxe fashion

This month, the Mount Nelson (Nellie) hosted Confections x Collections (CxC), a five-day celebration featuring intimate salon-style fashion shows paired with bespoke confectioneries. These shows were inspired by slow fashion labels emphasizing community, care, and inclusion

The showcased collections drew inspiration from the theme of African Luxury Lore, delving into the storytelling aspect that explores the richness of African cultures and customs while fostering more meaningful engagement with luxury fashion.

The Nellie’s Lounge welcomed designer collections from notable names such as Viviers Studio by Lezanne Viviers and Sindiso Khumalo, both returning for the second year, alongside Johannesburg-based designers Wanda Lephoto and Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho. The closing act featured Cape Town-based Chu Suwannapha of Chulaap, affectionately known as the “Prince of Print.”

CxC served as a tribute by the iconic pink hotel to those championing a culture of care and honouring local artisanal skills. The fashion shows, held twice daily, were complemented by bespoke confectionaries crafted by the Nellie’s Executive Pastry Chef Vicky Gurovich, inspired by the designer collections. The shows also featured intimate designer conversations led by Master of Ceremonies, Seth Shezi, highlighting the common theme of collaboration and community among the designers.

We take a closer look…

Wanda Lephoto

Wanda Lephoto, in his ‘Me Fie’ collection, revisited African stories through contemporary style, weaving subcultures and influences into tailored garments.

Lezanne Viviers

Lezanne Viviers of Viviers Studio explored the provenance of clothing, emphasizing shared origin stories and celebrating community and shared values.

Sindiso Khumalo

Sindiso Khumalo showcased her latest collaboration with ‘& Other Stories,’ featuring playful dresses, children’s wear, and swimwear, all adorned with ribbons and storied prints.

Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung

Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung embodied building a legacy through community, with each collection reflecting passion and culture through bold prints and exaggerated silhouettes.

Chu Suwannapha

Chu Suwannapha’s ‘Sea Explorer’ collection for Spring/Summer 2024 took inspiration from ocean exploration and Cape Town’s wild terroir, showcasing skilfully clashing colours, patterns, and maps.

From historic threads to a cosmopolitan tapestry, Confections x Collections solidified the Nellie’s status as one of Cape Town’s cultural cornerstones. At almost 125 years old, the beloved hotel continues to leave its mark on the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Words and production: J-P de la Chaumette
Images: Candice Bodington and Mikayla McClean.