Part 2: African Weddings & the South African King of Couture

His top clients are from Angola, Benin and Nigeria, flying to his atelier in Cape Town. He is the known couturier, dressing the high society South Africans. His work is known in the top magazines in the country.

Jacques LaGrange, the designer has had a successful 16 year career which has enabled him to partner with Cartier in South Africa, create dresses for the Royal Ascot, Cannes and grow his network of A-list clients from South Africa, Switzerland, London, Dubai, Paris and many other countries. A few of his brides have selected his creations over Vera Wang.

One of your pieces was created for a bride who was getting married in South Africa. Take us through the creation of the gown.

This was the most expensive dress I have made. It was for an African client and it cost  was $25 000. I had fabric made for her in India and hand beaded in South Africa.

Brides dress

We spent about 3 weeks on the dress, non-stop, sometimes I had 3 people working on the dress. I used layers and layers of tulle to create the unique color. I completed the dress with a handmade veil with lace and crystal.

Are all your gowns handmade? Where do you source your fabrics from?

Yes most of them are handmade while others are 80% handmade. I have to source fabrics from all over the world. Switzerland, France for French lace, Germany, Italy and the US.

I use a lot of silk satin from France, pois de soie. Any couturiers dream. Silk is to a designer as what butter is to a chef.

 

How do your clients find you?

 

I have been in business for 16 years without a website. My clients find me through referrals. I have grown my business through word of mouth. Some of my clients have been my clients for 15 years. Half of my clients are from Africa, Dubai, London, Australia and other countries.

Sometimes I am featured in the media but I rarely get many clients from media.

Bride posing

What do the brides mostly spend on? What brands do they prefer?

It all depends what the client wants to spend or what they needs are. It can be high end like Cartier or a local Cape Town jeweler Prins & Prins. The brides often fly to Johannesburg to purchase shoes as there is a larger selection of luxury brands.

Who is the Jacques LaGrange woman?

Jacques La Grange Couture client is an elegant, confident, strong and powerful lady who loves couture, she turns heads. Couture is a lifestyle. That is the Jacques LaGrange woman.

The bride

 

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