South Africa and Lesotho: combining low impact printing, wool, silk and Swarovski upcycled crystals

Commonwealth Fashion Council

Explore the exchange story of designer Clive Rundle from South Africa and artisan House of Thethana from Lesotho and find out how they created their look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, 2018.

The Exchange: South Africa x Lesotho
For The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange 2018, designer Clive Rundle exchanged with artisan House of Thethana to create a look that featured custom textile print. The look was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 2018, and later moved to the Australian High Commission, London, where it was open to the public in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, April 2018.
South Africa: Designer Clive Rundle
Born in Zimbabwe, Clive grew up in South Africa where he studied fashion design in Johannesburg. He opened his first store in 1989, and launched his first ready-to-wear collection, Clive by Clive Rundle, in 2014. Clive has shown at the SAFW since its inception in 1997 and in major global fashion capitals. Clive says that “the voice of African Fashion is not only powerful but also inspires many of the subsequent trends we see all around the world. It’s a very original and unique voice – and I’ve made it my life’s work to express that and this garment is no different.”
Lesotho: Artisan House of Thethana
Named after a fibre used for traditional beaded skirts, textile design company House of Thethana was set up in 2016 in Lesotho. Maleeto Monyau specializes in producing innovative prints for familiar Basotho accessories and wanted to bring some cool creativity to local fans. House of Thethana is inspired by Lesotho’s beautiful culture and dynamic landscape, and hopes to expand economic development in Lesotho through reaching a global market.
The story behind the look
House of Thethana in Lesotho worked under Clive’s direction to design a custom textile print, achieved by superimposing one print onto another - welding two images together to create a visual to print onto silk for the final garment construction. Lucilla Booyzen of SAFW facilitated the exchange.

Illustration of the look

Screen-printed Fabric

The fabric was screen-printed using water-based inks on to a silk ‘sandwich’ of organza, georgette, and habotai.

Woollen features

The look consists of a wool and organza coat, accompanied by wool and organza shorts and a woollen collar accessory.

Swarovski Upcycled Crystals

The look features Swarovski upcycled crystals.

Final look on display at Buckingham Palace, 19 February 2018

Final look on display at the Australian High Commission, London, 22 February 2018

Credits: Story

This content has been specifically curated for the Google Arts & Culture platform on behalf of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition that launched on the 19th of February at Buckingham Palace in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The project, created and managed by Eco-Age, with the support of The Commonwealth Fashion Council and The British Fashion Council.

More information about the images is available by clicking on them.
Read more about the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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