Kobus Dippenaar is a South African-born fashion designer, most prominently known for his couture evening and bridal gowns that exhibit a strong play between masculinity and femininity, between structure and fluidity.While his style has evolved, Dippenaar is celebrated for his innate ability to distil a client’s best features and then accentuate those with his creations. He has famously said, “I’m not looking for the perfect body because I hate discrimination”.Born in 1968, in the Western Cape town of Paarl, Dippenaar unwittingly launched himself into the world of fashion when he began designing high school dance dresses for classmates who couldn’t afford to buy them off the rack. His mother, who had been a Home Economics teacher before she married, sewed the dresses he designed.
“I’m a stylist at heart,” says Dippenaar. “I see the big picture – everything. I see the makeup, the hair, the mood, the tone, the fabric, the dress, the shoes. It must all work together.”This statement is perhaps best reflected in Dippenaar’s almost obsessive attention to every detail on his gowns, particularly in his corsetry – a skill he honed in London in the mid-1990s.Dippenaar returned to South Africa in 2000, where his studio is located in the heart of Cape Town’s creative district. With clients around the world, and crowd-puller runway shows at South African and European fashion and bridal exhibitions, Dippenaar’s creations are bound to speak to the self-possessed, cosmopolitan individual.
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