Place of birth:
Jane: Cape Town
Dale: Port Shepstone
Hometown and suburb:
Jane: Durban; La Lucia
Dale: Durban; Glen Anil
Label: McCarthy Wolff
How did a career in fashion all start for you?
We both started studying at the Durban University of Technology in 2007, and shortly after earning our respective Btech degrees in Fashion & textiles, we decided to form the McCarthy Wolff brand in March 2012.
Who were your early role models in the industry?
Dior & Chanel, for both of us, we were always obsessed with their classic style and attention to detail. Magic.
What was your proudest moment as a fashion designer?
We are lucky to say we have many – as bridal wear designers, our proudest moments happen in studio when we are nearing completion of a bridal gown, and the look all comes together with our bride – it can be quite emotional, especially once the veil is put in place for the final fitting!
Describe your style in five words:
McCarthy Wolff is: Classic; Fierce, Romantic; Feminine; Sophisticated; Luxurious
What are your current favourite fabrics and textures?
Beaded/Sequinned fabrics; Soft tulle; Organza; Velvet
More About You
Who do you turn to for inspiration?
Dale: I turn to some of my favourite films, as well as using that nifty little “explore” tab on Instagram! So many superb artists out there in the world, the inspiration is never ending 🙂
Jane: I love vintage style, anything old world, the classic elegance of the 30’s,40’s and 50’s, I find it endlessly inspiring. Also Nature, I have a mild obsession with flowers and trees, I love how uncontrolled it is, and its perfect balance.
Describe your personality in five words:
Dale: Calm; Compassionate; Empathetic; Friendly……and Absent-minded.
Jane: Passionate, stubborn, kind, empathic and thoughtful
If you were a literary, TV or movie character who would you be?
Dale: Cogsworth the little clock character in “Beauty and the Beast” (1991 version). A bit tightly wound at times, but kind and understanding when all chips are down.
Jane: Princess Leia from Starwars – because I’m a fighter and a bit of a princess from time to time.
How do you deal with pressure?
Dale: Quietly. Systematically. Mostly calmly…but that’s not always possible.
Jane: Pressure can sometimes force you to be your most alert and creative. Too much pressure can be damaging…. but in general I make long lists and work through them systematically.
It’s a day off! What do you do? Who do you surround yourself with?
Dale: I’m a bit lazy so I’d get up late! I would ideally spend the day doing art, playing around with different techniques, researching ideas and inspiration for the next pieces. I’d have my cat Gizmo as company, she’s quite enough.
Jane: A Day off?? Haha, well when one of those roll around I tend to be the laziest, I put on my unicorn slippers and make some art, or read a book, I am a sucker for crime novels these days…and try and make a yoga class. If I happen to get two days off I will generally catch up with friends. Definitely learning to manage time a bit better now.
Favourite meal and drink?
Dale: Sushi and a sweet rosé.
Jane: Sushi and a good cappuccino
Favourite holiday destination?
Jane: Italy / Skiing
Given the theme, “The Colour of Magic”, what advice do you have for raceday fashionistas to be relevant, on-trend and make a statement?
Keep it classic. This is a day at the races, not a fancy dress party – you do not need to wear an over the top costume. Do have fun though, and dress to suit your individuality! Our instincts though are to say “avoid multi-rainbow colours” as this is too predictable, considering the theme.
Your view on the importance of the Vodacom Durban July Fashion competitions and shows:
A longstanding highlight in the Durban social calendar, it is extremely important for students and young fashion designers/artists to take advantage of the opportunities laid out with the fashion shows – they will be huge learning curves; early chances to experience the actual fast-paced side of the the industry as well as the excitement of being part of a fashion show lineup.