Looking for fresh inspiration for your wardrobe? Grab some fashion lessons from Scandal, the outstanding local show when coming to corporate wear.
With more people returning to their different workplaces, it’s time to dig out those suits, ties and heels. You’ll definitely want to feel fresh and look new as you make your first entrance to the office.
If you’re out of ideas, you can grab some fashion lessons from the characters of Scandal, a soapie where much of the drama plays out in the headquarters of media company, Nyathi Family Holdings (NFH).
Actress-turned-producer Grace Mahlaba, who is responsible for dressing the cutthroat characters of the popular soapie, says that each one’s look is inspired by their upbringing, social class, and the influential celebrities that would have an impact on the way they dress.
In a conversation with TimesLIVE, Mahlaba shared more details on how they dress some of the show’s characters:
The late character of Thembeka Shezi which was played by Masasa Mbangeni:
Shezi grew up loving beautiful things. As a young journalist, her world was all about talking to people and having to go to events at the spur of the moment. So, whatever she wore during the day, she needed to be able to go out and have drinks in. [We’d make her looks transition from day to night by dressing them up with jewellery.]
One of the show’s biggest villains, Mthunzi Mayiza, played by Bongile Mantsai:
The corporate world forces him to dress formally, but when we meet him he is an impostor. He knows that when you are formally dressed, people buy your story more than when you come in casual clothing – unfortunately that’s the stereotype, you see a man in a fitted suit and you don’t think he will con you.
We also kept him in darker colours, as brighter shades might take away from what we are trying to tell about his story.
Layla McKenzie, played by Natasha Sutherland:
Layla works at NFH; she’s also Quinton Nyathi’s (Brighton Ngoma) mother and she’s a yummy grandmother who is still dating. [Through her wardrobe] we are trying to show people you don’t have to be shy and wear age inappropriate clothes to be sexy.
For women who like looking conservative, we’ve got a character like Grace Medupe (Bathabile Mashigo), but depending on what is happening in her life, she wants to put some sexiness [into her look] and there is nothing wrong with that.
Advice for fans who are heading back to work in the corporate world:
There is so much you can do with winter; you can be so stylish and still keep warm, especially men. I don’t see a lot of South African men wearing those three-quarter coats with scarves and I love those. With winter being so gloomy, it’s nice to go for those burnt orange colours, whether it’s a jersey or a scarf you throw on with your suit.
More South African men need to try being adventurous and go for bright colours over their darker suits, as we are coming from a very depressing time and entering a very depressing season.