Henriette Botha’s designs for summer are as energetic as the city that inspired them. “It began with a visit to New York earlier this year, just as spring was turning into summer. There was an indescribable energy in the city. Everyone was outdoors, on rooftops, in parks, at sidewalk cafes. Ice-cream shops and trucks were in abundance. The energy was palpable.” The result is a slight departure from her traditional aesthetic, most notably in her choice to use a new colour pallet. Pastels are emboldened by bursts of vibrant brights and metallics.
Botha’s signature use of traditional craft such as crocheting, weaving and beading still forms the cornerstone of her designs. “Like New York, the designs are flirty and fun and not shy,” says Botha. Despite the light, playful character of the collection, she says the creative process was “the most difficult so far”. In addition to the typical elements executed by Botha’s team of Ndebele craftswoman, she has most notably added brass and the collection includes simple brass cuffs that offset the bright hues of the crocheted elements. Leather cords and tassles have been introduced too.
The most playful pieces are the limited-edition necklaces and bracelets that incorporate glass beads she discovered in an old factory. They are in the shape of bananas, strawberries and oranges, and give the designs a festive, Carmen Miranda-like character. Botha’s personal favourite is the “Bananarama” necklace. “I actually squealed with delight when I saw the finished piece.” The collection deviates somewhat from the strictly African character seen to date and introduces a contemporary, urban element. “I wanted to create accessories that every woman could relate to with something for the free-spirited girl-next-door as well as the woman who likes to dress to the nines.”
Henriette Botha’s pieces are available to shop online at www.henriettebotha.com