Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition

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Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-35

Nomzamo Mbatha's neon yellow tulle gown with custom embroidered philodendron leaves won at DSTVMVCA 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-5

Minnie Dlamini's custom-designed tulle wedding gown with hand-beaded corset detail, the dress has a 4meter long train embellished with satin laser cut detail and encrusted with Swarovski Crystal, 2017

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-8

Somizi and Mohale's White Wedding, 2019. Somizi's champagne and gold baroque suit embellished with lace, crystals, pearls. and ffinished with feather cape which consists of over 100 meters of tulle.

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-13

Somizi and Mohale's Traditional Wedding 2019: Somizi's metallic gold trousers and hand draped cape with a tassel beaded waistcoat, necklace and crown

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-16

Somizi and Mohale's Traditional Wedding 2019: Mohale's white African inspired lace trousers and button shirt with a beaded sash, necklace and shoulder piece.

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-20

Thuso Mbedu's turquoise layered tulle gown with an architectural corset and hidden crystal detail won at EMMYs Awards 2017

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-21

Lerato Kganyago's custom deep emerald green African luxury-inspired sequin gown with fringing won at Somizi and Mohale's traditional wedding in 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-25

Nadia Nakai's black and yellow transparent sequin gown with black ostrich feather detailing won at the African Music Awards 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-38

Bonang Matheba's custom completely handed beaded gown in shades of oranges and reds inspired by African sunset won at Sun Met 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-71

Bonang Matheba's cerise pink laser cut gown embellished with Swarovski crystals won at South Africa Music Award 2014 

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-41

Thuli Madonsela's sun yellow gown with hand-beaded yellow flower topwon at South Africa's State of Nation Address in 2016 

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-48

Bonang Matheba's custom African luxury-inspired asymmetrical party dress with bishop sleeve won at Somizi & Mohale's traditional wedding in 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-54

Minnie Dlamini's deep purple abstract corset that transitions into a cascade bottom won at MVCA 2018

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-57

Bonang Matheba's custom metallic silver buffon gown with crystals detailing won at Miss SA 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-60

Bonang Matheba's custom colossal cerise pink ruffled tulle gown with cupped corset embellished with corded lace that she wore to her 30th birthday dinner party in 2017

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-114

Bonang Matheba's metallic candy pink skirt and Swarovski encrusted top won at Miss 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-2

Ostrich feather sphere concept dress from SA Fashion Week SS19 closes the exhibition.

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-115

Lerato Kganyago's Abstract orange ostrich feather gown won at  South Africa Style Awards 2019 

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-117

The holographic sequin down with feather detail won on the runway by Sarah Langa at SA Fashion Week AW2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-119

Bonang Matheba in off-shoulders pink and black floral print cinched body con dress at Vodacom Durban July 2016

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-120

Bonang Matheba's custom red cut halter neck cocktail dress with beaded fringe and ostrich feather detail won at Sun Met 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-121

Bonang Matheba's custom black chiffon gown with peek-a-boo detailing embellished with 3D lace won at Demi Leigh-Peter's wedding in 2019

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-123

Miss Universe 2018, Demi Leigh-Peters' custom +100, 000 Swarovski crystals on  in shades in green and gold to represent South Africa dress won at Miss Universe 2018

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-125

Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Ntuzi's custom yellow spider mesh gown embellished and draped with crystals and African beads won at South Africa's State of Nation Address in 2020

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-66

The altered Luthando 'LootLove' Shosha's Dusty pink velvet gown with contrasting black star details won at South Africa Music Awards 2018 

Behind The Seams: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s 10years Retrospective Exhibition
Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Retrospective Exhibition - © Jerri Mokgofe Photography-43

Thembi Seete's turquoise pom-pom party dress won at JB Met 2010. Which is the first dress produced under the GJC brand, post the Diamond Face Couture ear with Uyanda Mbuli. 

Gert-Johan Coetzee is a 33years old North West School of Design fashion graduate who was discovered by television personality Sandy Ngema in 2004 whilst still a fashion student. Then Strictly Come Dancing’s host, Ngema commissioned Coetzee as the show’s wardrobe designer. It was in 2008 whilst on the set of Strictly Come Dancing where Uyanda Mbuli was a contestant that she met Coetzee. The two took interest in one another’s work and formed a working relationship. The industry connected, Mbuli had the business acumen and funds whilst the young Coetzee inherently had the fashion design talent which had been nurtured from an early age by his family support system.  

In 2009 Mbuli and Coetzee entered into a 50% fashion business partnership to form a fashion brand name called Diamond Face Couture (DFC). It was during this era that his design work shot to popularity with the help of then DFC’s prominent muse and media personality, Nonhle Thema and other well-known industry names. In 2010 – post the well-publicised DFC partnership split – Coetzee launched his eponymous fashion business, Gert-Johan Coetzee at the age of 22. The first design ever produced under this label reminiscent of the DFC aesthetic was Thembi Seete’s turquoise pom-pom tulle party dress with an embellished yellow butterfly cinching detail won at J&B Met 2010. In between the company’s inception up to this date.

The GJC fashion business has produced some of the most memorable fashion shows, conscious driven business partnerships, and dressed some of the most popular and asserted women and men in the world.  Fast forward to 2020 in celebration of 10years operating in the South African fashion & textile business. 

Gert-Johan Coetzee together with his business partner, brand manager and husband, Vicky Visagie curated the Gert-Johan Coetzee 10years Fashion Retrospective exhibition. Taking place in Sandton City’s Diamond Walk, in collaboration with Martini Dolce 0.0. from the 19th of March until the 26th of April 2020. The exhibition showcases some of his most iconic garments as well as the women who wore them. He said they decided to tell the story of colour as opposed to setting the exhibition in a time frame format.

The exhibition opens with one Gert-Johan Coetzee long-standing muse, Bonang Matheba’s colossal cerise pink ruffled tulle gown with cupped corset embellished with corded lace that she wore to her 30th birthday dinner party in 2017.

The pieces are set up in a manner that you manoeuvre through the explosion of colours, holographic sequins, feather details, elaborate hand-beading, and Swarovski Crystals embellishments. Towards the end, it releases to pieces from GJC’s bespoke bridal collections in a selection of whites, champagne, ivory, off-whites, vanilla, and bone colours.

Listen to what he has to say about the exhibition and business HERE

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