Gert-Johan Coetzee and his business partner, brand manager and husband, Vicky Visagie, put together Gert-Johan’s Martini Dolce 0.0 Retrospective Showcase that was on display at the Diamond Walk in Sandton during April and March 2020 (and was left out a little longer due to the COVID-19 lockdown). The exhibition showcased some of his most iconic garments and in this interview Gert-Johan elaborates on the inspiration behind some of his creations.
At the end of the video is a short clip about Double Platinum, Gert-Johan Coetzee’s first, and internationally acclaimed, eau de parfum.
[00:00:29.900] – Intro
Hey, guys, we are at the Diamond Walk in Sandton City, and this is my Martini Dolce retrospective.
[00:00:36.320] – Somizi & Mohale
Behind me, I have one of the most exciting projects I have done in a very long time. It is, of course, Somizi & Mohale’s wedding attire that we did for them earlier this year. It was such an exciting event because I think in South Africa I’m so happy and grateful that we can love who we want and I think that is the most important thing in the world. So this garment here, this cape took over, I think, about six months to make and then it’s completely studded and ordained with lace and crystals and pearls.
[00:01:06.750] – Bonang Matheba
Behind me is the dress I designed for Bonang Matheba on her 30th birthday. Very exciting night. This dress took about a hundred and fifty meters of tulle to create, and the top is just a beautiful, almost a lingerie inspired corset. And then it flows into this massive ball gown. I really just enjoyed the juxtaposition between the delicate lace on top and then the heavy, heavy, frilly skirt at the bottom.
[00:01:33.950] – Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
This green and gold dress I designed for Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe, when she gave back the crown as Miss Universe, also one of my more intense projects, reason being that this whole fabric and ombre was created one by one by hand. So it is quite an elaborate process. And this is, I think, more than two hundred thousand Swarovski crystals going in shades of green and gold to represent the gold of Africa. So this was a very exciting project for us. This is snatched for the gods, it’s got a complete corset inside and then it’s got the sheer bottom to show off her beautiful legs. I think it’s really about showing the best part of a person. And with this dress in particular, we wanted to show the best part of South Africa. And I think one of the most exciting things here are the minerals that we have. So I wanted it to look like it’s a rock bursting open with gold oozing out. And that was the inspiration.
[00:02:30.530] – Minnie Dlamini
This is Minnie Dlamini’s wedding gown. I think this is really the defining moment of my wedding dress career. This was the first major wedding gown I did for a mainstream celebrity. All the years I have been doing it, but it has never been so prominent and public. So when Minnie Dlamini-Jones walk down the aisle in this elaborate Swarovksi-crystal-encrusted, hand-beaded, 3D-printed wedding gown, it really made the heads turn and I think that was one of the launching factors in my wedding gown career, which is one of the biggest parts of the Gert-Johan Coetzee brand currently.
[00:03:09.090] – Showstopper
This is a very fun and exciting silhouette. I designed this for my two thousand and nineteen collection. This was, of course, the showstopper and I think it was so refreshing and new for Gert-Johan Coetzee to not end with a massive ballgown, but to really end with a massive ball gown if you get what I’m saying. I just wanted an unusual silhouette that has never been done before. And something also very proudly South African. Ostrich feathers, I think is one of the the most celebrated things in South Africa and something so unique to us that it was a very exciting dress for me to create. And this dress has been shot and all over the world, so it’s really an iconic Gert-Johan Coetzee piece.
[00:03:52.760] – Double Platinum Perfume
We are in Skin Cosmetics in Sandton City. This is where my first eau de parfum Double Platinum is stocked. Very exciting. This is, of course, the packaging. I designed it to open up like a magic potion because after all, this is the essence of success. It’s a beautiful mixture between rose and smoke. And of course, has that oud undertone and it is super-duper long lasting. I call it Double Platinum because of its long lasting properties and also because I grew up in the Rustenburg area and this just really made me think of all things wonderful, and success and growth and prosperity and truly South African. I wanted the bottle to look like a crystal that was picked up out of the soil of Mother Africa. And it’s been such a beautiful journey to create a perfume has really been one of the highlights of my career. It was made in Grasse, France, by a top nose that has created many of the other perfumes in this store. And of course, the oils were flown all the way to South Africa and bottled and packaged here. And that is what makes it a proudly South African product.