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“We started plan­ning this sto­ry­line and episode last year al­ready,” ex­plains set de­signer and head of art at pro­duc­tion com­pany Danie Oden­daal Pro­duc­tions Ben­nie Marais. “This fash­ion show is our big­gest one to date and it had to be per­fect right down to the small­est de­tail. I wanted it to look and feel like an ac­tual fash­ion show and not some­thing too staged.” And Ben­nie put in hours of run­way watch­ing too, jok­ing that he’d be tuned into DStv fash­ion chan­nel Fash­ion One (*178) for days to get in­spi­ra­tion.

To get the feel just right, Ben­nie and his team built an ac­tual cat­walk and took the risk of keep­ing it white. “It was a huge gam­ble be­cause the set light­ing could have re­flected badly on it. We did a light­ing test af­ter con­struc­tion and it worked won­der­fully.” Af­ter that, it was fairly easy to sort out the spe­cial ef­fects and other set pieces like the Africa Day posters and chang­ing back­grounds. “We filmed in March and we’re very happy with how it turned out,” adds Ben­nie.

Real-life model Ne­dien An­drews was brought in to model some of the de­signs by Hill­side’s very own res­i­dent style star Con­nie.

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