Thursday, October 29, 2020

 Dear Readers,

Gert-Johan Coetzee

          They evidently have short memories at the Johannesburg based Sunday Times. Eight years ago its ‘fashion’ fundi Lin Sampson slammed just about every aspect of the dress South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee created for a seventeen-year-old girl’s matric dance.

          Now in a huge about turn in the lead story in its Insight section recently, it described him as ‘one of the country’s most sought-after dressmakers.’

          Talk about eating Sampson’s words, which were very unpalatable, this article was, fortunately for Coetzee, not one of Sampson. It was written by Leonie Wagner.

          The one Sampson regurgitated was about Melanie Olhaus, who showed commendable ingenuity and daring to get Olympic swimming gold medallist Chad le Clos to agree to partner her at her matric dance. She did this by holding up an invitation placard in the crowd that gathered at Johannesburg airport to welcome athletes returning from the Games.

          But instead of concentrating on this aspect of what was a very unusual story, Sampson did her best to ruin the girl’s special occasion by letting her poisonous pen  run wild about the girl’s matric dress and Coetzee himself.

          She began: “Okay, so the dress was wrong. Anyone could see that. It was a bit like a Swiss cheese,” she went on, “a hole where you expect cheese, or a bit like a bathing suite that Ester Williams, a 50s swimming star might have worn – in the pool – and it was little more than an animated rag.”

          And if her own bitchy remarks were not enough she quoted an anonymous colleague, who I do not believe existed, as saying, “It didn’t fit.”

          After having a field day knocking Melanie’s dress Sampson turned her attention to the designer. One of his greatest crimes, apart from Melanie’s dress, was having designed one for one of the Kardashian sisters. That made him “a warrior of the junk genre de jour, of reality TV, of people who are famous for being famous (whatever that means), people who are not famous at all but think they are.”

          As if that was not enough of an insult she added: “With his platinum curls and sweet lips, he has a terminal case of celebriphilia.”

          In Sampson’s opinion Melanie didn’t even get her hair style right as it was “augmented with extensions that gave the appearance of boiling over.”

          The latest article in the Sunday Times told us that Coetzee has designed dresses for the likes of Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Oprah Winfrey US singer Kelly Rowland and various other stars.

          Not bad for a curly haired farm boy.

          By coincidence Sampson’s byline that I have not seen all that often in the paper recently, appeared in the same edition as the one about Coetzee pictured on his family’s farm. Sampson was the author of The Drag Trade, about the queens of the Cape that appeared in the LifeStyle section.


          Jon, the Poorman’s Press Ombudsman and defender of curly haired designers.

          See also:lin-sampson-out-bitching-herself.html


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