Marianne Fassler has enjoyed a career in fashion for more than 35 years. She started out as a fine artist, and very soon decided that her passion for clothing should be her commercial creative outlet. Her eclectic style and attention to detail have kept her at the forefront of the industry for all these years. No mean feat in an industry that sees labels rise and fall overnight.
Marianne does business into Europe with her Leopard Frock label and her children's range, named after her granddaughter, Sibella, is a staple in children's boutiques nationwide. She showcases at fashion shows locally and abroad. She is as active in the industry now as she has ever been.
She is probably best known for her leopard spot prints to which she has always been partial.
Marianne has a passion for hand embellished detail on her garments and will go to great lengths to set them apart with custom dyeing and hand made beadwork.
I produced commercial finishes for Marianne for some years. I produced my famous Floating Hearts five seasons running. They were still selling well when I declined to do any more. These finicky little dyejobs are very tricky and my nerves simply could not take them any more. I also produced the signature ribbing used as trim on many of the garments. We started with a pink rib knit or viscose lycra wich I bound up tightly with elastics. The fabric was then painstakingly dyed in three colours. Because the pattern worked out too sparse on the fabric, it was necessary to untie the fabric and repeat the whole process from scratch to fill in the visual spaces. Marianne's work was always a labour of love for me, and more about aesthetics than the money.
Marianne has been kind enough to write the Foreword for my book, Contemporary Dyecraft (Metz Press). Look out for it in stores next year and see what she has to say about hand dyed finishes in fashion.
See her collection at http://www.leopardfrock.co.za
(This picture supplied with kind permission for use in the book.)