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Art meets fashion…

A skilled stylist and the co-owner of a successful boutique retail brand for many years, Adele Grace discovered her hidden talent and passion for painting during lockdown last year. Now she is collaborating with top fashion houses and has even launched her own fabric and wallpaper range.

This beautiful Ella Sol kimono is a result of the art meets fashion collboartion

It is quite remarkable when fashion, art and décor collide. Adele, one of the founders of the well-known Adele Catherine retail range, is all about finding the beauty around her. “I love what I do. I live by the Elsie de Wolf quote that says, “I will make everything around me beautiful and that will be my life.”” Having recently relocated to Ballito from the Midlands, we asked Adele about herself and her new collection.

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Tell us a bit about your career and background.
After studying graphic design I went to work in the advertising industry where I was introduced to the world of styling. I loved it and was able to work with Durban’s top brands and models. This is where I discovered a huge love for visual merchandising and product sourcing.

Tell us about your range.
Catherine and I opened our first Adele Catherine store in 2016 in Kloof, alongside the Bellevue Cafe. This isn’t your typical retail space. It’s full of charm and soul and opens onto a nursery stocked with a special collection of indigenous plants. In 2018 we opened our second store in Joburg in the BluBird shopping centre. We recently also launched our online store. Most of our products are handcrafted and, whenever possible, locally sourced.

We are lucky to work with a wide range of incredible artists who work in many mediums – from ceramics and photography to water colour, fashion and jewellery. We offer a curated selection of lifestyle products, from home fragrances to fashion, décor and gifting.

The very talented Adele

When did you first discover your passion for painting?
I am going to take this opportunity to wear my heart on my sleeve and be very honest. I hit rock bottom during the first lockdown. It was then that I discovered my hidden talent and love for painting and I’ve never looked back. It was a huge blessing for me emotionally as well as financially and it has brought me so many opportunities. A true case of ‘after rain, comes flowers’. I have since launched a wallpaper and fabric range in collaboration with T&Co and The Silk & Cotton Co called The Adele Grace Mbali Collection.

Tell us about your fashion collab with Ella Sol Clothing.
Kelly from Ella Sol approached me with a dream that she has had since starting her brand and I welcomed the opportunity to explore textile. She dreamt of blending her love for art with fashion and being able to combine something local and extraordinary with current trends. I feel very honoured to be part of this venture. We are both ‘growing with the flow’.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from images that make me feel something … either joy or aspiration. I celebrate the strength of the female form and like to show African woman in a beautiful, sophisticated way, portraying strength and stirring emotion. With my fashion styling background I love fashion images, and have also painted some fashion pieces that are feminine and true to who I am and what I personally love. I have also recently started drawing inspiration from nature as my daughter York is an absolute wild child and inspires me every day with all her discoveries. My Mbali wallpaper and fabric collection is based on my daughter and our time together outdoors.

Details: [email protected]i.art.adelegrace, www.studioadelegrace.com, [email protected], www.adelecatherine.com, [email protected], www.ellasol.co.za

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