Mrs Right Guy

With costume design being one of the most important factors in filmmaking, the partnership between fashion and film has been a love affair ever since the movie industry started.

That's why the team behind South Africa's latest romcom, Mrs Right Guy - which opens in cinemas on 27 May - brought fashion designer Brenda Khambule on board to dress the cast.

"Films transport us to a different world," says Khambule. "It makes us fantasise about each character and escape on a visual journey. It's not just the actors' relationship with their characters and the setting that places us firmly in the story; the clothes each character wears helps identify them. They can make the characters interesting and believable, sad or funny, good or evil."

'We tried to marry each character to a designer'

A well-known fashion editor, stylist, and wardrobe designer for the magazine, film and television industries, Khambule went mostly for local designers. "We tried to marry every character to a designer, which was a great concept.

"Thula Sindi, known for his exquisite and delicately crafted masterpieces, was very forward thinking in this regard. He went above and beyond to accommodate us. We also chose pieces by Mimi Spunk (Millicent Nkangane), Carducci, and Kent and Jones to add to the mix, all of which are well known brands."

Along with the script, actors and music, the clothing worn throughout a film plays a very important role, says Khambule - particularly when it comes to Dineo Moeketsi, who stars as the lovelorn Gugu Hlatshwayo.

"Gugu is an 'It Girl', which made the choice of wardrobe for her a key element," says Khambule.

Raising laughs as well as hope for those who have been wounded by love, the film follows Gugu as fate introduces her to two eligible young men: serial seducer Dumile (Thapelo Mokoena) and regular good guy Joe (Lehasa Moloi). Can she see through Dumile’s charm, wealth and power, can she see Joe for who he is - or is she doomed to repeat her past mistakes?



'An aspirational yet attainable look that represents urban Joburg'

"Fashion in a film influences how the audience sees the characters," says Khambule. "In Mrs Right Guy, they are young, attractive and trendy. To make them believable and realistic, we went for an aspirational, yet attainable look that represents urban Johannesburg."

According to Khambule, the aim was to make the choice of wardrobe fresh and appealing to both a local and global audience. At the same time, in choosing the clothing for each character, "we were careful to ensure that their look was a true extension of their film persona".

Asked what she enjoyed most about working on the film, Khambule says it was the chance to play every day. "The producers and director briefed us all so well that my team was simply an extension of their vision from beginning to end."

Among her various achievements, Khambule received an SA Music Awards (Sama) nomination for costume design on iNumber Number, as well as SA Film and Television Awards (Safta) nominations for best wardrobe designer for the TV series Single Guys and the film Swartwater. Most recently, she was in charge of wardrobe for TV drama series Mfolozi Street.

When she's not on set, Khambule specialises in image and style consultations. She launched her own clothing brand, Inspired by Brenda Khambule, in 2015. Today she supplies bespoke clothing suited to the individual's lifestyle and body shape.

A Fuze Films production, Mrs Right Guy was directed by Adze Ugah and produced by Dumi Gumbi, Kethiwe Ngcobo, Mokopi Shale and Cati Weinek.

It was funded by the NFVF in association with the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission