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Behind the seams of Real Housewives of Cape Town

Whether you are a fan of the international franchises or crazy for the local spin-offs, the Real Housewives have captured the world and soon it is about to call Cape Town its new home.

The latest instalment is set to feature seven castmates from the Mother City who will be letting it all out in catfights and couture.

To better understand the looks the women will be wearing on the show, we spoke to Troy Molaiwa, whose styling work has earned him a reputation for sophistication. With a focus on enhancing the personality traits of the people he dresses, Molaiwa lets us in on what the Housewives wore, their styles and what you can do to rock everyday life like a housewife.

How did you handle working with such a big and bold cast?

Remember that we are working with different personalities, sometimes they’re going through something or you have to convince them to wear a certain dress, so it was quite a lot. But I had really good assistants and they helped me manage the project quite well.

Let’s start with the youngest ones in the cast, Thato Montse and Rushda Moosajee. How did you approach their style?

Thato is young, vibrant and quirky but at the same time she’s a classy girl. She’s a girl from Lesotho who comes to the city, so she’s like a Jimmy-comes-to-Cape Town. Her looks are colourful with glamour.

I think she’s the youngest and it shows in her style. She’s edgier and as an influencer she doesn’t wear the typical glamour. When I spoke to her she said: “Make me look cool. I don’t want to look like the typical housewife. I want to look like a cool one.”

Beverly Steyn has such a glamorous look, what was it like styling her?

Beverly is the queen of diamonds. You’ll realise she wears a lot of diamonds — and they’re all real. Her looks are more over-the-top, with a lot of glamour.

Is Mrs Leo’s style not similar to Beverly’s?

They are almost the same but I would say Beverly is the Hollywood glamour girl and Mrs Leo is like the Atlanta brand girl. She’s also very fashion-forward.

And how did you approach styling Camilla McDowell?

At first it was a bit difficult because Camilla feels younger than she might look but I noticed that she has the old-money style and is still a bit posh.

What can people look forward to with Rooksy Gqirana’s style?

She loves fashion. A lot of girls, let’s say from Gugulethu or Khayelitsha, are going to relate to her. She also loves brands and runs a boutique. Her fashions are very much her boutique style and she insisted a couple of times that I dress her in her boutique’s stuff.

Did you enjoy dressing Lue Tukwayo?

Her style is very simple and she doesn’t ask for much. She was a very easy person to work with because she came to the set and asked me and she wears it and she’s very happy.

Even if you go through her Instagram page, it’s minimalistic. She’s always in the minimalistic-mommy look.

She sounds like a dream to style.

Not necessarily a dream, just easy to style. I think the dreams are Beverly or Mrs Leo because their styles are out of the box.

Would you say one of them is your favourite?

I don’t have a favourite and the last time I said I had a favourite it got me in hot water. At this point I’m not biased, I enjoyed working with all the ladies. The last time I worked on Real Housewives of Joburg I said one of them is my favourite and it was a whole issue of me having certain favourites, which meant I was capable of sabotaging the others. So, they’re all my faves. I love all of them.

What can people look forward to in terms of the style from Real Housewives of Cape Town?

Cape Town is the poshest city you can find after Joburg in SA. It’s very elite, it’s very glamorous, very Beverly Hills fashion. When you are styling for this show you have to do research and try to meet up with all the other franchises. Not only that but look at the comparisons of how each franchise would relate to the one you are styling at that time.

Joburg is different; it’s loud, glamorous and in your face. Durban is cultural, with the Zulu, but Cape Town is a mixture of different cultures. Not everybody in Cape Town is from there. Even the cast members are all from different places. It’s just a matter of merging them and making sure they look like they are from one city.

Is there any advice you can give our readers about dressing glamorously in their day-to-day lives?

Make it simple but glamorous. Make people want to know who you are, whether you are a nobody or a somebody, they must question your presence. It could be a pair of jeans, a blazer or heels all the time. Even a maxi dress and some shades.