We recently interviewed couturier Jacques LaGrange.
What is your profession?
I’m a couturier. I was dubbed by Glamour magazine as South Africa’s King of COUTURE. Having clients all over the world… my job is to create beauty for woman around the world.
What was your dream job when you were growing up?
Honestly… It was to become a designer. Any creative job to do with drawing or fabric. As a child draping my mothers dresses, curtains or even a bath towel… I always wanted to create beauty.
What does a typical day in your working life look like?
My day starts at 6… normally with an hour work out. A shower, 2 – 3 coffees and what lies ahead. Seeing new clients, fittings, radio and television interviews, working on garments for a deadline, a party or 2 at night… prepping for the next day, yes even after a party with a glass or 3 in my system. At that time it is normally 2 or 3 in the morning. When I’m in bed I’ll answer all emails and questions before a short snooze and it will all start again. Sometimes we don’t go to bed because of deadlines… the amount of sleep I lost over the years… will add up to months. This all said… if I’m not on a flight… then I will also work. My mind never rests.
One of your most inspiring experiences in your career to date?
I have to say my travels. Can’t pick one. Meeting new people in random places and experience the culture. Being in the most exquisite destinations and sharing that with special people is inspiring to be a bigger person. From India to New York. Paris to Dubai. Every city I’ve been to was an inspiration. Some of my career highlights include a showing I did at MAARKAH New York Fashion Week 2017, as well as a silk boxing robe I made which is now hanging in the boxing hall of fame!
What is your favourite question to ask a prospective employee?
Do you smoke? Hate the smell of smoke. Being a non smoker myself I can’t stand it.
What is your favourite leisure activity?
Has to be movies. Watching a good movie that takes me places and that speaks to me. The last one that did that and that was amazing was Elizabeth & Abdul & The Viceroy.
Who is your favourite South African designer?
I don’t have a favourite home ware store… I buy what I like. Love Woodbender… Although I buy most of my clothing abroad… I love to discover new talent. Well made clothes speak to me. But my favourite South African designer would be Dicky Longhurst. He was a friend and mentor. Learned so much from him and worked on amazing local and international projects with him.
How do you feel about appearing on the Societi Bistro menu and the dish in particular?
I feel so honoured. Peter Weetman could pick any person as there is so many personalities in Cape Town. I’m still at a lost for words. Hard to believe….. I know but I am. Very humble. I think the dish is very me…. Sweet soul that is pink in my face with the kick of mint and vodka as my personality is wild) with the bitter taste to part with hours spending on couture…. think the dish is spot on me.
What is your favourite food to indulge in?
I don’t have a six pack because I love, love, love food so much. It is not comfort food thing. Really… cream, butter and more cream speaks to me like silk and cashmere. Nothing can beat the real thing. Risotto, pork belly, lamb chops, home made bread with thick butter… should I go on? I generally indulge in good food! Full stop.
Any memories you would like to share about Societi Bistro?
Every time I’m at Societi Bistro new memories are made. My 40th birthday party for family and close friends. My interview with Maryna for S.A. Wine extra magazine. A 12 0’clock meeting that ended at 10:30 that evening. Or my interview with Nelia for Get It magazine. Was one of my best interviews….. started at 10… followed by the tasting menu from the tour through France… and left the restaurant at 5:30. Only because I had a charity dinner on at 6:30 that night. Amazing food and wine with beautiful people. Still the best service for me in Cape Town and with the best staff. Unbelievable souls.