Using passion for fashion to uplift teens

Fashion guru Meagan Duckitt of Parow, talks about autumn trends, her teenage conference and the importance of women empowerment in this months My Attire World (MAW) column.
Dust off those brogues and ankle boots, iron those blouses and plaids and get ready to channel your inner “Parisian Bourgeois” babe this autumn.
My trend-spotting eye, picked up on smatterings of leopard print on many designers’ ready-to-wear collections this season.
Model, fashion designer and former beauty queen, Meagan Duckitt, agrees and said the use of animal prints is a “very exciting” fashion trend this autumn.
“They are coming through as a tiger, zebra and snakeskin prints. It’s quite exciting, as people even clash them,” she said.
But before we delve further into this season’s trends, let’s play “pick the fashionista’s brain”.
Meagan, who launched Calista Clothing in 2013, said her label represents femininity and sophistication with a little bit of playful quirkiness.
“The range comprises fun prints and colours with sophisticated lines, and a bit of retro influences from 1950s and 1970s elegance. My passion is to see women feel and look confident. We live in an era where I am all for female empowerment, but I do not agree with women losing their femininity and enjoyment of life.”
Meagan said fashion can be exciting, interesting and expressive but also very exclusive.
“The trends are not always suited to everyone’s taste, or body shape, and personality. My motto is that you wear what suits your shape, personality, and personal preference. Style and good taste will never fade,” she said.
Girl power
One of Meagan’s other passions is empowering teenage girls from impoverished communities. 
“My husband and I have been working with teenagers for more than 20 years but this vision started in 2011, when I helped a young woman with her matric dance. We then launched a matric dance donation project in 2016, which supports five schools in Elsies River and surrounding communities – and this was a natural outflow from there. I am often approached by girls and their parents who are desperate to start modelling, and saw this as the perfect opportunity, to prepare them for my ‘Calista Finishing Academy’ which I am launching later this year,” she said.
Meagan said she wants to “build strong, healthy young women”.
“I want teenagers who are going to stand out in society because a lot of girls want to be influencers, famous, seen, have great followers and make use of quick fixes to achieve success. I want to build a society of impactors rather than influencers,” she said.
Trends
Fashion forward Meagan said checks, plaids and tartans are on trend this autumn. “When mixed together they can create very interesting looks. Keep the silhouettes simple and the key is in the clashing of the prints,” she said.
Leather, or pleather, which has been somewhat of a recurring winter trend over the past three years, still remains an autumn staple, says Meagan. 
“This is a recurring winter trend, which I think will never go out of fashion. When styling think about the regular black to deep jewel tones in berries and browns.”
She said varying tones of tans and browns are big this season. 
“Levels of browns are great for layering dresses, shirts and coats. Cowboy yoked shirts, cowboy boots and fringing are also making a comeback,” she said.
The devil is in the detail and Meagan said accessories such as belts worn over suits or jackets work wonderfully. “Padded puffer jackets, fringe details, wide-shouldered jackets, faux fur and capes are also big this season,” she said.
Her Mama said

Meagan, who is one of the most stylish and well-put together women I know, says her mother Rosaline taught her many things about fashion.

“My mom is a very sophisticated woman. Most of my dress sense I learnt from her. She always said women should be classy and elegant. Wear what you can afford, and try not to borrow clothes! Love yourself, love your body, and dress appropriately for your shape.”

Teen Matters, a fashion, modelling and etiquette conference for teenagers, takes place on Saturday April 13, at Parow High School. Entry costs R120 each or R100 for groups of 10 or more.

RSVP to 074 525 1165 or email duckittmeagan@gmail.com

You can send your fashion tips to mika.williams@inl.co.za

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