Making matrics feel like royalty

HEARTFELT DONATION: Jason Kieck at his design studios gives Tammy Goosen from the Princess Project designer dresses to help girls attend their matric dances in style.
HEARTFELT DONATION: Jason Kieck at his design studios gives Tammy Goosen from the Princess Project designer dresses to help girls attend their matric dances in style.

NELSON Mandela Bay fashion designer Jason Kieck will help needy schoolgirls feel as beautiful as Miss South Africa by donating 20 of his designer dresses to the Princess Project. Run by the Bay’s own “fairy godmothers”, Pam Barnard and Tammy Goosen, the project helps disadvantaged matriculants look gorgeous for their matric dances.

She said the project was in the process of getting rid of old dresses, “so this donation came at a perfect time”.
Kieck, who specialises in wedding gowns, evening wear, matric dance dresses and special occasion wear, said he believed in this cause. “I think it is important for pupils to be able to attend their farewell – a celebration of 12 years of their schooling completed,” he said.

The 20 cocktail and evening dresses he donated are worth about R50 000. And one lucky matric pupil will get to attend her farewell in a stunning dress designed for and worn by former Miss South Africa, Cindy Nell.

“The size 34, one-shouldered dress, is made from gold Thai silk, with French tulle and embroidered lace, beaded with crystals.” There are 15 dresses that have never been worn, which Kieck had designed for his wife, who “never got around to wear” them.

The Princess Project has grown since it started 12 years ago. To date the project has reached pupils as far as Mthatha.

Goosen joined the project five years ago and Barnard said it helped to have a younger colleague around as she was “able to connect more with the pupils, in terms of the fashion trends”.

Although the Kieck numbers will only fit a petite frame, the Princess Project has a range of gowns available, and can tailor items where needed.

The project also assists matric boys with suits and shoes, and helps the girls with make-up, shoes and accessories.
Kieck’s giving heart has seen him make a difference in several Bay charities for the past nine years.

“Every year we host a fundraiser gala dinner, and this year the proceeds will go towards the Igazi Foundation, which is dedicated to blood related services,” Kieck said. Teachers who know any pupils who may need assistance with matric farewells – boy or girl – are asked to contact the Princess Project.

Barnard and Goosen work with teachers to identify who they can help.

They are already working on seven upcoming farewells in the city but are willing to help other schools outside the Metro if this is called for.

  • Further information on the Princess Project or to donate dresses, suits, gift bags or fabric, contact Barnard, 076-113-6659 and Goosen, 082-829-2300 or tammygoosen3@gmail.com Facebook: Princess Project PE.

-Balisa Ntloko

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