The meeting of the Society on 9 April, had a duel purpose of awarding the annual Daphne Strutt fashion design award and the presentation by, fashion designer, Karen Monk-Klijnstra.

Robert King was first asked to address members and appraise them of the background and history of Daphne Strutt, herself a fashion designer and someone who for many years worked in the museum services. Every year the Society awards a bursary and a book ‘Clothing fashions in South Africa’, authored by Daphne Strutt, to the winner.

Click on the link below to find oout more information on Daphne Strutt (Courtesy of Robert King).

Daphne H Strutt

 This year the prize was awarded to student, Alexandra Sarah van Heerden, who was accompanied by her family.

Alexandra van Heerden with her family.
Alexandra van Heerden being presented with the Daphne Strutt fashion book, by Myra Boyes
Robert King and Chair-lady Angie St George, with Alexandra


The Society was then addressed by Karen Monk-Klijnstra, a local successful,  fashion designer, who operates from her Kloof premises. Karen presentation was ‘ Inspiration in the Ordinary’.

Karen who has designed many award winning ensembles, demonstrated, with the aid of manikins, how many of her winning outfits were assembled and made. Karen demonstratated how simple , but different items of fabric can be creatively put together and in the process achieve award winning outfits.


Karen Monk-Klijnstra creating some magic from one of her creations.
Fashion designer Karen Monk-Klijnstra with Daphne Strutt, fashion design winner, Alexandra van Heerden


Daphne Strutt Prize 2019 awarded

 Mikhail Peppas and Sanabelle Ebrahim

An enterprising Alexandra van Heerden received the Daphne Strutt Prize 2019 at the South African National Society (SANS) meeting on Tuesday 9 April. Alexandra is a 3rd year Fashion Design student at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). Myra Boyes (SANS treasurer) presented the award to Alexandra who was accompanied by her parents, Sarah and Andre van Heerden, brother Nicolas and lecturer, Khaya Mchunu.

In her acceptance speech, Alexandra said: “At about the age of 13 I fell in love with everything and anything fashion related and it started to consume me… A great experience and definitely a learning curve for me, the Vodacom Durban July Young Designers award was an achievement I will never forget. I love the styling aspect of fashion and certainly trend setting. If I had a crystal ball it would show me completely involved and engulfed in the fashion world.”

The prize comprises a book titled ‘Fashion in South Africa 1652 – 1900: An illustrated history of styles and materials for men, women and children, with notes on footwear, hairdressing, accessories and jewellery’ (now out of print) by Daphne Strutt and R2 000.

Previous Daphne Strutt Prize winners include: Anya Grobler (2018), Zane Ngwenya (2017), Leandi Mulder (2016), Carla Ann Germeir (2015), and Candice Amy du Preez (2014).

About the Author

Daphne Strutt served as Curator of the Local History Museum in Durban.

She studied History of Fashion and Costume Design at the Johannesburg Art School under the late Phyllis Gardner; then joined the staff of the Africana Museum in that city, and eventually became Custodian of the excellent collection of historical costume.

In 1953 she was appointed curator of the then new Natal Settlers Old House Museum in Durban, which housed a small but fine collection of settler dress; over the years this collection has grown to be one of the most important in South Africa, and in 1965 it was moved to form a part of the Local History Museum in the Old Court House.

About the Book

 Daphne Strutt wrote and illustrated a vast historical survey of the clothing fashions that have been adopted in South Africa – from the time of the early Dutch settlers in the 17C until the end of the 19C.

During the writing of this book the author drew upon a varied and very rich collection of sources: she visited most of the museums, galleries and archives in South Africa; she drew or photographed period apparel, old specimens and paintings; and she ransacked the rewarding treasures of family photo-albums and domestic records. What is revealed is that South Africa has a remarkably rich collection of the clothing of its pioneers – a precious heritage indeed.

Strutt, D. H. 1975. Fashion in South Africa 1652 – 1900: An illustrated history of styles and materials for men, women and children, with notes on footwear, hairdressing, accessories and jewellery. Cape Town: A. A. Balkema. ISBN 0 86961 058 9.


SA National Society – April Meeting – Daphne Strutt Award and address by Karen Klijnstra