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Star Style: falls for the charms (Part 2)

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The comfort she gets from finding an adopted family in fashion’s famous faces is linked to her close relationship with her own family. Katryn has lived in Bothasig, Cape Town, with her parents and younger brother all her life. Travelling alone for the first time last year was an adjustment for the whole family to make. ‘I’ve only just turned 17. It’s difficult sometimes – there are days when I just want to be barefoot on the couch with my dogs,’ she says, adding that when she is working in South Africa, the experience is completely different from working overseas. ‘Here I can still be childlike and carefree, but overseas it’s more professional and adult. I have to be in charge of my own safety and transport. Wheeas here, my mom and dad drop me off or pick me up. It’s alot more relaxed.’

Description: Katryn Kruger. Cacharel - Fashion Week Paris A/W 12 PaP

Katryn Kruger. Cacharel - Fashion Week Paris A/W 12 PaP

Spending time being a normal teenager is one of her favouitr things to do when she is home. ‘One of the best things is that my mom washes my clothes!’ she laughs. “Instead of me washing them in the shower with body wash. At least when I’m home I know they’re properly clean.’

‘I miss my mom’s Afrikaans food. I’m also never in one place long enough to buy things like peanut butter. So I really miss peanut butter and syrup on toast sometimes. And the language,’ she adds. ‘I really miss hearing Afrikaans.’

Late on shoot day, her dad, financial planner Pieter Kruger, is waiting on set to collect her after nearly 12 hours of shooting. For each new look, Katryn has been transformed into almost an entirely new person, and for the last few shots, her hair and make-up become a little more dramatic. ‘Oh no,’ he says laughing as hait-stylisy Kevin Epstein teases out her hair, ‘it looks like a bad hair day!’ As the hairstyle takes shape, the mane Kevin created is tamed into a neat ballerina bun. ‘Ah, not such a bad hair day after all,’ Pieter remarks smiling, mild relief in his voice. Though sitting out of the way and busying himself with his work, Pieter keeps a close eye on everything happening on set. ‘I was [with her] on her very first shoot, when she did shots for a photo library, but haven’t seen her at work since then. This is such an incredible experience,’ he says.

Description: Katryn Kruger for Stella Magazine March 2012 by James Meakin

Katryn Kruger for Stella Magazine March 2012 by James Meakin

Both Katryn’s parents are involved in her career, and her dad chuckles as he refers to himself as her ‘self-appointed manager’. ‘We are very proud of what she has done. It has definitely been an adjustment for us all, but it has come at the right time for Katryn.’ The relationship between father and daughter is a close one, with her dad swooping in to hug her tightly as soon as the team wraps, and posing proudly for a photograph with her. As the studio is tidied up and clothes find their way back into bags, he comments on Katryn’s last look: ‘The clothing is incredible. Just look at that. Absolutely beautiful.’ And adds the three words every dad hopes to save for later, and will say with a mixture of pride and disbelief: ‘So grown up.’

Description: Katryn says her dad’s phone number is one of the two most dialled numbers on her phone

Katryn says her dad’s phone number is one of the two most dialled numbers on her phone

Katryn says her dad’s phone number is one of the two most dialled numbers on her phone. And the other one? She smiles broadly before saying, ‘My boyfriend’. As soon as she starts talking about the special man in her life, her international fashion star persona is entirely forgotten and she sounds like any 17 years old caught up in the butterflies of a new relationship. ‘It started as a summer romance, his family was camping just down the road from mine in Hartenbos in December.’ The young man who has stolen her heart, Cilliers Kies, is a fifth-year medical student at Stellenbosch University. ‘We’ve known each other for a very long time,’ she says, explaining that their parents have been friends for years. ‘When the holiday was over we were still together and we’re very happy.’

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