Another fashion week has come and gone, leaving fashionistas feeling rather hungover, but a good kinda hungover – one that makes you wonder if any of it ever happened or if it was just a dream. My love affair for African fashion is a growing one, and I feel privileged to be part of an industry that is growing rapidly. The week was replete with Insta famous celebs, fashion bloggers, models and most importantly, some industry greats; a’la Chu Suwannapha and Nicola Cooper and co.
Day one kicked off with Gert Johan Coetzee’s opening show, which fashion underdogs like myself, did not get access to. Maybe I didn’t have enough Instagram followers to make the cut. His show was followed by Colleen Eitzen, the multi-talented Clive Rundle, Lunar and the highly anticipated Lufthansa 1st Best Collections shows. Colleen’s collection sent a breezy East Coast Tropical Luxe feel, with tropical prints, sequins, pastel denims and flowing fabrics.
Clive Rundle is one of my favourite South African designers, and with his bold prints, afro-fusion aesthetics and monochrome nuances, the collection left me wanting more. But in a good way. I remember a fellow blogger asking me after the show if I would wear any of Clive’s clothes, and I said “of course”! They said they could not imagine themselves prancing around Woolies in a Rundle ensemble, but they missed the point. Clive’s collection is not for the mediocre, it’s for the eccentric at heart who is not afraid to express their individual style.
Lunar dived into the concept of Romanticism, and it worked. It reminded me a little of Céline and Balenciaga’s Spring Summer 2016 collections, which were rich in feminine fabrics, and Lunar managed to pull it off in a style they are confident in. The Lufthansa 1st Best Collection competition final showcased an aviation inspired collection by Lumin, Somerset Jane, Heart and Heritage, GreerKyle and T’niche.
A lady “frowing” next to me got extremely irritated with the Lufthansa collections and when it ended breathed in relief “thank God”. It made me wonder why she was there in the first place. I on the other hand, was impressed with the Lufthansa 1st Best Collections and Heart and Heritage won the competition and will be showcasing their work at Berlin Fashion Week.
Day Two settled in with collections by Anmari Honiball, WITH, ERRE, Sies!Isabelle, Keys Fashion, and Rubicon. Anmari Honiball showed off her hand-making aesthetic playing with woven and sewn-together materials. Minimalism was a strong feature in WITH’s collection, which the designer said reflects on a subjective childhood memory. Swimsuits and sheen made ERRE’s collection feel like something out of a rare 50s art flick with finesse and sophistication. I need those swimsuits, and so do you.
Sies!Isabelle evoked earthy elements with nude hues and woven textiles paired with bare footed models. Keys fashion was heavily inspired by underwater colours translated by romantic flair. The collection gave us lots of lace and silky fabrics. Rubicon’s installation concept made be realise once again how blurred the lines between art and fashion are. Dusty pinks, ivory and white fabrics drenched the models in elegance and those tailoring skills are enough to give anyone in the industry a run for their money.
Day three was the last day of the women’s only collections and also my favourite, because Sober. One designer who I anticipate every season and never manages to let her fans and customers down. Colour, movement and electricity – her Spring Summer 2016 collection was all about joie de vivre! I loved the use of mesh, swaying fabrics and soft hues. Judith Atelier was another favourite. She managed to capture the landscapes of Portugal in a few simple looks. Paired cleverly with soft leather shoes by Astrid Diliberto from My Boheme, Judith managed to convince her viewers with her concept.
Isabel de Villiers kept it edgy with laser cut embellishments and handbags to die for by One Of Each. Subtle prints and boho details completed Non-European‘s Spring Summer collection by keeping to natural fabrics and classic styles. Sun Goddess kept their collection rooted in their heritage with florals and striped prints, and JJ Schoeman gave us pastel-pink hair and a pearly gates, white on white collection.