Trend Watch: Fashion Week

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week wrapped on Saturday night and my, oh my, was I feeling myself!? With four days of shows back to back, it was exhausting, but what a thrill and privilege to be part of it all. Besides a few setbacks like shows running super late, the media lounge was top class, staff were friendly and approachable, and as always the street style fashion was on-fleek. Celebs, journalists and bloggers were trying their best to stand out and although most succeeded, there were a few fails too. But this post is not about that. It’s also not about this absurd new craze of designers using celebrities as models. If you’re looking for endorsements, fashion week is not the place. Models are models for a reason. They are a canvas for your work and it’s silly to use any marketing that ultimately distracts from your collection….

With so much news from fashion week to report on, we decided to bring you a trend report with all the best trends from African Fashion International‘s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Pssst… May I just say how accurately we predicted these? Check out our trend reports  from the last couple of months!

TREND: Florals and Bold Prints

Bulbulia‘s folk-chic aesthetic was seen throughout the show with the use of floral and bright fabrics, paired with silky bomber jackets  and accessories to die for.  MaXhosa by Laduma revealed a knitted collection inspired by Xhosa culture – meticulous attention to detail, his knitted finale dress was a perfect balance between contemporary and traditional. Ruff Tang and Tina Ngxoko‘s collections were rich in bold prints contrasted against sheeny materials and sequins.

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TREND: Contemporary Tailoring

Very relevant and very trendy. Everyone loves a well-constructed garment and it was delivered by some of my favourite collections. Colour by Nandi Mngoma and Inga Madyibi and Orapeleng Modutle’s Style Avenue’s Spring Summer (SS) collections indulged in garments made with strong tailoring skills that not many designers can pull off. Colour ‘s Afro-Contemporary undercurrents in pastel hues was a breath of fresh air.

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TREND: Embroidery and Embellishments

Jenni Button‘s show was highly anticipated and didn’t disappoint. Her Indian and African fused collections were rooted in tradition, with her unique brilliance added to every garment that came down the runway. Huge resort feels from Button’s first collection on the day. Orapeleng Modutle’s collection was  definitely one of my favourites of the week. Nudes, mesh, artistic embellishments, contemporary tailoring… What a top class collection!

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TREND: Mesh and Metallics

Marianne Fassler entertained us with her interesting opening (although conceptually, I’m not sure what she was saying). Her collection was rich in meshes, x-ray fabrics, sequins, embroidery and glitter platforms paired with military undertones, neons and pastels. It was brought together beautifully and I want those garments in my closet, like yesterday! Wake by Pieter Burger was another great collections showing off the mesh trend with an urban feel. Pastels, fine hounds-tooth prints and denim were all great elements that brought the collection together. Stefania Morland brought us a SS collection with strong resort suggestions. Silky, bold prints and colours were paired with ruffled dresses, platform shoes and subtle colour blocking. Just take me to Miami already!

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TREND: Nudes and Muted Prints

Another trend we predicted for the season. Again, Modutle’s collection was carefully toned with soft pinks and ivory, contrasted against flowing black fabrics. Shana‘s muted SS collection delivered textured embroidery and dull metallics. Matte Nolim by Siyethemba Duma kept it cool with monochrome, flared pants in black and bone, coupled with off-the-shoulder crops, lots of mesh and a femininity Duma is known for.

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Cover Image/Artwork by Marion K Nowak | Original Photos courtesy of AFI*