South African Fashion Week (SAFW) is quite a big deal. And although it’s a glamorous day out, fashion writers like myself are not there to be captured in eccentric outfits in the parking lot. No, my job is to report back on the Spring Summer 17 (SS17) collections. But before I continue, let me just say; you all looked amazing. The personal style bloggers and fashion editors styled their looks epically and thank you for keeping us entertained between shows. SAFW staff were super organized and very helpful this year and it’s good to know that after two years of going to fashion week, people finally know the blog and if I’m real lucky, my name too. I fought through crowds of fashionable people for three days during the ladies wear collections to bring you the lowdown on everything that got my attention at SAFW SS17.
Day one is always the most important day. It kinda lays the foundation for what is to come and obviously determines whether or not your fashion game is on track. You wonder if you chose the right outfits and if they’ll give you the street cred you need. The Style by SA show was an exclusive Woolworths capsule collection by a variety of South African designers. The designs were strong and modern and grounded in an ethos of giving up-and-coming designers the opportunity to have their collections sold in a commercial retail environment. The collection is a runway to rail collection and before I get into why I think it’s problematic, let’s be reminded of what Cathy Horyn from New York Magazine said about that concept; “It works for mid-price brands, but might blunt the creative magic of luxury houses”.
The resort wear was my favourite on day one, and I‘m really excited that it has finally been included at SAFW. Key’s Fashion reiterated their ability to understand the feminine form on day one and killed it with the trés gorgeous finale dress.
Day Two was without a doubt my favourite. The Lufthansa 1st Class collections were aesthetically strong, and we were so lucky to get a view of Edda Gimnes’ latest collection. Her aesthetic is illustrative and contemporary. The colour palette and intricate construction was on-trend, and people went nuts for it.
The Durban University of Technology’s department of fashion and textile showed collections that were really fresh and alternative. Durban designers have a different perspective on fashion – they are edgy and confident, and it shows in their collections.
Heart and Heritage had a great collection, which showed initiative in more than just the clothing. It was like watching a story come to life and we loved it. The blog recently did a post about painterly prints as a huge 2017 trend, so as far as we’re concerned Heart and Heritage is in sync with their international counterparts and knows exactly what we want right now. The collection was replete in soft fabrics contrasted against paint splatter details.
Day Three ended with a bang. Between Sober and Atelier Dejee, Vintage Zionist and Ekta, I’m not too sure who made us more excited about the future of fashion in South Africa. Sober and Atelier Dejee played with soft tones, neutral pinks and contrasting blacks. As usual, Sober did not disappoint and I love her designs for so many reasons. Her garment construction is ethereal, and her choice of fabrics is unique to her aesthetic. Also huge on the trend radar right now is contemporary tailoring and ERRE really played with this concept in their black-only collection. Vintage Zionist was a favourite for their rock-roll take on streetstyle-inspired fashion. The graphic backpacks and cropped jackets were just too cool. African Style Story’s collection was fused with mixed prints and details that played on the narrative of the designer’s vision.
As a huge fan, I was really looking forward to Clive Rundle’s “exhibition” and although the images were out of this world, I feel like it didn’t do his garments any justice. Maybe a proper installation in a gallery environment would have been more appropriate. We love you Clive!
Cover image Who Cares, It’s Art*