It’s a sunny day and I am feeling rather sunny myself! I had a fabulous weekend of getting dolled-up, drinking with SA’s most fabulous people and creating some great content for Big Bad Wolf ( Keep your eyes open for an episode or two). I am certainly on a high. Why deny myself this high by criticising SAFW and the designers when I could rather focus on the great aspects of it and bring them all to you. I am not going to pretend that everything was perfect and every designer deserved to be there but I will focus on those that did.
So lets start with the best of the best. Black Coffee. Without moving away from his unique silhouette, Jacques van der Watt was still able to bring something new and fresh to this seasons runway. His designs are a meticulous feat of engineering as each piece is layered and constructed to meet the pattern of the moving body. This collection was immaculately designed with just the right amount of quirk to keep things interesting. From oversized, hounds-toothed coats to light, fresh and airy jumpsuits, Black Coffees show was without a doubt a highlight at this seasons Fashion week. It’s no wonder he has been showing since 1999 !
South Africa’s very own Wunderkind, Rich Mnisi has the natural ability to up his own game each and every season. This Autumn/ Winter range was no different. With the ability to design for the androgynous in all of us- Mnisi’s latest collection pushed the boundaries even more. Designers like Rich are what make me proud and excited for the future of South African fashion. He could and should be up there with the best designers in the world!
Talking about the best designers in the world, Thebe Magugu once again solidified himself as a fashion week favourite. Hot on the heels of Mnisi’s show, Magugu brought an effortless elegance to this SAFW. With the unique ability to explore the disparity between masculinity & femininity this season was no different. Romantic dresses juxtaposed with structured jackets and skirts, this was a favourite for every attendee I spoke to.
Just like most of you, I am still learning about all the designers that show at fashion week. Luckily for me, a design duo I have never heard of turned out to be one of the weeks highlights. Let me introduce some of you to MmusoMaxwell. From what I have calculated, this was their first SAFW and lord did they slay it! Not only did they win the SAFW New Talent Search but created a strong following at the same time. Their work is inspired by African heritage and contemporary culture to complement the modern women. I could very happily own every item I saw on the runway. Watch this pair take over the industry.
Ri.ch Factory proved that using African inspired print need not be a cheap novelty (sadly a concept designers such as Sun Goddess have not yet grasped). Rina Chunga was able to design for the modern-African woman. Bringing sex appeal and structured silhouettes, this was certainly a standout show. Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and now living in SA, Chunga’s colourful upbringing is reflected in her eclectic range.
I remember meeting Floyd years ago when he was taking old denims and converting them into something more fashionable for the ‘everyday’. Wow has his brand grown! Since winning the Scouting Menswear Competition in 2015, Avenue has become a leading menswear designer in SA. His design aesthetic reflects the multi-layered world we currently live in. His latest collection is a personal favourite and highlight of SAFWAW18. Cannot wait to see what he has in store for this industry.
As with every SAFW I had a brilliant time. It was a week spent with some of my favourite people in the industry. Bitching, laughing and drinking- this is what life is about. A special and massive shoutout to Mmalethabo Kgomongwe for always making me feel at home. You and your fabulous team always bring such sunshine to fashion week! Already counting down the seconds to the next one.