Fashion week in Johannesburg has come and gone as swiftly as that bone-chilling cold front. It threatened us with its icy temperatures but thankfully not enough to keep the stylistas away from the extravagant affair. Perhaps I could contemplate the reasons as to why Mercedes Benz fashion weeks are always cursed with bad weather but… I think it would be far more productive to talk about all the great shows that MBFWJ presented us with! From getting lost at one end of the monumental mall of Africa to running between the punchy Xperience Afi shows, this fashion week was a week of firsts. Other than my qualms with very late scheduling and confusion between shows the production was impressive.
Although we didn’t have the opportunity to see the actual show live Kluk opened fashion week with a bang. This charitable return to the runway saw the design duo collaborating on a show with the sunflower foundation. The collection itself displayed an artistic flair with bold patterns, unconventional details and vibrant colours.
Controversial King, Gavin Rajah, put together a breathtaking collection that was both ethereal and seductively gloomy. From the decorative asianic florals dripping onto the runway to the couture craftsmanship on delicately embroidered gowns this was exquisite show to watch. Impressive still were the graceful Models sweeping across the ramp unfazed as gowns snagged onto the floral sculptures.
Spero Villioti is known for his proficiency in couture garments and he did not disappoint with this runway extravaganza. Each dress had it’s own distinct story and the attention to detail was astounding. The colourful dreadlocks, however, could be considered culturally exploitative but were none the less well done.
Adama Paris showcased their collection entirely in a powdery white broderie anglaise. Garments were accessorized with orange accessories for an injection of colour. All in all the collection felt cool and perfect for spring.
Tuelo Nguyuza’s runway collection stood out for its interesting layering of sheer fabrics and rosy embroidery. The effect was romantic and gave the occasion dresses an editorial quality. The designer seemed to have gotten the memo that floral embroidery was the finish of the week.
No other designer has the ability to splice fabrics and and textures the way that Marianne Fassler can. With this quirky collection she gave us colour, beehives, and a much-needed breath from the drama and richness of fashion week. Dynamism and a youthful cheer are undeniably what makes Fassler fun to watch.
Thula Sindi put on a show that was a delight. His clothing was the perfect blend of sweetheart couture and feminine daywear. This show highlighted not only his ability to expertly mix but also his eye for cohesive styling.
I don’t think I’d be alone in thinking that what BRIDGET PICKERING and LUDWIG BAUSCH created for ruff tung was awe-inspiring. Known for their body inclusivity the designer’s collection was crisp, oriental and livened with eye-catching sequins.
Special mention needs to be made for all of the Xperience AFI young designers whose collections felt pertinent to the times with their IDGAF approach to fashion.