Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Shell of Optimism and Hope at SA Fashion Week

It felt like there was a new life with a different energy as SA Fashion Week began at Arts on Main in the heart of Jozi last night. The ramp took the form of the letter “H” and I have to admit, Arts on Main will take some time for me to adjust to. I really like the Turbine Hall, but I guess it’s fine.

Optimism was the theme for the hopefuls of ELLE’s New Talent competition- in conjunction with Mr Price- and Cleo Droomer walked off with top honours (he’s a “he” not “she”, as the Sowetan reports) for his tight silhouette, digital print spandex garments. The Cape Town College of Fashion Design trained 22 year-old told ifashion that “his designs were inspired by the people of South Africa, whom he compared to the abalone shell, which is rough on the outside and soft on the inside making them very pleasant people.” And yes, the purple, silver and grey print on the garment does look like an abalone shell. The thought behind this concept is striking and, for me, holds promise that Droomer will soon be one of those fashion designers that South African can be seriously proud of. I applaud the judging panel on their decision. The rest of the New Talent candidates were largely forgettable, in my opinion, with highly predictable displays of colour and, at times, references of African fabric and colours.
I missed Shaldon Kopman’s fashion week debut with his Naked Ape brand and this was apparently the highlight of the night. I could smack myself! All in all, if opening night at SA Fashion Week Winter Collections 2011 is anything to go by the rest of the week should be filled with much fun and a new energy for South African fashion design. I can’t wait for brands like Christopher Strong and Two; beautiful and practical simplicity, or at least this is what I expect. Being pleasantly surprised would be a cherry on the cake!

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