Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Re-imagined Amish headgear at Loin, Cloth & Ashes

It's always exciting to see young people coming into the fashion scene and shaking things up a little bit. That's what I think happened at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town this past weekend. The younger designers, for me, did much better than a lot of the established names, who are quite frankly just wasting everyone's time with their same ol', same ol'. Get a stall at Neighbourgoods or something, just don't come to fashion week to show us what you showed us last year and the year before and the year before that and the season before that and... you get the idea. 

Loin Cloth & Ashes
Anisa Mpungwe of Loin Cloth & Ashes is not so emerging anymore but one can't help putting her on this list because if it is going to be called Fashion's Fountain of Youth, her work fits the description perfectly because youth is what her collections inject into the often very tired scenes that one often has to endure day-in and day-out as fashion week rolls out. Everyone knows: LCA always brings it and this year was no different! Her Afro-Amish collection brought together the simplicity of the Amish dress code with the diversity of urban African youth culture giving a fresh spin to flirty summer dressing and switching up the print game we've come to know as her signature.

Nicholas Coutts 
I was most impressed with Nicholas Coutts fashion week debut where the ELLE Rising Star winner came out guns blazing with bold colours, structure and beautiful textures. His collection stood out the most out of all the AFI Next Generation designers, in my opinion, even though- I have to say- the rest also stood their ground. I think the standard in this emerging talent segment keeps on rising and that's exactly what one wants to see. If I may add, I think it is great that Ernest Mahomane, who was part of the New Generation line-up, was retained after showcasing last year because I think the more we get familiar with the younger designers and not rush through them like we are on some sort of assembly line, the better. It's best for the industry if we get more familiar with the emerging designers while gradually introducing new designers instead of replacing the entire group every single year. What that has shown us in the past is that people generally fall away into obscurity in the sea of other little known designers. How's a bitch meant to breath when he be out here getting choked up?
Of course these designers are not perfect (show me anyone who is emerging whose collection is entirely perfect) but they definitely show great promise and that is worth applauding!

Lara Klawikowski
I also liked Lara Klawikowski as I usually do. I love her in-tucking technique and how she used fabric to reflect the concept of a flower growing in ice, the theme she told me she was exploring with this particular collection.  
Speaking of the fountain of youth and in spite of the fact that she is no longer a youth, I think Marianne Fassler's collection was one of the most fun to watch. It was easy, full of optimism and was one hundred percent the best way to open this fashion week. The clever clashing of prints and the Afro-urban aesthetic, as I told the designer after the show, reminded me of Durban. 

Marianne Fassler
It seems I wasn't too far off the mark because she said it was a lot about taking this Afro-urban aesthetic to the beach. I just had to mention that in this post even though it is about the younger people I think the spirit of Fassler's collection warrants a mention!

Images: Simon Deiner/SDR photo

No comments: