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Gaschette takes you to the front row of the SA Fashion Week SS21 Digital Collections.

Designers once again proved that from a pandemic a renaissance is sure to follow in the third digital fashion show for SAFW. Showcasing their creativity and need for beauty after the global pandemic and lockdown. Palettes ranged from pastels to bold primaries in easy to wear, but elegant fashion. From the bold and innovative, to the elevated lounge wear look that we have become accustomed to. Put away the sweat pants and oversized jerseys, its time to dress up again. And lets face it, we all want to put on our best outfits and strut after being in the house for this long.

The collections started with the New Talent collections from up and coming designers. Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulo showcased her feminine silihoutes with billowing sleaves, skirts and dresses, in red, black and white, detailing her inspiration of the willow tree and the earth.

From the bold colours to fine art references, Artho Eksteen’s collection reminded me of a walking art gallery. The pops of neon and use of print in a unique combination that makes one looks twice.

Michael Ludwig Studio blurred gender lines with his use of shapes, prints and designs in what he refers to as “De-Gendered Geometry”. Masculine lines in soft fabrics, truly bring this collection to life.

With the buzz word being ‘sustainability’, MC Alpine’s collection focused on upcycling scrap fabrics, and deconstructing traditional shapes, to rewear and reuse fashion.

Saint Vuyo’s collection struck me with the interesting print in non traditional shapes and clothes, making it look elegant, yet comfortable. Inspired by the tarot card, The Wheel of Fortune, we see nothing but great things.

The genderless shapes in denim and mesh from Sipho Mbuto, looks like a post apocalyptic uniform that all the cool kids will be wearing. Focusing on individuality and self expression, instead of gender and societal norms.

New Talent was followed by the romance and femininity of The Satiskin Rise and Shine Collection, keeping in line with the brand’s vision of elevating natural beauty.

Romaria played of the contrast of black and white to enhance the simple, yet elegant styles of their look. Creating the perfect balance and compliment between luxury and style.

Elevating simple shapes, with bold accent details and prints inspired from all over Africa, Ezokhetho’s woman is strong and knows her traditional roots. The accessories hinting at the different tribes, completes these looks.

ERRE’s romantic dresses and shapes, can only be described as ‘regal’. The jewel tones and rich fabrics, with flattering lines and draping, makes this fit for royalty. The tonal looks just draws more attention to the craftsmanship’s of the pieces.

Lara Klawikowski’s runway transported me to a fantasy of a coral reef. Beautifully hand crafted, her use of colour, detailing and shapes makes every item a wearable piece of art. The use of metallic pastels and bright yellow also made this stand out for me.

The rock-and-roll look, inspired by the leather jacket, from Chief of Angels, mixed femine prints with grungy denim and oversized knits, creating a fashion revolt. Mixing pieces to show off individuality, rather than conformity.

Black Coffee’s use of structural shapes, with refined feminine details, is a signature of the brand. The geometry and attention to detail is even more evident in the tonal khaki pallet. Pieces that can go from day to night, the collection is reminiscent of the uniform for the modern woman.

Day two started with The Diamond Fibre Collections, showcasing South Africa’s Mohair industry. Mmusomaxwell’s tailoring and use of luxurious fabrics makes this a staple in every woman’s cupboard. Refined and sophisticated, the pieces exudes confidence but comfort.

The nod to the seventies and use of unique textiles and patterns from Lukhango Mdingi, grabbed my attention from the first look. The use colours and different artisans, makes every piece unique and enviable. As human ingenuity as its source, this collection is for the strong and bold.

Flowing and colourful, Judith Atelier’s women is not afraid to express her playful side. The lounge wear inspired collection, feels like you can take the pyjama party outside, after being cooped up in our house. Feminine and refined, the collection is whimsical and fun pastel tones and pinstripes.

The majestic and bold designs of Mantsho is clearing shows her innovative way of interpreting her traditional roots and culture. The collection fit for African royalty, empowering woman who are not afraid of making a statement. Evolving her heritage with intricate details and prints, makes this collection fresh and modern, while still reminding us where we came from.

The Bam Collective’s runway imagined an utopian Sout African. The bead and wool accents, always bringing the strong lines and bold cuts back to South Africa. From interesting takes on familiar classics, to the bold yellow tiered gown, every item is enviable. While the beaded headbands and mesh gloves, brought a femininity to the collection.

Ruffles, delicate prints and all things romantic was celebrated in Sober’s runway. Bold, yet delicate, the collection had a dreamlike quality to it, celebrating the girl in every woman. The silhouettes are flattering while still empowering.

Keeping true to her belief that fashion should transcend the latest trends and fads, Amanda Laird Cherry’s monochromatic collection can only be described as utilitarian glamour. With intricate draping and fabrics, there is an undertone of non-binary fashion that will live on forever.

Rubicon has become synonymous with style and sophistication. From the bodly coloured staple pieces, to the intricately embellished white dresses, their choice of textiles and silhouettes is unmistakable. Soft ruffle details on dresses enhances the femininity, while the strong clean lines gives us a new interpretation of the ‘power suit’.

Stripping the brand back down to the fundamentals and what is important, the Clive Rundle presentation left us wanting more. The deconstruction of pieces in lux fabrics, elevated the garments like only they can do. The graphic prints and sharp lines juxtaposed by the flowing fabric and romantic details, showed the duality of every woman.

The third and final day started the showcasing of the menswear collections.

If had to choose words to describe Ephymol’s collection, it would be ‘urban debonair’. Harkening back to the time when men still dressed up, but with a streetwear flair. Accented with enough print and colour to make a statement.

The kaleidoscope that is Throwaway Twenty is like getting a lucky packet every season, and every season the deliver. Taking traditional items and turning them into luxurious staples. The unconventional choice of fabric mixed with the playfulness of polka dot jumpsuits and jackets, makes sure there is wearable pieces for every man.

Maklele’s interpretation of streetwear puts sustainability in the forefront. Her monochromatic palette with accents of neon, blurs gender lines by mixing softer fabrics with structured silhouettes, giving a fresh take on this trend.

Drawing on the memories of school field trips, Richard Hoy’s runway perfectly blended nostalgia with utility. Like modern day boyscouts, the clever styling of the bomber jacket and quirky styling is youthful and makes me long for camping trips. Reimaging classic styles for next season.

Xavier Sadan’s approach to fashion is evident in his runway collections. Clean lines with exaggerated pleating details or longer line shirts, gives his garments an understated simplicity. Getting the message across without shouting it in colourful and bold ways.

The week closed off with a tribute to Wanfdi Nzimande designed by Ole Ledimo. The collection celebrated everything that the co-founder of Loxion Kulca loved. Models was clad in loose fitting and free silhouettes, touches of finesse added in the traditional black and lime colours. The final looks where emblazoned with the iconic Loxion Kulca trademark.

SAFW was hosted by Mall Of Africa.

Make up by MAC Cosmetics and hair By  Carlton Hair.

Words by Schalk Myburgh.


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