South African Fashion Week, the most coveted event in South Africa – has just passed and it was a week to remember. After years of not being in attendance, it was great to finally experience live shows again. The season kicked off with an opening party on April 26th. Cruz Vodka, one of SA Fashion Week’s notable sponsors hosted an A-lister opening party to kickstart the fashion week festivities. The star-studded party took place at the recently opened Fireroom Restaurant in Midrand, Johannesburg South Africa.
With the party theme being “Red Carpet Ready”, the evening saw celebrities, fashion lovers, influencers, creators, and designers celebrating in style.
On April 28th, SA Fashion Week officially opened. The theme: Sustainable Way Foward.
Day 1 was ushered in with SAFW’s New Talent Search – a capsule made up of 6 emerging young fashion designers from SA. The talented competitors competing for the prestigious were:
Thando Ntuli – Munkus
Nichole Smith – Ipikoko
Mikhile du Plessis – MeKay Designs
Calvin Lunga Cebekhulu – Czene.24
Sanelisiwe Gcabashe – Gjenelo Couture
Mimangaliso Ndiko – Sixx6
Thando Ntuli – Munkus (New Talent Search 2022 Winnner)
The founder and designer of Munkus, Thando, explained in a video intro prior to her showcase that she was entering the competition for the second time as she was unsuccessful in 2021. “I entered again this year because I wanted to push myself and get my name out there in the industry. I found that Munkus could use the platform. Munkus is big on print and color, and I felt that the brief this year was a part of who my brand was.” she said. The designer seemed ecstatic about the win.
MUNKUS – COLLECTION: SISENDLELENI “EXPLORING THE JOURNEY TO SELF”
SAFW’s New Talent Search has consistently unearthed future talent and served as a launchpad for many of the local industry’s most respected names since its inception in 1998. These include MmusoMaxwell, Jacques Bam, Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu, Michael Ludwig Studio, Saint Vuyo, and Sipho Mbuto.
SAFW director, Lucilla Booyzen, emphasized that all the participating finalists are winners because the platform’s visibility to the media and fashion buyers ensures the national and international exposure that allows any fledgling career to gain the necessary traction.
South Africa’s mainstream designers presented their SS22 collections.
THE BAM COLLECTIVE: COLLECTION – FAUVISM 22
The Bam Collective chatted about the inspiration behind their SS22 collection; they explained that they named this collection Fauvism, inspired by the Fauvist art movement from the early 1900s. This art movement, in contrast to the impressionist art movement, aimed to capture subjects through colorful, vivid artworks. The collection takes inspiration from this stylistic art and aims to apply it to the body and clothing.
The garments were designed emotionally instead of logically. They explore the impact of color and silhouette in relation to the body, aiming to re-imagine the natural proportions of the body, accentuating certain parts, while completely ignoring others. Ultimately the collection aims to push the boundaries of commercial clothing and what it means in relation to our bodies, sparking confidence, freedom, and happiness within each person who chooses to wear its pieces. (This was part of the Oppo Collections).
MANTSHO BY PALESA MOKUBUNG: THE INDIVIDUAL COLLECTION
We spoke to Palesa Mokubung, Mantsho’s designer just before her SS22 collection showcase on the SAFW runway. She passionately explained how each garment is inspired by a unique aspect of SA. Palesa finds inspiration from the country’s unique origins and trademarks. The collection consists of items such as “The Vuvu dress”, inspired by the Vuvuzela. This takes us back to the 2010 World Cup which was hosted in South Africa.
Easily inspired by the ever-evolving modern culture, Mantsho celebrates heritage!What defines their design decisions most, is her sensibility to her instincts.
The fashion brand Ezokhetho was launched in 2019 by Mpumelelo Dhlamini and his mother. Ezokhetho is a reflection of the African style which celebrates the lineage. (This was part of the Oppo Collections).
There were huge elements of Africa in the designs which sets the collections apart from those of the first world. Some elements dominating South African Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer’22 collections are color, print, silhouettes, comfortable footwear, and unique cuts. Designers experimented with bright tones and textures as their main design elements which resulted in a sense of authenticity.
25 years later, South African Fashion Week is still going strong and prioritizing young designers. SAFW sponsors are Oppo, MAC, Carlton Hair, Cruz Vodka, and Mall Of Africa.