Friday, January 29, 2010

Audi Joburg Fashion Week

How does one begin describing day 3 and 4 at Audi Joburg Fashion Week?
Status at this point: I was in a constant state of bliss; between Thula Sindi, David Tlale, Suzaan Heyns, legendary Errol Arendz and still riding on a Heni high, I was sure I was about to induce a hernia from all the excitement.

I dusted my taffeta and cleared my sequined pieces and got ready to mingle with the Fashion crowd. Carducci Woman was the first show I caught that day (I was still dusting the aforementioned taffeta when Leigh displayed her work, a faux pas, I know!).

Carducci is known for presenting the classic corporate look BUT the difference between each collection is the use of new material, combinations, colours and cuts. They lived up to their expectation! Delivering compelling outfits which left my thumbs painful from all the habitual-midshow-tweeting I’ve been doing: about who sits where and what happens before the cameras start rolling before the show, worth a read:

In retrospect, perhaps the use of the gloves was underplayed as these played a significant role in communicating the grand picture of the collection – though not a thread. The use of bold coloured gloves, either gracefully held or worn in place, formed a spectacular contrast to what could’ve been a regular collection. Though not a new concept, it was the use of strange material and neon colours that wrapped the show. I just hope they look into getting more interesting silhouettes next time. My favourite looks:

Fabiani (men alert) was next and as with the case with Carducci, they appeal to a certain niche clientele who, generally speaking, do not like playing around with ideas of couture. They prefer a perfectly cut suite (irrespective of the origin of cut; Italian, English or American – on that note: can someone come up with an African cut suit or shall we continue believing that kaftans, that seem to be popular with African men, constitute as an African-cut suit?), accompanied by a beautiful tie (they discovered thin ties is the new rage so brace yourselves!) or a bow tie with a tailored shirt (high collared or conservative collar with a new twist).
I kept see-sawing from Karl Largerfeld and Tom Ford throughout the suit-collections. The high collars with narrow ties (Karl) and the Classic Blazer and Denims (Tom). So I guess to keep abreast of the Fabiani looks, we should appreciate and investigate the personal styles of the aforementioned million-dollar names further.
The show took to new heights with the addition of the cardigans and the underwear section. The Fabiani look:

isn this satchel just DeGorge?

The David Tlale show… try saying WOW 100 times taking espresso shots between each word and you have how I felt!
I will let the pics do all the talking as there really are no words, let me try: it was an eye-welling event – the show itself WAS an event! Everyone left speechless… The cream of the crop across the industries was there. The only thing missing was a fireworks display. WOWness!

can you say Balmain on Steroids?

The dynamic David Tlale, The "is she on stilts?" ex-Miss SA Tatum and Creative Director of DT; Andile Bhenya

Actually; I'll say a few words about the show:

Upon arrival, everyone was eagerly awaiting what David had in store for them; air-kissing and sucking in stomachs to make sure the seams, safety pins and the well placed buttons don't move, pop or burst. The venue; Circa Gallery in Rosebank, was magical! Mystical in fact. The lights as you walk into the tunnel-like building passing the solid wood-work with bits of light streaming past you was breath taking and for a moment you think: "yes, I'm in a dream!" As you get to the main "stage" you feel transformed, the party begins! The human-mannequins were amazing, the make-up was to die for, the clothes... AMEN! The concept of you walking around the models instead of models walking around was just perfect! Beautiful... WE WANT MORE!!

With 20 minutes to my bookmarked show for the last day, a hangover at hand, an elaborate staff-requiring outfit and staying 10km from the show venue – I knew I was in trouble!
Do I call the whole thing off or do I grab the trusted pleated 80s-inspired denims and hope to finish the look as I drive? The latter won and the car assembled piece(s) made it to Thula Sindi –Vesselina show, phew!

If you blinked and did not see Vesselina take her bow, one would think that it was one long show show. The sharing of the ramp by the two fashions houses, whether by prior arrangement or by chance, was the perfect marriage! It was a black-white-grey-with-small-doses-of-colour festival. Houndstooth, polka dots and tweeds (or in Thula’s case, extra treated cotton material – supper warm – that gave a tweed look), lace, satin and chiffon, long gloves and plenty of bling-tricks made appearances during the parade… I lurv’d’t!

After a glass and a half of Kumkani Infinit (the cap Classique, it’s lovely!) and finishing touches to the nightmare the car-assembled outfit turned out to be, the fast-becoming-my-favourite fashion house, Suzaan Heyns, burst onto the ramps sweeping the audience with her take on super-beings!
The powder dusted pants, trench coats, capes and PVC leggings delighted me (And by the way she consulted PVC/latex specialists: Subjects to assist in delivering the quality we saw). This small detail (the just-walked- through-a-pile-of-rubble dust) reaffirmed the whole super-hero feeling I got and this is why:
no super hero should walk around clean after a hard day’s work, this would be worrisome as they should struggle to live up to their hero-title – a messy job.

The shapes and cuts of each piece would take any fashion writer/blogger pages to fully comprehend and articulate Suzaan’s art –she’s truly talented (and expected from Marianne Fassler’s former understudy)… WOWness!

did ya'll note the paste-on black lips? fierce doncha think? lurv'd't!

The Audi Finale Show saw most people fashion weeked out and the excitement, despite the full auditorium was, was a damp squid! However, I was eager to see Errol Arendz who has been absent from Fashion weeks for what seems like decades (thank goodness for his lovely shoes to reassure us that he’s still very active). Though the show had more pieces than any other, I was in awe of his use of suede… a truly classic man; suede for winter. His designs are practical and yet beautifully crafted to be loved by any woman with an eye for detail and non-fashionable (not unfashionable, please note!) garments that will, without a doubt, stand the test of time – well done to him and his brilliant team.

doesn she look like she's flying? the ramp, production team and the brilliant finger-work by the photographer is amazing!

(Pics sourced from a man with magic fingers, Simon Deiner, on the official AFI website)

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