Friday, June 4, 2010

Africa Fashion Week Launch

I've been at 6s and 7s with wardrobe rearranging: summer, out! winter, in! fashion week outfits? screech! So it's been insane at the DeGorgeous Maison de maitre but things are calming down and in the midst of it all, I got an invitation to the AFI brunch to launch Africa Fashion Week - my sanity was redeemed, if only for a day!
The Launch, which took place at Moyo (Zoo lake), was a quaint affair of Fashion Designers, Models, writers, buyers, influentials and me.
Naturally, with it being a fashion event... in Africa, I read the time of arrival, which was 10h00, as "anytime from 10 to 11h30" (Fashionably late and African timing... I thought I was set for gold!) and was I wrong!? The event started promptly at 10...ish and walking in in a bright blue Screeching jacket while Dr Precious Motsepe was delivering a welcome speech was a real social faux pas. Such is the life of Maque! eish!
The cute as a button Azania Ndoro, MC for the event (in a Palesa Mokobung number)

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, in a Thula Sindi creation, flanked by Models all spotting creations by AFW 2010 designers.

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe with Malcolm Klük (who opted for a patchpocket-removed denim shirt, very cute)

Dr Precious Moloi-motsepe having a tet-a-tete with design veteran, Marianne Fassler

The Launch introduced us to the sponsors: including SABC PCS (Public Commercial Stations: 5FM, Metro FM and SABC 3), GEDA, Nikon and L'Oreal; and the general layout of fashion week: which will include a workshop and fashion/sale exhibitions, an awards ceremony and my personal favourite; the online boutique (where selected designer items will be for sale) - open from 9 June - 8 July. Be on the lookout for the AFW advert as well, so awesome!

Deon Redman of Redman Productions and Creative Director of AFI

Lorato Lephuko - Designer Liaison Officer (AFI) - has impeccable fashion experience across the globe, including the UK and Italy (for label MaxMara)

Jeremy Briar and Helga Klizanie of TotalExposure (Media Liaison for AFW) - PR specialists

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe with Vista Kalipa of Total Exposure

It became abundantly clear that fashion shows, gala dinners, fashion workshops/debates/talks (panel and all) AND fashion sales all during fashion week is not only an internationally growing trend but means made possible by fashion conveners to ensure that designers get more air play and attain sustainable growth for their labels. I am happy that AFI has also caught onto this trend because Africa needs it! I hope there are shipping/ exporting arrangements to make these items available to the world market.

As mentioned in a article by Lucilla Booyzen for, It is pointless for African designers to showcase overseas if there are no means of getting clothes to them (other than buyers stocking for their outlets). This online shopping portal (a one-stop shop making ALL African designers' clothes available) is perfect and will put meaning to showing at New York, Paris, etc.

Thula Sindi and Janine Jellars (of Fairlady) - eating, *gasp* you'd never say they do!

Thulane "TOOLZ" Hadebe - celebrity blogger who also read the same thing I did for time of arrival... LOL!

Huguette in a David Tlale stunner and Maque DeGorgeous (Meeeee!) outfit: David Tlale Jacket, Cape Town Flea Market-find chiffon scarf, IFS-found boy-cut pants, Europa Art Boots and 30m-odd gold beaded chain used in a David Tlale show in years earlier.

People with deep pockets are rapidly importing goods from France, the UK, the East and the USA to fit the mould of internationally fashionable individuals while our very talented designers watch on and divert their creativity to adhere to international aesthetics to bag some attention - which is a shame! I just hope these Fashion Week efforts correct these mindsets (and consequently liberating designers' creativity!)
Palesa Mokubung - mmm... goes without saying (really now) given the memorable number Thandiswa wore to the SAMAs - even the guy whose eye was nearly poked out would tell you.

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