Thursday, July 1, 2010

Africa Fashion Week, Day 1

Xuly Bet

Summary of collection: Gatherings, wet-look leggings, anti-shape silhouettes and skin-tight
Thread: All black using latex-polyester material with red out-stitches.
Opinion: This collection might appeal to the international market because of it's wearability (albeit in 90s design with 21st century material) but I personally found it bland and uninspiring. There was nothing new about this collection BUT, the hooded capes and gathered latex trench coats were amazing! All too sporty-cum-street for me

Sakina Msa

Summary: ThulaSindi-meets-Balmain
Thread: Black with strong shoulder construction and panelled dresses
Opinion: I was impressed at how the simplicity of the pieces got a 21st century injection by way of shoulder constructions - not garish in the least bit! Wearable but Fierce. DeGorge!

Ituene Basi

Summary: Mixing traditional material with clashing colours
Thread: "African prints"
Opinion: this collection captured the essence of spring. Bright colours and experimenting with colour. The ribboned ankara details were amazing - be it incorporated into the outfit, or acting as an accessory or, even, forming the covetable "movement" by using the printed ribbons as tassles and fringes - very cute!

Deola Sagoe

Summary: celebrating an african in Latin-American disguise
Thread: use of hard material to form pleats
Opinion: I felt like getting up and doing the paso doble when I saw this collection! It was truly feminine. She did not go out of her way to create a new silhouette but drew from material knowledge (this really seperates the boys from the men) and executed what look like complex garments - despite the simple aesthetics -. She also showed a very good understanding of shadowing (the lining on pleats) the outfits... not too many consider that.
She also used hard material to achieve exaggerated pleats which accentuate a woman's features and hides the classic problematic areas. An overall DeGorgeously playful collection! She deserves a gold star!


Summary: dark, mysterious and strangely glamorous
Thread: black veiled garments
Opinion: This collection had plenty of volume, or suggestion thereof, in all their pieces: Black rose detail, capes, trails, tassles, drama, mystery - all very Soucha. But beyond the razmataz of the ramp, the pieces a luxurious and each very wearable - on a regular basis (not just a wait-for-an-event basis).


Summary: western, country and romantic
Thread: nautical stripes
Opinion: the garments had subtle but intricate detailing and finishing. The collection was intelligently put together and blah blah blah... I did not like it! Will it sell? YES! but not as it was laidout on the ramp. I felt that although a lot of thinking went into assembling the outfits, it somehow spoilt the beautiful simplicity of the intircately constructed garments. For a change, I think less would have been nice for this collection.


summary: very metrosexual
Thread: Black and white
Opinion: Look, it was a typical man's show, no real "new look". but I will say, invest in good bedroom wear! I have to give credit to the beautiful trench coat (with an extra long lapel which makes a space-filling flap when not buttoned - truly magnificent), chunky knitwear with voluminous turtleneck with the jodhpur-like meggings/mannings.
David Tlale

summary: Classic David Tlale - ruffles, burst of colour, mixing of interesting prints AND very true to the butterfly-inspiration
Thread: butterfly eyepieces
Opinion: David's a showman! from the midnight show invite to the impressive orchestra and beautiful soloist - it was all very dramatic but fun. Fact is (and Thula Sindi said this in another article, not related to this) that there is nothing new in fashion - not really - it's an old tradition which gets seasoned according to the seasons and this collection reiterated this for me. Looks like David revisited DT archives and came up with the same silhouettes but only with freche colours and detailing. I found most of the male collection pieces very awkward but I loved how they sit on the sexual fence. Beautiful collection nonetheless...
pics courtesy of Simon Deiner on

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