Sunday, April 10, 2011

Black Coffee




When one half of a creative team leaves to pursue other fashion interests, one tends to look at the new collection with a very critical eye... to see the impact that the label will or has taken with this absenteeism. This was the case with Black Coffee: Danica Lepen left to head Marion and Lindie.

Jacques van der Watt did not play it safe, as most would expect and the result was rather... umm... amusing to start, tense during the show and disappointing to finish:

The show opened with a highly amusing start of models "vogueing" their moneys worth - in an installation set-up on the ramp, creating much needed excitement for the rest of the collection.

While I loved the felt material, beautifully crafted to make leaf-like 3-Dimension fabric which was used to create coats, jackets and boleros. The overall styling was amazing and I immediately connected with the Asian influences, on an African template (see how this would excite anyone?) but I was a bit tense as excitement built up for the rest of the collection.

The layering techniques (particularly the shirt dress over the skirt, highly asian-referenced) were magnificent while the strange pleated dress, with an even stranger hemline (surely not by design) which rises in a rather unflatering way had me mildly confused. As individual pieces, the aforementioned ill-hemlined dress, for instance, would be a rather strange garment without the felt coat trick.

Then I was disappointed at what the collection was about. It had winning ingredients: beautifully edited, wonderful styling, stunning showmanship in terms of presentation, a clear thread but there was something amiss about the collection...


pics by Simon Deiner

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