Thank the heavens the young ones are the future of how we'll look!
This year's Elle New Talent was by far the best! With the bar set higher than (New Talent entrant) Samantha Constable's Grace Jones-inspired triple-layered shoulder pads. Kid you not (on both the talent and the shoulder pads):
Knocking my socks off was Kutloano Molokomme's ideas of integrating Asian influences with grande Western (and yes, don't disregard the cowboy imagery you got from that too) appeal. This collection should've been called globalisation (and pardon my lack of a mistress-of-words approach to naming this collection). It was smart, awkward, strange, uneasy and yet so delicious! Imagine this: a sari in hard and structured material...
Post show, I had a quick chat with him to determine his direction because, let's face facts, couture does not do well in the SA-market - and he was quick to point out that for every ramp-piece he creates, there's a retail-store-ready version (a "model" which I've also come to understand is how the likes of Suzaan Heyns also operate). While batting my eyelashes at his remark, he also noted that his vision includes selling his couture pieces as part of an art exhibition (say wha?) - sounds romantic doesn't? Conquer young man!
Hot on Kutloano's impress-Maque heels (let's pretend that that was their sole purpose) was Danielle Hartman's Heroine collection. The entire collection was riddled with hand-painted prints with a few beautifully strange silhouettes and the amaze-balls pleats.
Samantha Constable reworked old trends to give a show that also appealed to me (the one who refuses to let go and move on from certain trends). Her high-fashion looks, complete with exaggerated shoulder proportions might be a "done" look, but they were made in such a sophisticated, soft and feminine manner that made her collection spring to life and scream: why are we looking for the next fix when what we had worked?
Taking the title of Elle New Talent 2011 was Kelly Esterhuyzen with her human x-ray-inspired knit collection. Congrats Kelly!
The youngins set the bar so high, even their more experienced counterparts failed to erase the memory of Day 1's show. Sad but true and exciting! In short; the future's bright! Well done to ALL of you!
Images from Ifashion by Ivan Naude and Emma Jane