So, irrespective of a change in venue halfway through the shows due to forces of nature, the Cape Town Fashion Week was a huge success! Below are some designer highlights and my favourites:
Gavin Rajah's range was a showcase of craftsmanship and attention to detail. He sports 3D laser flowers delicately laid over lace. The fabrics were a play of satins, sequins, chiffons, silks, and even leather! There were silhouettes for everyone - tunics, soft blouses, and off-the-shoulder tops, maxi dress, flowy dresses, capes, oversized bows, etc. The range was nothing short of feminine power, with a strong renaissance feel.
Cleo Droomer showed a refreshing, sleek range of sport luxwear . The range showed lux fabrics in soft suiting, juxtaposed with parka jackets and bombers. Wide leg trousers included palazzo pants and culottes, finished off with soft trenches and floaty dresses.
Habits by Jenny Le Roux
Jenny showed off easy floaty silhouettes - maxi dresses and skirts, wide leg trousers. Fabrics included velours and printed chiffons,
David had his show at a secluded, 'by invitation only' venue, in Cape Town, and was reminiscent of gambit with a casino feel, with beautiful interiors inclusive of chandeliers, wooden window frames, ceiling decorations, and roulette boards. Models were dressed in his jockey underwear with feather bowers as you enter the second floor. Satins with ruffles, high slits, dramatic silhouettes, and sheers were the highlight of his seductive, yet classy, range.
The range is true to the duo's ethos and reminiscent of the Swahili culture, with fluid and floaty silhouettes in lightweight fabrics inclusive of viscose, decorated in Japanese-inspired prints. Muted tones of greys and silvers were highlighted with cobalts and sunny yellows. The use of hats and capes added the extra touch of sophistication.
Fashion revolution is a movement that creates awareness of issues relating to fashion and more ethical fashion solutions. It encourages a level of transparency and educates customers to be more aware of how their clothes are made. Designers included The Joinery, Thabo Makwera and Imprint, among others. The Joinery
showed oversized statement hats and animal prints, with feminine silhouettes and palettes of browns and greys.Thabo Makwera's
range was reminiscent of the Basotho traditional blankets worn by tribes in Lesotho. It was beautifully crafted formal jackets laid over fitted dresses and accessorised with statement, handmade beads.
Imprint showcased a beautiful range of mixed geometric prints in reds and blues with white backgrounds. The silhouettes were feminine and inspiration was drawn from the 60s and 70s. "All fabrics were printed locally with sustainable fabrics inclusive of linens and cotton," said designer Mzukisi.
Taibo's range celebrates his native Mozambique, and the use of bronze, gold, and rust, laid on beautiful feminine floaty silhouettes and traditional prints, shows off his mastery in design. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is amazing. What an exceptional close to the first day.
Day two also showcased an amazing lineup and my favourites were as follows:
Quiteria and George
This duo is better known for designing the Miss SA evening range, displayed beautiful bespoke occasionwear. The strong black range features silhouettes embracing feminine shapes such as mermaid skirts, fitted waist details, sheer skirts, puffed sleeves etc, and details such as ruffles, black embellishment, and fabric inclusive of velvets, tulles, satins silks, and sequins.
Vernac showed a range with very strong fabric manipulation and included 3D embossing of furs, tie dye, quilting, patching, laser cutting, and fraying. The amazing use of denim and different treatment of denim is reminiscent of more modern versions of 90s grunge denim. Somehow the styling had a nomadic feel, with fur-lined trenches, military coats, bombers, parkas, and blanket wraps. Although his range was mindblowing - his proposal to his girlfriend at the end is what really stole the show!
Craig's range was very feminine, fun, and had a 50s feel. Models were dancing on the ramp and enjoying the range as much as we did. He made use of metallic fabrics, foil prints, golds, and jacquards. Styling included palazzo trousers, pleated on the waist, trapeze dresses, A-line and dirndl skirts, as well as shirts with side openings. Fabrics included silks, chiffons, jacquards and cotton. Colour palettes were anchored in neutrals with highlights of yellow, melon, and jade.
Stefania's range was reminiscent of Spain and I imagined Frida Kahlo being an excellent muse. Her fabric included beautiful floral-printed silk chiffons layered over satins, velours, feminine details such as fine ruffles, embroidery, bows, applique etc. The finale dress was a showstopper with a Spanish bride, showcasing the traditional floral headpiece. Amazing!
Maxhosa by Laduma
Laduma is a master of African prints. This range was probably one of the strongest ‘winter looking’ ranges and the foundation of the range was printed knits. Although the prints were mixed, the range was very cohesive. Ladies wore knit sets inclusive of cardigans and skirt sets and dresses and men sported jumpers and cardies teamed with track pants. Interesting details such as fringed beaded brooches were pinned on the side of men's trousers. Colours varied from milks, rusts, browns, and blacks with highlights of yellow, blues, and aqua.
Synonymous with the brand, Carducci showed tailoring at its best. Beautifully tailored single and double breasted blazers and bombers teamed with relaxed tailored trousers or skinner tailored trousers silhouettes were shown. Stripes as well as checks which varied from - Pringle, Prince of Wales and oversized, and details such as embroidery were shown on the chest and cuff areas. Quite a wide range of colours such as stones, levels of blues, and browns, and metallic made up the diverse colour palette. While men were dapper - females were dressed in beautiful feminine silhouettes with structured blazers. Images sourced from africanfashioninternational.com