Those who know me can attest that I am all about street-style, and I thought it would be fitting for my first Frock Report post to be street-style inspired. And as we pay closer attention to one of this season’s hottest trends – the print. I couldn’t help but notice how our local fashion editors personally embraced the trend.
From the fabulously stylish paisley prints worn by Kelly Fung from Marie Claire magazine and her Fashion Director, Sharon Becker who wore a white Ndebele inspired print peplum dress.
To bold tropical, graphic and floral prints embraced by True Love’s Fashion Editor Palesa Mahlaba and Siyamthanda from Real magazine.
And the fun-approach-to-fashion spirit that we have come to love and expect from You/HuisGenoot’s Fashion Director Chu – who mentored us on how to pull-off the print on print look.
I will be bringing you more fabulous street-style images with this trend and more. In the meantime though, you can surely take notes on how you can rock your print from the ladies and gentlemen who reign over some of our favorite glossies.
By Vincent (Zondo) MHLANGA
The Frock Report is excited to report that South Africa’s Drama King of Fashion has scored a standalone slot on the New York Fashion Week schedule. The show will take place at 7.30pm (NY time) on the 9th of September at a venue called THE BOX, just after Zac Posen’s show. Other designers showcasing on the same day include Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karran and Yohji Yamamoto.
It is the first time that a South African designer has been included in the main schedule of the New York shows. Previously, local designers who have been to the Big Apple, including Tlale, have only been able to showcase as part of a collective or on the fringes of the main event.
We congratulate Tlale and look forward to the reviews of the show from one of the world’s four fashion capitals. We can now truly say South African fashion has arrived on the World Stage!!!
Says the celebrated designer himself; ‘I’m so excited to be showcasing at New York Fashion Week on the calendar as David Tlale the brand. I believe this is the time and moment that God has been preparing us as a brand for. This is the beginning of the journey.’
And we will be with you all the way!
Veterans and newbies alike are sketching and sewing away ahead of the Cape Town leg of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which takes place on the last week of July, starting on the 25th. Celebrated South African brands including Hip-Hop and Rosenwerth, both of who have been absent from the Cape Town Fashion Week schedule for years, make their return to the runway. Menswear designer Keith Henning of the label Adriaan Kuiters makes a fashion week debut and Rachel De Mardt becomes the latest to join the African Fashion International stable having showcased with SA Fashion Week in seasons gone by. South African runway favourite Gavin Rajah is also on the bill for the spring/summer season’s shows. Says African Fashion International Global Brand Manager Allana Finley; ‘Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town will bring a new interpretation of iconic fashion to this pre-eminent preview of South Africa’s spring-summer seasonal trends.’
More designers will be announced ahead of the scheduled date.
Designers showcased some unexpectedly exciting menswear shows at SA Fashion Week’s spring-summer collections, which drew to a close on Sunday at The Crowne Plaza in Rosebank, Johannesburg. While some were predictable, there seemed to be an improvement in their work. One such designer, for me, was Ephraim Molingoana whose label Ephymol often falls short of inspiring an ounce of excitement in me. The designer showcased panel shirts, tailored suits and some knee-length shorts among other things in a very wearable collection. While I felt it was not directional, I found little fault in the styling and spotted a few items that I wouldn’t mind adding to my closet.
At House of Ole I certainly enjoyed the pairing of short-shorts with double breasted jackets and sandals at the feet. Speaking of feet, the label’s slippers, which models wore as they strut down the runway in well made suits in a variety of colours and prints, at times, sent my twitter timeline into a frenzy.
The most conceptual of the menswear shows came from Suzaan Heyns and Roman Handt, who explored Johannesburg- living in the city, a place riddled not just with crime but with social chaos and political noise. Clothes that are otherwise wearable were accessorised with exoskeletal pieces, some with bullet holes in a show Handt titled ‘The Aesthetic Terrorist’.
At Suzaan Heyns earthy tones made it onto the runway, owing to the cement theme that ran throughout the designer’s exceptional spring-summer collection. Her partnership with PPC cement saw her exploring colours one would normally associate with those cement assumes during the various stages of usage. What particulalrly caught my attention was her presentation of a men’s skirt paired with cuffed pants. There were compressed waistcoats, cement scarves and interesting necklines, mostly in white and grey.
Naked Ape designer Shaldon Kopman stuck to his signature showcasing perfectly tailored menswear. The clothes are easy to wear and are made in lightweight fabric- light linen, cotton and blended fabrics at times. The colours wear mostly neutral, with bright red making an appearance at times.
(PICS: IVAN NAUDE FOR SAFW)
One word to describe yesterday’s collections: Craftsmanship. Creative geniuses Clive Rundle and Suzaan Heyns experimented with cuts, textures and finishing treatments that showed an intimate understanding of cloth and it’s potential for transformation.
Clive’s collection was a burst of optimism on a chilly Autumn night. Pastiche brushstroke prints adorned flowing layers of silk chiffon in a monotone palette with pops of lilac and peach. A remarkable feat of construction, some looks featured garments made from organza which was burned in an all-over circular pattern. Known for his avant-garde, deconstructed aesthetic, Clive’s S/S collection didn’t disappoint his admirers who gave him a standing ovation after the final look was presented.
This season Suzaan Heyns collaborated with an unlikely partner – PPC Cement, to present a collection that redefined the meaning of construction. Sticking to the minimal, puritan aesthetic we’ve come to expect from the brand, Suzaan presented a refreshingly light collection filled with ready-to-wear-straight-off-the-runway pieces.
The palette of stark white, dove, nude and charcoal was an homage to cement and the many forms that it takes during the construction process. Standout pieces were the cement-dipped scarves and collars which looked as light as if they were thrown on by the wind. Truly magnificent.
-Images courtesy of Ivan Naude for SAFW
The sound of Lana Del Rey’s throaty voice was the soundtrack for Durban designer Gideon’s return to the runway as he opened the second day of SA Fashion Week last night.
Models came out sporting pleasant daywear that reminds one of… Well… Sunny days spent on the beach in Durban, perhaps? It was all day wear, mostly in ice-cream pastels and soft fabrication. Oversized tees and maxis, pretty dresses for the girls and shorts for the boys made the rounds before making way for metallic and sheer dresses. The link between the two very distinct concepts is unclear, totally throwing off the direction presented at the start.
Rubicon gave a collection that will certainly fly off the Edgars shelves, where the label is stocked. Coral maxis came out followed by floral prints and blue lace dresses in a simple, wearable and perfectly sellable collection.
Vesselina Pentcheva opened with Little Red Riding Hood coming out on the runway carrying a basket full of roses to introduce a collection filled with romance- lace dresses with touches of pearl beading and sequins. Purple dip-dyed dresses with roses embroidered on the skirt’s hem, lots of red and nude.
Speaking of prints, Colleen Eitzen showcased a fresh, bamboo-like print that I bet made many of the ladies in the audience wish it was summer already. The text print at Sies! Isabelle, specifically on one particular jumpsuit made me want to jump off my seat and steal it off the model’s body right there and then.
For their comeback to the runway Stoned Cherrie did not present a particular direction, but countless well styled looks. The label sought to move away from the African-aesthetic we’ve come to associate with it but did not abandon it altogether. The presence of beadwork, print and raw silk dresses asserted this identity. I did, however, at times feel like I was at a Thula Sindi show rather than Stoned Cherrie.
(PICS: Courtesy Ivan Naude/SAFW)
Lisa Jaffe opened fashion week with a collection of wearable navy dresses in sheer fabrication, with a touch of metallic and print. Showcasing in a theatre-like set-up just a few doors down from her store at 44 Stanley, Jaffe’s Guillotine personally got me excited with the jackets that opened the show and the navy velvet booties with gold zippers worn by the models. I also loved the bob-cut hairstyling. My favourite item was the navy military jacket that opened the show as well as the other jackets- the pink one with the peplums and the navy and grey layered coat paired with metallic leggings (pictured below).
Perhaps from this we can kind of guess what we will be seeing in the fashion pages of our favourite fash mags in the months to come. Here’s a compilation of review snippets and tweets from the front rows of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg:
@Robyn Cooke (styleguidecapetown.blogspot.com) on Thula Sindi:
”I loved the show. I just forgot how much by the end. This man is so gifted in
making clothes that are guaranteed to make any woman feel incredible, he doesn’t
need to razzle dazzle quite so much. Bravo Thula.”
@TheStolin (Colin O’Mara Davis, writing for ifashion.co.za) on David Tlale:
“Gone was the often over-the-top pageantry and extravagant couture his shows had become associated with, and instead, treated the audience to a comparatively restrained – and ernest collection that addresses contemporary African aesthetic and asserts an honest African identity within fashion.”
@ChuSuwannapha (Fashion Director: Fair Lady Magazine) on Avant Apparel:
“Can’t get it out of my head! ‘Cocoon’ dress at Avant.”
@AsandaSizani (ELLE Magazine Fashion Editor) on Loin Cloth and Ashes
“My favourite show so far. Very well done, Anisa. You’re the future.”
@SimplyPalesa (True Love Fashion Editor) on Gavin Rajah
“How I love the Laser cut petal full skirt Gavin Rajah makes me feel all pweety from inside out.”
*This post has been edited to correct Colin O’Mara Davis’s twitter-handle.
In her 2012/13 fashion trends presentation France-based forecaster Li Edelkoort said white would be the colour of the season and it seems designers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg received the memo. Black and white came through strongly across most of the collections presented. Closing the four day event at Hyde Park Corner on Saturday evening Thula Sindi used Indian cotton for a collection that opened with several monochromatic looks. The designer gave classically feminine silhouettes as we have come to expect. Although I was a bit thrown off by the introduction of a print that has no obvious Indian connection, the oriental theme came full circle with sari inspired dresses that emerged towards the end of the show.
The Avant Apparel duo delivered an impressively structured but simple collection that was almost completely black and white. With the exception of a dress that closed the show, Abigail Keats also gave a completely black and white range of androgynous looks.
Although Gavin Rajah also showed some monochromatic looks perfectly pastel shades, mesh rose dresses, beaded black lace, metallics and stunning dresses with sheer panels and intricate pearl bead detail dominated the designer’s ethereal collection.
Standing out as a firm favourite, Loin Cloth And Ashes reinforced designer Anisa Mpungwe’s quest to make African print mainstream. It is not often that local designers are successful at using African prints to make utilitarian clothing and Mpungwe once again proved that it doesn’t have to be curio. I also fell in love with her embellished detachable collars.
David Tlale, the night before, gave his own twist to pret-a-porter. There were blouses in solid colours, dotty prints on brown silk chiffon, houndstooth that was at times dip-dyed and kudu hide, on a men‘s trench coat specifically. Although restrained in comparison to past collections, Tlale’s latest still offers a generous dose of glamour.
While the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg came short of being memorable, there is no doubt that there were brief moments of triumph.
So, you’re going to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg?
If I can give you any word of advise, here are my pointers on how to behave in the company of Joburg’s fashion industry elite.
1. Front row is great but if you are not allocated a seat, by plonking yourself there you run the risk of being unceremoniously removed. Save everyone the drama and just take your own seat.
2. Tweet a lot! Sharing your views with those who are not lucky enough to be at the event is recommended.
3. You are not Anna Wintour, wearing shades just makes you look like a wannabe.
4. Pretend you are not aware that the photographers are clicking away in your direction. Posing makes you look overzealous, unless of course it is at their request.
5. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the music at the shows. Stop taking yourself too seriously.
6. Pointing at people on the other side of the ramp is just rude. Leave the skinnering for later.
7. Goodie bags are not a birthright. Do not take it if it is not meant for you! There WILL be a catfight!