The African Fashion International Jo’burg Fashion Week (AFIJFW) – Spring/Summer – saw upcoming and acclaimed African designers push the envelope with innovative designs and well curated shows.
Compiled By: Mokgadi Letsoalo
Main Photo: Lin Aztekville
The AFIJFW took place at one of the most elegant spots in Jozi, Melrose Arch (04 – 07 October 2018).
This year’s theme was #AfroAsia. One could tell by the outbreak of wide legged pants and Kimonos on the runway that Japanese inspired fashion had hit Jo’burg.
Day 1: The show was kicked off with an AERO presentation by local youth designers. Acclaimed young designer, Nao Serati, famous for his gender-bending looks, was the highlight of the presentation. Nao kept to his key aesthetic while showing immense growth as a designer. Nao kept it bold but this time he showed a more cohesive and wearable collection.
Popular menswear streetwear brand, D.O.P.E showcased fun and eclectic looks with a few surprising gender-bending outfits. They had a dress, a skirt and a wrap-around jersey – adding a bit of an edge to their collection. While Mahone kept it clean and simple.
They were followed by Matte Nolin, Haute Baso (Rwanda) and Khosi Nkosi (SA) who sprinkled some undeniable elegance on the runway with their women’s collections. Matte Nolin presented an impressive chic, youthful and sexy collection with bright and colourful colours.
For their eKhaya traditional collection, celebrity favourite, Khosi Nkosi, enlisted Media Personalities, Zizo Tshwete, Khanya Mkangisa, Dineo Moeketsi and reality TV star, Tebogo “Pinky Girl” Mekgwe (Bonang Matheba’s cousin) to walk for her show, which added more buzz for the designer.
Haute Baso from Rwanda brought out the dark and powerful colours – purple and different shades of green dominated her collection. The designer kept it clean but not too simple with elegant over-sized looks.
Orapeleng Modutle from Style Avenue brought out sheer elegance with their daring looks but kept it minimal with colour, opting to focus more on black and white.
While Rich Factory brought out the rainbow colours to the runway. They showed off traditional looks that are funky, sassy, and sexy, for that girl who likes to keep it traditional but still have some edge. Nomzamo Mbatha showcased their showstopper look for the night, which was part of their Dove 100 colours of Africa campaign – a move that proved to be a winner with the audience.
Sheria Ngowi from Tanzania, Irmagard Mkhabela and Anti Arch from China sealed day one with a respectable set of menswear looks. Irmagard Mkhabela closed off the night in style with swimwear looks that could also double up as day looks. While Anti Arch played with the theme of AfroAsia and presented Asian inspired looks with a tinge of street and pop style. Sheria brought out the dapper classic suits, keeping it mostly traditional but far from simple.
Day 2: Adorned local label MaXhosa (by Laduma) brought his signature look while adding a summery feel. He ended his collection by introducing his family on the runway, a moving gesture to mark his current state of joy and success.
Day 3: Botwana designers dazzled with their impressive and rule bending collection for The Botswana Collection 18’ presentation. Mothusi Lesolle led the pack with her casual collection. She used sequins and tussles fabric, with pops of bright colours, lime yellow drops, maroon here and there and added multi-coloured berets to accessorise.
David Tlale and Tsotetsi KL proved that they are on a total different level. The two, who presented their designs in offset locations, redefine the term “legendary” with their collections and extravagant shows.
Tsotetsi KL took fashion lovers on an emotional ride with his show at the women’s prison, in Constitutional Hill. He titled it Unscripted Wound, honouring the women who were imprisoned and never got to share their stories.
Satin, lace and sheer fabrics gave the collection a powerful feminine package, pops of multi coloured ribbons on mesh dresses gave the story a strong sense of hope. Kelly Khumalo ended the show with an outdoor musical installation.
Iconic designer, David Tlale, famous for his theatrical runway shows, brought another stellar show at Sky Rink Multimedia Studio, in Jo’burg central. The star-studded show boasted hundred looks in commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s centenary. Nigerian musician, D’Banj, joined the army of models on the runway, proved to be the star of the show. Multi-platinum selling House-duo, Black Motion, also added their infectious tribal sounds to the show, closing fashion week in undeniable style.
For more on the AFI Jo’Burg Fashion Week, go to: africanfashioninternational.com