Rich Factory's custom print dress. Pictures: Instagram

Dr Precious Motsepe Moloi’s African Fashion International’s Joburg Fashion Week held at Melrose Arch was a continental affair. 

Designers, models, media and fashion influencers from across Africa descended on the city of gold for the glitzy four-day showcase. Among them Matte Nolim, MaXhosa by Laduma, Presidential, Scalo by Sello Medupe, and Bulbulia Threads by Tasleem Bulbulia.

With such a plethora of talent on our shores, we decided to enlist an expert assessor and who better than couture king David Tlale?

Scalo by Sello Medupe

Fresh from New York Fashion Week, he showcased his biggest collection yet in Joburg through his partnership with Courvoisier - 100 garments, in celebration of the Nelson Mandela centenary.

Nigerian star D’Banj, Mzanzi’s Tumi Voster, Savita Mbuli, Refiloe Modiselle, and Lalla Hirayama walked in his show.

“The collection titled Azania is not just political but also from the Hebrew word meaning “God listens”, which also applies to how far I’ve come both as a designer and a brand,” said Tlale.

Tlale, whose sights are set on joining the ranks of global brands such as Dior and Armani, says he was filled with pride to see African designers marking their space.

Rich Factory's custom print dress. Pictures: Instagram

Tlale said there were many breathtaking fashion moments at the AFI event, among them a painted tulle dress by Marianne Fassler and an embroidered lace dress with ribbons everywhere by Tsotetsi.

Here are Tlale’s top five:

Eric Raisina

This established designer is dedicated to composing a garment from start to finish, designing his own fabric (mostly silks) and engineering his patterns. The collection he showcased displayed a level of maturity worthy of the global stage.

Presidential

Imprint

Young designer Mzukisi Mbane is showing consistency and developing a signature style that he owns. The sky’s the limit.

Cafe by David Tlale

Young designers Keletso Morabu and Siposihle Masango deserve the credit for Cafe. Many young designers today are not fully involved in the process of designing but these youngsters are invested in pattern engineering and have a solid hold on the basics.

Eric Raisina

Quiteria & George

George Malelu and Quiteria Kekana’s installation titled Metamorphosis was an incredible visual narrative of their brand inception and evolution.

Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue

Exquisitely beautiful, high end garment with an attention to detail. The garment oozes glamour.