Designers who stole the show at South African Menswear Week of Fashion

Designer Jacques LaGrange showing his work at the SAMW Week of Fashion. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Designer Jacques LaGrange showing his work at the SAMW Week of Fashion. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 8, 2023


More than 50 designers and 28 graduate designers showcased men's and womenswear collections at the South African Menswear Week of Fashion shows, which were held in Cape Town last weekend.

Fashion stylist Shiraz Reddy attended the shows and said that the event was well executed.

“The showcase of upcoming designers and the MKM Fedisa collab was amazing. A great initiative. I enjoyed the vast collections from established and upcoming designers.I especially loved shows by Masa Mara, Imprint, Ruff Tung and Xolani Mawande. Overall a great showcase of fashion in the here and now, three years after CVD19. The future of fashion looks good,” comments Reddy.

These designers blew us away, and here’s what they had to say about their collections.

Jacques 'King of Couture' LaGrange showcased an all-black collection.

“In a time of 'fashion unknown', I wanted to go back to basic couture elements. Couture fabric, couture techniques and proper classic cuts. To celebrate my clients, fit for every occasion anywhere in the world. My collaboration with Tanur Collection is an indication that the time is now to celebrate and reward ourselves for how far we have come. To celebrate with the sparkle of diamonds, champagne and light, hence, the Raen handmade Eyewear. Violinist Kirsry Bows opened the show to set the tone for what's to come... dramatic, elegant wearable art,” says LaGrange.

Designer Jacques LaGrange of Jacques Lagrange Couture showing his work at the Week of Fashion. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Ruald Rheeder’s collection, titled “Dark Angel”, took us for a walk on the dark side. An all-black collection juxtaposed again clean, sophisticated and elegant silhouettes.

“Angels do, in fact, wear black,” says Ruald.

Fabrics include the use of leather, faux fur, velvet, and suede versus softer tulles, mesh and chiffon. The finale unleashed the animal in all of us with two striking looks in leopard print from head to toe.

Ruald Rheeder. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

Rosey & Vittori said that they were thrilled to be back at SAMW this year after taking a bit of a break.

“The inspiration behind our collection for Fashion Week, as you may have noticed, was to focus on using bold colours, vibrant prints, and unique spins on classic styles. The excitement of post-lockdown life was a major inspiration for our team,” says the design duo.

“After months of being cooped up indoors, we feel people are eager to burst out of their shells and embrace the world with open arms. Our collection reflects this energy and enthusiasm for life. We wanted to create pieces that would make people feel alive, confident, and empowered.”

Rosey & Vittori. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

“We started by exploring the colours and prints that would evoke this sense of excitement. The result is a range of bold and vibrant hues that pop against the skin and bring joy to the eyes.”

“We also wanted to play with classic styles in unexpected ways. Our team worked tirelessly to create unique twists on timeless silhouettes. We added unexpected details, such as oversized unusual fabrications, detailed embellishments, and layered fabrics. These elements make our pieces stand out and give them a contemporary edge.”

“The excitement of post-lockdown life is palpable, and we wanted to capture that feeling in our collection.”

Lara Klawikowski's 'Wycinanki' collection, which was inspired by her Polish heritage and Polish folk floral art, is a contemporary interpretation using fabric off-cuts to create zero-waste floral designs and textures inspired by South African flowers and fynbos. A key focus of the collection was zero-waste pattern-cutting, as one of the leading causes of fabric waste in the industry is the use of outdated pattern shapes for clothes and poorly plotted pattern-cutting.

Lara Klawikowski. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

Xolani Mawande’s collection was awash with vibrant colours and bold prints.

“The collection is inspired by the bold and playful nature of polka dots, which represent the joy and optimism that comes with overcoming adversity. Each piece is designed with a mix of bright and bold colours, reflecting the diverse experiences and vibrant personalities of young people who have triumphed over obstacles.”

Xolani Mawande. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

Inspired by the black punk culture, Nao Serati’s collection looks at the black male experience using fabric resembling skin and the muscular structure of the male body. Tearing down the construct of hard punk and using it gently and softly with the use of hard and soft leather to engage in how the male body is made to build but also broken down by societal disdain.

Nao Serati. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

Ruff Tung showed bold black and white houndstooth print combined with her signature sequins and pops of vibrant pink. The captivating collection featured an exquisite range of ready-to-wear sequined garments and unstructured blazers, exemplifying the brand's commitment to both style and comfort. These versatile pieces are designed to make a statement and accentuate the beauty and confidence of every woman who dons them.

Ruff Tung. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

Read the latest issue of IOL Fashion digital magazine here.