Above, Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana walks for Mille-Collines. Above right,  an Ituen Basi creation.
Above, Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana walks for Mille-Collines. Above right, an Ituen Basi creation.
A model on the catwalk at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
A model on the catwalk at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
An Orapeleng Modutle Style-Avenue takes inspiration from the rose garden.
An Orapeleng Modutle Style-Avenue takes inspiration from the rose garden.
A Viniga model struts her stuff at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
A Viniga model struts her stuff at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
After being forced to cancel Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) due to strong winds last month, African Fashion International (AFI) bounced back with a bang this weekend.

Staging the event at the windproof Salt River Studios in Salt River, AFI staged an impressive designer line-up showcasing autumn and winter trends.

The two-day affair was held on Friday and yesterday bringing together the fashion elite for a feast and networking.

Highlights included watching Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana, who headlined several shows, strut her stuff down the runway.

The trends to watch included floppy straw hats, whimsical dresses, African-prints-meet-Great Gatsby party dresses, slogan T-shirts and arty prints.

Here are some of Friday’s highlights:

Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue

Inspired by the life and style of Bonang Matheba, this was Modutle’s second showcase with AFI, and this year he presented an Autumn/Winter Collection that is inspired by a “Rose Garden”.

He transported the audience to a royal garden wedding, with floral appliqués contrasted by beaded detailing.

Set in a romantic Italian rose garden, the collection offers classic styles for brides as well as the bridal party.

Bold, floral prints were followed by dramatic two-pieces and sparkly gowns.

Soft and structured silhouettes paired with oversized white hats introduced the bridal collection, which was a perfect pairing of traditional and on trend designs.

Cut outs, feathered stoles and lots of lace graced the collection, with a touch of blush and brocade coats to match.

Brigitte da Silva

Brigitte da Silva, designer at Viniga Atelier, showcased a marriage of fashion and music.

Echoing the gorgeous grunge of London, black is back with a vengeance.

Leather paired with sheer blouses, sequins and fishnets made for a bold feminine statement; while caped sleeves and flowing skirts made for a dramatic romantic take on the fierce female taking refuge from the political chaos.

Followed by modern metallics and mesh, fleece and fur, sheer skirts and dress shirts; think sequinned, leopard-print matched with velvet trousers.

Ituen Basi

Inspired by the couturiers of yesteryear, the critically acclaimed Ituen Basi brand is an innovative blend of timeless tradition paired with contemporary creativity to fashion her signature style.

A celebration of femininity and individuality, the label’s eclectic dialogue is punctuated with every piece.

While Basi works with a palette of colours in her creations, white is her favourite colour, as it provides her with a stark canvas for her striking designs which are inspired by anything and everything, from a fleeting shadow on an old wall to a past creation inspiring a new one.

Basi is all about having fun with fashion, and her individualistic pieces inspire their wearers to have fun.

She opened her show with a Nigerian festival of colour, contrast and texture in celebration of the Ankara print.

Primary colours paired with bespoke handbags and shoes, the accessories really accentuated every ensemble.

The structured blouses, tassled capes, dresses, skirts and stylish safari suits took sheer African sophistication to another level.

Combing feel-good fashion with eclectic craftsmanship, Basi shared a piece of Pan-Africa with the audience and her closing technicolour dream coat showed that standing out is always on trend.

Mille Collines

Mille Collines,the luxury brand born in Africa, grew into a fully-fledged fashion studio, and is today owned and operated by the team that originally built the brand.

Millie Collines designs for every woman, and wants to walk the journey with these women.

Each garment tells a beautiful African story, and through intricate attention to detail, shares a piece of the Mille Collines adventure with the wearer.

Inspired by the Swahili culture of the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania, namely Lamu, Mombasa and Zanzibar, the AW17 Collection draws inspiration from the ancient fabrics of yesteryear, paired with the intricate carved detailing in the walls, as well as the cities’ architecture and whimsical woven finishes of mats and baskets to show the strength of a woman.

The season’s silhouettes are flowing, fluid and easy to wear, paired with fabric headpieces, influenced by the Muslim culture prevalent in the coastal areas.

The opening passage features straw hats by Crystal Birch followed by more sophisticated felt creations later on in the showcase.

Mille Collines also collaborated with Japanese artist Tomoko KT on three prints. Tomoko has been living in Africa for several years.

Mille Collines took casual chic to a new echelon, with the fabric headpieces adding a demure dimension to each ensemble and oversized hats by Crystal Birch adding sophistication.

With oversized accessories paired with muted tones, sheer fabrics and offset by the Japanese-inspired graphic prints, this collection was the epitome of diversity.