Thebe Magugu for StyleBySA autumn/winter 2019 collection. (Eunice Driver Photography)

Celebrating 21 years of fashion, the autumn and winter 2019 edition of South African Fashion Week began its first night on Tuesday at Sandton City, Johannesburg, with a star-studded front row. Celebs, entertainers, the who’s who in the industry came in their numbers for the Woolworths Style By SA showcase. The retailer once again collaborated with the front-runners of local fashion to present collections.

The collaboration features Thebe Magugu, Mmuso Maxwell, Wanda Lephoto, Watermelon Social Club and Rich Mnisi.

The show opened with a collection by Magugu, whose designs are strongly influenced by the prominent female figures in his life. His A/W2019 collection is eclectic yet sophisticated. The theme of gender studies results in interesting cross-references, there is a combination of masculine and feminine in every garment.

Thebe Magugu (Eunice Driver Photography)

His colour palette varies from soft pastels combined with black, feminine florals and solid brights.

Thebe Magugu (Eunice Driver Photography)

Mmuso Maxwell is a vibrant brand by duo Maxwell Buko and Mmuso Potsane. The collection can be described as off kilter and contemporary.

Pleats, as with many of the other collections, are a strong feature in their collection as well. A blend of earthy autumn tones and fabrication such cotton poplin, crepes and melton are seen in a structured mustard coat. The pale blue sequin cami and slip dress bring a festive feel to the otherwise conservative collection.

Mmuso Maxwell. (Eunice Driver Photography)

Sthembiso Mchunu and Siyabonga Ngcamu are the design duo behind The Watermelon Social Club. The brand is heavily guided by the streetwear movement. Their unisex silhouettes form a style that is on trend while being timelessly effortless.

Watermelon Social Club. (supplied)

Lephoto’s collection showed classic, structured silhouettes with strong tailoring. He described this collection as “aiding his self-realisation”. Neutral tones with pops of colour dominated this masculine collection.

“My voice and my opinion make this collection unique. This may be the first collection where I’m really finding myself and even starting to like myself,” said Lephoto.

Rich Mnisi closed the show with his bold, colourful collection. Mnisi described his collection as “beautiful, classic and exuberant” with his usual retro aesthetic influenced by his mother’s sense of style.

Rich Mnisi. (Supplied image)
Rich Mnisi. (Eunice Driver Photography)

* The STYLEBYSA AW18 collection is now available online and at selected Woolworths stores such as Cavendish, Mall of Africa and Sandton.