IT’S one of the biggest and most anticipated events on the local fashion calendar, and this year’s offering of African Fashion International (AFI) Cape Town Fashion Week hit all the right fashion notes with a mix of the haute and the happening.
Featuring established and up-and-coming South African designers, as well as exhibiting designers from Senegal, Kenya and Nigeria, the Autumn/ Winter 2018 runway shows at Salt River Film Studios were ablaze with collections by some of Africa’s best design talents.
The must-see-and-be-seen fashion event was attended by the who’s who of the fashion scene, a slew of SA celebs and style mavens, and fashion bloggers and influencers who all dressed to impress in creative streetwear and African couture.
Stand-out fashion moments included designer Mzukisi Mbane’s showcase, which began with a goosebumps-inducing fashion video. The brilliantly directed and produced short fashion film flaunted exquisite designs featuring Xhosa-inspired prints, while the show itself was slickly choreographed, earning the designer a standing ovation.
Another stand-out showcase was that of Kenyan accessories designer Adele Dejak, who became the first jewellery and accessories designer in AFI Cape Town Fashion Week history to feature on the main schedule.
Her bold, handcrafted luxury statement pieces are influenced by the Maasai, Samburu, Pokot and Turkana communities, and this metallic-inspired collection borrowed heavily from the jewellery and adornments historically worn by those tribes.
Dejak believes accessorising is not a secondary act in getting dressed - it’s the most expressive and intentional art form.
Leading South African couture designer Orapeleng Modutle’s work was resplendent of old Hollywood glamour. His dramatic show oozed opulence and sophistication, with each piece deserving of an appearance on a red carpet.
Here are some of the trends that we saw on the runway.
Mustard: Undoubtedly the “it” colour for 2018, mustard popped up in quite a few of the collections. Adama Paris featured the colour in a luxurious velvet ruched dress, while Khosi Nkosi showcased the hue in a soft tailored pants suit and long coat.
Prints: The theme for this year’s fashion week was “I am Africa”, and this was evident in the strong use of bold, colourful, graphic and tribal-inspired African prints which dominated the runway in collections by designers like Maxhosa, Imprint, Fast Track, Ituen Basi and Lumiere Couture.
Frills, frills and more frills: From shirts to dresses, ballgowns and hems, the ruffle trend was everywhere. A look versatile enough to be worn day or night, frills and flounce on garments added texture and detail to many of the high-fashion looks. Our favourites were Quiteria and George’s frill-detail velvet pants, and Matte Nolim’s soft pink frilled mini-skirt was a sexy showstopper.