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Bright shades, comfortable footwear and prints – The trends which dominated the SA Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022 runway

A bright yellow ensamble by Mantsho. Picture: SA Fashion Week.

A bright yellow ensamble by Mantsho. Picture: SA Fashion Week.

Published May 3, 2022

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Johannesburg - The Mall of Africa this weekend played host to fashionistas, celebrities and invited guests who converged in Midrand to get the first glimpse of local designers’ latest ranges during the South African Fashion Week’s (SAFW’s) Spring/Summer 2022 collections.

During the three-day spectacle a variety of design elements, textures and tones took shape on the catwalk. Although some of the SS22 ranges were in line with those seen on international runways, many were uniquely African in nature, firmly placing the continent as an authentic fashion destination.

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Other fashion trends were also aligned with the prospect of a post Covid-19 world, while still maintaining the style and comfort that many grew accustomed to during the pandemic. These are some of the trends which have dominated the SAFW AW22 collections.

Yellow

The bright hue featured prominently on the local catwalk, perhaps as an ode to the optimism of the post-pandemic era. Fashion label SIXX6 contrasted the cheerful shade with other colours in the majority of their SAFW SS22 creations. These included white, blue and pink which came alive on his coats, dresses and skirts. Meanwhile, fashion house MANTSHO created an entirely yellow ensemble in the collection, a layered and frocked look with matching socks.

A Belhauzen ensamble featuring white sneakers. Image from South African Fashion Week.

Sneakers

Several SAFW designers swapped heels and sandals for sneakers, as the comfortable footwear continues to gain popularity across the globe. Sustainable luxury fashion house Belhauzen’s entire collection featured models in white sneakers alongside their neutral black and white creations. The Ntando XV brand also incorporated the footwear in their men’s and women’s ranges as they also opted for neutral looks.

A layered look by Afrikanswiss. Image from SA Fashion Week.

Layering

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During a transition to a season, it is essential not only for style but also for durability to wear more than one garment on the lower as well as upper body. This was the school of thought at Balenciaga, Simone Rocha, Missoni who debuted collections which featured elements of layering different items together on runways around the world. South African designers also gave layering their own unique twists when their collections were presented at SAFW 22.

The likes of Afrikanswiss, Kayla Stam and Judith Atelier all mixed different garments, fabrics, colours and textures together to present eye-catching layered looks.

A look by The Bam Collective featuring headwear. Image from SA Fashion Week.

Headwear

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While covering your head seems to be in vogue in the fashion world, this is an everyday practice for many South Africans due to religious, cultural or personal reasons. This was widely reflected in this season’s collection this week as models walked the catwalk donning a variety of head coverings and accessories. Amanda Laird Cherry incorporated matching headwear to her dresses and jumpsuits while The Bam Collective took a more dramatic approach with their unique and colourful hats.

A graphical look by Artho Eksteen. Image from SA Fashion Week.

Graphic prints

While many designers took a minimalist approach to their SAFW SS22 designs, others opted for more graphic and playful looks. Artho Eksteen’s entire collection featured different colourful and graphic designs. But the Michale Ludwig studio preferred to make use of graphic prints to contrast their more traditional and neural ensembles.

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