Until next season, folks. The SA fashion week calendar for the year is officially closed. Last week, African Fashion International hosted the 16th edition of Joburg Fashion Week.
The prestigious event took place at The Forum Campus in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
Several designers from across Africa showcased their latest collections, including veterans in the fashion game such as Gavin Rajah, David Tlale, Scalo by Sello Medupe and Bongiwe Walaza, who made a huge comeback after disappearing for 12 years from the fashion scenes.
Also part of this year’s line-up was Niger’s Alia Bare, Botswana’s Kaylaamiel Creations and Nguo, and the DRC’s Urban Zulu, whose designer, Papy Kaluw, conveyed a powerful message about the country’s challenges.
While the already-established did exceptionally well this season, all eyes were on emerging designers.
Malondie, Masango, Bathini Designs, Indoni Fashion House and Tumi Captivating.
Owned by Londeka Buthelezi, Malondie showcased a stunning collection dedicated to her late mother.
For her shows, she used well-known faces such as award-winning influencer Mihlali Ndamase, celebrity stylist Phupho Gumede, fitness bunny Sbahle Mpisane and Lethabo Shai, who recently returned to modelling.
“The show was in honour of my late fashionista mother. The outfit I have on this picture is 37 years old. She wore it for her first wedding anniversary in 1986,” said Buthelezi.
“To my Malondie women: Thank you for being a part of this beautiful story. When you all showed up for the fashion show dressed in Malondie, I couldn’t hold back my tears because I realised how much you really loved and proud of being part of the Malondie Family. It was so amazingly beautiful and special. I love you all.”
Also stealing the show was Masango by Siphoshihle, who showcased a stunning collection titled “Iphondo Elibomvu”.
Siphosihle merged tradition, culture and classic staples with couture, hand beading and embellishments to elevate all the designs and tailoring to a level of grandeur that has become synonymous with Masango as a brand.
“The collection is a love letter to South African women’s relationship with pageantry and maximalist glamour while celebrating and delivering a very succinct idea of what Siphosihle, head designer and creative director, envisions of the Masanga man.
“This awe-inspiring delivery begins with milky white looks that hold this relationship of primary sartorial influence with tender yet intricate visions of an early life that is untainted by the hardships of self-awareness detailed in embellished shirts, pearled jerseys.
“A particularly gorgeous white dress that melts into a crescendo of pearl tassel fringe from chest to ankle, then steadily paces through to a collection of blood red garments and pieces that speak to the vivid experience of living and the raw audacity to continue to live life fully and unapologetically with sharp tailoring and flaw-free execution.
"The reds follow the severity and hardening that comes with perseverance, explored through silver confections bursting onto the runway, and using sharp, cool silver fabrics with lush design and a juxtaposition of precision and softness,” read a statement from the brand.
In terms of the inspiration behind the collection, Siphosihle said: “My inspiration for this collection was the idea of giving birth to something completely new that is also steeped in my own personally history and the histories of the women that have put their hands and hearts into building generations from the womb up.
“Hopefully that vision is felt by all when they experience the devotion and dedication that had gone into this collection and can anticipate a lot more going forward from us.”
∎ AFI Joburg Fashion Week ran from November 9 - 11.