SA’s top designers present salon-style shows at Cape Town showcase

Mantsho at Confections x Collections. Picture: Supplied.

Mantsho at Confections x Collections. Picture: Supplied.

Published Nov 24, 2023


Just when we thought the fashion season was over, Twyg said: “Hold my cup,” and curated Confections x Collections (CxC) at the acclaimed Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.

The five-day fashion spectacle was like no other.

It entailed a salon-style showcase where designers, which included the likes of Wanda Lephoto, VIVIERS Studio and Sindiso Khumalo were featured.

These fashion designers were joined by Mantsho by “Palesa Mokubung”, and Chu Suwannapha of “Chulaap,” who also participated in the fashion offering.

Meanwhile, the collections on show were inspired by the theme “African Luxury Lore”, a concept steeped in storytelling that explores the richness of African cultures and customs.

It also offered a more meaningful engagement with luxury fashion.

In his “Me Fie” collection, Wanda Lephoto revisited African stories through the lens of contemporary style.

“I’m in service to my friends and family with an understanding of where we’ve been and where we want to go. It is all through friendship and community,” the acclaimed fashion designer explained.

He narrates the story of watching the migration of people to Johannesburg’s city centre, including those who carried large ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags with crosshatched patterns.

The designer translated this movement into ready-to-wear, contemporary designs. His creations came alive through cherry blossom appliqué suits which welcome his notion that “from the cracks in the pavement, a flower can bloom.”

Wanda Lephoto. Supplied image.

Meanwhile, Lezanne Viviers of “Viviers Studio” shared origin stories of diverse cultures inspired by the stars.

And through her collection, she celebrated the power of community when creating garments.

“There is one designer with the idea, but it takes 50 people working together to make the vision clear,” she explained.

Sindiso Khumalo, who was showcasing for the second time at CxC, presented her new collection with European retailer ‘& Other Stories’.

“There is an amazing fashion community in South Africa,” she believes. “This is bigger than showing your work, it’s about community building.”

This collection also extends Khumalo’s commitment to a plastic-free ethos, which features clay jewellery created by celebrated South African sculptor Githan Coopoo.

Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho also used the fashion showcase to celebrate the longevity of her brand, which was founded in 2004.

“I have proven myself as an integral part of the fashion industry – a black female at the forefront. My community is what pushes me,” the designer said.

Meanehile, Chuulap by “Chu Suwannapha” took people on an underwater journey with his Spring/Summer 2024 collection titled “Sea Explorer.”

A salute to African creativity, Suwannapha pointed to ocean exploration and Cape Town’s wild terroir for inspiration.

When speaking about the power of collaboration, Suwannapha said, “I am putting myself into somebody else’s shoes to extend my brand, and I deeply value the opportunity to collaborate with someone who can change my experience.”