Johannesburg - SA Fashion Week (SAFW) starts on Thursday with a new digital makeover.
Because of the lockdown, the biannual event will take place as a three-day streaming programme of 26 digital runway shows until Saturday.
“This hybrid combination of both a digital and live fashion experience allows us to navigate the complexities of trading and doing business effectively while simultaneously being highly mindful of the safety aspects associated with the pandemic,” said SAFW director Lucilla Booyzen.
The collections are trans-seasonal, in line with international trends.
Tonight, collections from GertJohan Coetzee, The Diamond Fibre Collections, Research Unit, Ekta and Helon Melon will be showcased.
For the Diamond Fibre Collections, local design studios Lukhanyo Mdingi, Judith-Atelier and MmusoMaxwell will showcase a collection of designer fashion that celebrates the versatility and luxury of mohair.
“Nicknamed ‘the diamond fibre’, mohair is a soft and lustrous fibre that boasts impressive dye retention, elasticity and resilience. With South Africa producing around half of all the mohair in the world, the Diamond Fibre Collections are a celebration of local designers, fabrics, producers and fashion,” said Booyzen.
The designers have, over the past 12 months, received support ranging from raw materials to marketing and mentorship.
For the collections, they have incorporated mohair and mohair blends to create contemporary, modern and refined trans-seasonal collections.
The Lukhanyo Mdingi label will be taking a pragmatic and mindful approach to product development – looking into human ingenuity.
Judith-Atelier, founded by Judith Nel in 2014, has become the voice of modern minimalism. The studio is celebrated for its versatility, strong sense of sophistication and effortless approach to providing women with the perfect attire for every aspect of their lives. She will be showcasing in collaboration with Vuyo Knitting.
MmusoMaxwell’s African heritage and contemporary culture-inspired womenswear puts emphasis on tailoring to complement the modern woman. The studio focuses on accentuating detail, practicality and wearability through a design process that gives a sense of value and quality.
The Diamond Fibre Collections is an initiative led by the South Africa Mohair Cluster in partnership with SAFW. This initiative was started in the hopes of building the local mohair sector to drive access to local and international markets, and tap into the creativity that exists within the South Africa fashion design sector.
Tomorrow, collections from Mantsho, Rubicon, The Bam Collective, Cindy Mfabe – winner of 2018 SAFW
New Talent Search – Ezokhetho, Chiefs of Angels, Lunar in collaboration with Cape Wools SA, and Lucent – winner of 2019 new SAFW Talent Search – will be showcased.
The last day of the digital runway will showcase menswear. Naked Ape will be celebrating 10 years this season and owner Shaldon Kopman could not be prouder.
Having dressed the likes of Samuel L Jackson and Orlando Jones, Kopman’s journey has been a success.
“Naked Ape’s latest offering is a departure from its bespoke origin, lending its signature of detailed craftsmanship enjoyed by its couture clients to a ready-to-wear range,” he said.
The closing shows will see digital collections from the SAFW Scouting Menswear Competition, former competition winner Bi Parel, Thabo Kopele, Gugu, Maklele, Boyde, Xavier Sadan, Artclub and Friends, BLVNK, Franc Elis and Ephymol. Naked Ape closes the event with the last showcase.