African designers pull out all stops for fashion week
By Melody Chironda
Cape Town — If you couldn’t make it to the African Fashion International’s Cape Town Fashion Week, don’t worry I’ve got you covered.
You know it’s going to be a great series of shows when you’re greeted with free drinks. Come on, who doesn’t like freebies?!
This year’s theme was #IamAfrica. The show celebrated and showcased exceptional African creative talent on a global stage. The show included designers from Ghana, South Africa, Morocco, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo Kinshasa and Nigeria.
The show opened with one of South Africa’s top designers Gavin Rajah showcasing his latest range. His new range bursting with colour and Japan-inspired designs. From there onwards, other designers brought us “magic”. The creativity, the art, the runaway, the music and the crowd – everything was lit. Some of us, even wondered if we could ever pull off some of these fashion designers clothes.
Inspired by bold, vibrant, and authentic African spirit, the show was hosted at one of South Africa’s iconic spaces – Salt River Film Studios – an old compound of railway blacksmiths’ workshops turned world-class studio and events facility.
Audiences and photographers scrambled to capture moments as models paraded classic African collections. The AFI show brought people from all over the continent to come and witness what African talent can deliver and we are proud that we weren’t disappointed. This season saw new textures and embellishments make their debut.
Remember when we said we got you covered, here are some of the highlights and our favourites…
The shows took us on an indigenous journey with a touch of high fashion from each and every designer representing their country. Moroccan designer, Salima Abdel-Wahab gave the audience a taste of her culture. She showcased high fashion clothes inspired by threads.
Imprint’s Mzukisi Mbane is a local talent is one designer you need to know. This showstopper designer made the crowd go wild with his designs. Mzukisi is known for his electrifying prints, and he makes clothing and accessories that narrate the stories of our African ancestors. The fashion brand was created more than five years ago and I’m so glad to see it growing. It creates fashion-forward style pieces rooted in street wear and vintage influence. As the name suggests, we are happy to see it leave such an impression, an Imprint, on the audiences!
How can we not mention talented designer Nobukhosi Nkosi – known for her fashion brand Khosi Nkosi. We loved about these designs is that it incorporated all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter if you are tall, short, small or curvy. It celebrated all women. These are the positive messages we need to be sharing with world. And to make it more exciting, Khosi Nkosi picked a curvy model to walk the runway and oh my Oyama stole the show… way to go girl!!!
For the first time, the AFI platform showcased a jewellery and accessory designer, Adele Dejak, from Kenya. Her designs are handcrafted, luxury fashion accessories – inspired by the continent, its tradition of adornment and its immense cultural heritage. Designer Adama Paris showed off all that West Africa has to offer with a collection that celebrates urban Senegal.
Other fashion designers that showed their collections included South African design favourites such as Laduma Ngoxolo for MaXhosa, Nicholas Couuts, Craig Port and Fashion Revolution.
Africa is blessed with a rich history of tradition and culture, and we are glad to have designers who try to incorporate all of this and keep the continent beaming with pride.