Sunday, August 5, 2012

#MBFWCT: Day 3 Reviewed - Friday, 27 July 2012


As we hit Friday, 27 July 2012, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town was ramping it up like nobody's business. The week was in full swing and the BIG days had arrived. Not big because major designers were showcasing, but because the length of the days had started to get longer and more shows were expected to play out on the sleek black liquorice ramp at the CTICC. Friday had also seen the FT Seminar take place in the morning until the afternoon, from 10H00 until 14H30.

The day's shows were started off by the AFI & CTFC presentation of emerging designers. The showcase saw young designer labels, Black Coal Clothing; Strato; Selfi; August and Non-European taking to the ramp and proving that young talent is alive and evident in the city and it should be taken seriously.

There after, the more long-standing designers kicked in. First up was the popular Durban-based designer label, Michelle Ludek. The designer, who shares the name with her label, really showcased her personality in the collection. We were greeted with nudes paired with luminous neon colour. Some of the dresses were built of cuts flowing off the body with squared-off necklines. I loved the lighthearted playfulness of the garments. I also thought it was quite cute that the colour palette was almost minimal with only a small set of prints in blues, creams and peach. The collection is beautifully suited for the Durban and Cape Town atmospheres and allows every young lady to get from work to sundowners without a fuss.

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

I also enjoyed the pairing of the collection with very angular accessories and it added a slight twist of juxtaposed dimensions to the look and feel. The collection is sure to be a seller as it provides itself as an easy addition to any wardrobe and it still sets itself apart from the usual mundane department store look. I personally believe Michelle has provided us with a very fashionable ready-to-wear collection that also had a flair of bespoke tailoring for every day wear.

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo

Michelle Ludek // Images by SDR Photo


Ruff Tung followed directly after Michelle Ludek. His collection was not really all that wow for me. I suppose, not being a womenswear commentator doesn't help in my judgement, however, I still felt like there was something missing. I'm not quite sure what, but maybe I should ask the females I know who attended the show for some opinions on the matter. He pulled out some peplum dresses, which was the case with almost all the designers who showcased at fashion week, and for me, peplum dresses are a very touchy subject. I always have the opinion that the only people who look good in peplum dresses are models and skinny and tall day-to-day citizens. Not necessarily your average South African woman. Then again, who am I to assume he should be designing for the average SA woman.

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

I did find some key pieces that I enjoyed seeing on the ramp, which will be awesome to see translated onto the streets and having confident women wear them. He did a long body-hugging dress with 'LOBOLO' printed on in silver, with matching cows, which I thought was very cute. It looked soft and delicate with a comfortable neckline. The dress also happened to have a matching top, which in another ensemble was paired off with mint green pants. I also loved the short dress shirt in white fading into peach and the kaftan style dress with an almost invisible zebra print. Generally, the clothes were beautiful and very easy to wear and for a woman with a budget, they'll be great pieces from the collection to take home and sport on beautiful warm evenings with friends.

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo

Ruff Tung // Images by SDR Photo


After the fun collections of Michelle and Ruff, Thula Sindi and Ruald Rheeder took to the stage. There's always something seriously exciting about seeing a Thula Sindi showcase. You know you're going to get great work wear, daywear, evening wear and then those extra special surprises that you create your own events for just so you can rock it out with total glam. Thula Sindi is also one of those designers that ensure you get absolute sophistication, fun, attitude, tailoring and one-of-a-kind looks and pieces for your entire wardrobe revamp. I always wonder who he muses when he designs because you can always tell that it's draw from personal knowledge and experience and that the woman he translates on the ramp is a woman he knows personally.

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo


Black was the order of the day for Thula Sindi. Something very surprising for me form him, but welcomed with open arms. Leather, another surprise for me from him, was also an element that got me excited. There seemed to be a form of feminine dominatrix stalking the ramp during his show. A woman who knew what leather could do for her figure and was not afraid to rock it in public. The cuts were edgy, solid and retained a soft effeminate sense of being about them. There were beautiful combinations of cottons in white with leather collars and sleeves. It brought the night into daywear in a fun-factor way.

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula's peplum dresses were the first I'd seen that I had a naughty thought and wished I could own one. Fun, young, flaired and textured. They presented an attitude the other peplum dresses from other designers couldn't bring to the fore. They were making an actual statement and they were to be taken very seriously. There was also an introduction of prints: Peacock + Leopard + Paisley + Graphic Florals. I didn't, personally, buy into the peacock and leopard, although I must admit the peacock was a refreshing change from the usual prints one gets exposed to for Spring Summer. I thoroughly loved the take on the paisley, its colours and its combination with the leather bodices. It made for a strong woman. 

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

Thula Sindi // Images by SDR Photo

I must admit, I'm in love with the graphic floral print. I also think the fresh sea-blue colour combined with some purple and pink against the leather really added a new kind of glamour. A Thula Sindi glamour. In its entirety I believe the collection showed Thula's development as a designer and his understanding of his own talents and how he can bring something new to and for the brand without losing the traditional values and speciality skills of tailoring and understanding of a woman and how she wishes to dress without looking like she's too concerned about the fashions of the day. Beautiful work Thula!

Ruald Rheeder is another menswear designer who showcased at #MBFWCT. Being a menswear blogger, I was thoroughly looking forward to this show. I'm always keen to see what men's designers, who have a home in a national outlet, will do to stand out and be noticed by the crowd. It also happened that this time around, Ruald had prepared a surprise for us all. He would introduce womenswear into the mix. Now I'm not exactly bias or funny in that sense, but can we just stick to one thing? Anyway, it's what he wanted to do and felt he was ready for it. I'll just stick to commenting on his menswear.

Ruald Rheeder // Images by SDR Photo

Ruald Rheeder // Images by SDR Photo

Ruald Rheeder // Images by SDR Photo

Ruald Rheeder // Images by SDR Photo

Ruald's menswear was filled with colour. Not necessarily enough prints for my liking, but plenty of colour explorations that I thought were worth noting. I enjoyed how the colours were combined. Almost looking like they are clashing when they are in fact, quite complementary. The collection had a very British preppy look, bow ties, cardigans, tailored pants and shorts, formal (not necessarily dress) shirts. Sports seemed to be a big influence with collections this year, and was nice to see a combination of a 'tracksuit' or lounge pants with a blazer. 

Ruald Rheeder // Images by SDR Photo

Ruald Rheeder // Images by SDR Photo

Small details included braces, patches on the elbows and different colour and textured lapels on the blazers. I would have been more excited if the elbow patches were in a different shape though, oval is so last season. A star or square or octagon would have been a surprise worth noting. I believe, though, the strength of the collection lay in its commercial viability. The new young man will most definitely go out and buy elements of the collection and I suppose in that instance, Ruald Rheeder hit all the right notes.

Ruald Rheeder // Images by SDR Photo

After the showcase, Hip Hop took to the ramps. I didn't see this show, unfortunately, therefore I won't comment on the clothes and the presentation thereof. I did manage to get into Fabiani, which by was pure luck, chance and grace of a fellow fashion blogger who felt the seat would be better used by a menswear blogger. We all, at the media lounge, had a little chat and giggle about how fascinating it was to see the menswear blogger not make it into the menswear show... Anyway, we're all hoping it's a simple mishap that is unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

So as I sat and braced myself for the menswear showing by Fabiani, I wondered what surprises, new developments or interesting additions would be in store for us. Well, thank goodness I didn't hold my breath because what was unveiled was nothing short of a recycling project that wouldn't impress any kind of eco-friendly enthusiast. What I saw, I don't know about anyone else, so I speak for myself. What I saw, was the reworking of previous collections. And instead of going through the images to show you, I went ahead and checked for images of past collections so you could see what I was referring to. Maybe I'm right, I'm sure I could be wrong, but I don't my eyes are that deceiving. Below is a timeline of Fabiani collections starting from this showing at MBFWCT 2012 and going back to 2009. Look through it and decide for yourself.

Fabiani - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2012 - SDR Photo

Fabiani - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2012 - SDR Photo

Fabiani - Cape Town Fashion Week 2011 - SDR Photo

Fabiani - AFI Africa Fashion Week 2011 - SDR Photo

Fabiani - AFI Joburg Fashion Week 2010 - SDR Photo

Fabiani - Cape Town Fashion Week 2009 - SDR Photo

In all honesty and understanding, Fabiani is that brand that finds it difficult to do much about its design, not unless it wants to freak out its consumer database and scare away it's conservative buyers. Fabiani is one of those brands that holds a high price tag because of quality and branding, rather than quality and creativity. Their consumers are those guys who want to be seen as different because they shop at Fabiani, but still buy items similar in style to those of W Collection from Woolworths, Markham and Truworths. Fabiani is the monied guy's alternative to buying a suit from a retail/department outlet.

Anyway, moving swiftly along.

The last show on the evening was by Viyella Heritage, a member of the House of Monatic family. Viyella is known for producing elegant garments for men that are classic and stylish and offer pieces for any kind of wardrobe update without making a man feel any less masculine than he already is. In this showcase, there was a beautiful spread of hues and pastels and I just kept seeing pieces I wanted to own without a doubt. I must confess, I loved the collection and seeing Aidan Bennetts on the ramp was just too delicious for me.

He is the selection of images that best depicts the collections and showcases what I want to own... Hint hint, Baker, can I come shopping some time soon!

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo
Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo

Viyella Heritage - Image by SDR Photo


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