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Monday, August 25, 2014


Finally this post makes it to the world wide web. How I long to be better at reporting back on fashion weeks as I can see this becoming the death of my fashion week career – as minuscule as it is already. Anyway, we’re here now and let’s get cracking.

Generally speaking, it’s always a fascinating please having to deal with fashion week’s PR/Event organising company. African Fashion International (AFI), along with the title sponsor Mercedes-Benz (MB) had opted to select Celebrity Services Africa (CSA) to manage their PR and event management requirements. What a funny one that was. I’ll list a few personal bloopers experienced thanks to their work, but for now, I will commend them for actually getting MBFWCT off the ground.

Yes, there was no Thula Sindi or David Tlale on the line-up, but we fashion kids still got to play. The media bar functioned with a token/coupon system – great for keeping media both sober and annoyed. Alas, we made do and just bought drinks anyway. I was super excited to find out Renaissance Men SA had adopted an invisible photographer called Alrin/Alvin/Aldrin (can’t remember), who was listed for the ENTIRE week as one of our photographers. How that happens after the laborious form we bloggers have to complete – I don’t know.

The Look
My look for Day 1 was kindly put together by the young Khayelitsha designer, Mzukisi Mbane whose brand, Swagger Diariez, is making great waves locally. It helps that the designer himself is hungry for this and he takes on every challenge and opportunity with enthusiasm. Inspired by African nomads, traveling the African deserts, Swagger Diaries created a sublime look combining traditional wear with modern attire. Add a blanket cape/throw and I’m protected from the elements too. Colour: pale hues of blue to turquoise with a patterned white seeped through. Fabrication: a mixed blend of cottons and wool to ensure comfort, breathing capabilities and warm.

Wardrobe credit goes to Swagger Diariez designer, Mzukisi Mbane

Marianne Fassler – showing what one can only describe as a manifestation of happiness and womanhood through fabric, Fassler ensured her signature tongue-in-cheek approach to womenswear was present and accounted for. Adapting shapes that interest her from the African traditional tribes in South Africa, Marianna interpreted a new vision of her South African woman. Bold, eclectic, fun and modern with a keen understanding of roots; it was all a little bit of magic, a touch of romance and a whole lot of ready-to-wear looks.

Gavin Rajah – only a highlight purely for presentation purposes. Apart from the fact that I never get access to Gavin’s shows because I focus on menswear, I haven’t for the longest time been moved by what he’s done in the past (as per photos I peruse on the SDR Photo site). This time around though, I was offered a ticket and wondered if I should attend or not. I attended, and perhaps for all the wrong reasons. The clothes were what they were: hints of Chanel, rose pedal infused situations, signature silhouettes, even one dress resembling another. But that is not the point – the point is the presentation of this collection. Inspired by Asia, models took to the stage with make-up resembling Geisha tendencies. Large, triangular ‘straw’ hats (much like what the rice field workers in Asia wear) and super large hand fans were the order of the day. Seeing Rajah’s collections in person, with the set and soundtrack in tow helps your experience the collection and what you might have possibly considered a good collection turns into a great collection. I must commend his team though on putting together something like 70+ looks for the show. That takes a lot of dedication and time. Well done! 

Photographs by Larry English

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