Day 4 of SA Menswear Week (SAMW) turned into a bodacious statement; the kind we were kind of all waiting for. Apart from the rest, the Nigerian designers did manage to take centre stage, as they should: constantly pushing their own boundaries, and in turn forcing us into new perspectives on fashion – traditional and non-traditional. Here are my moments on the last day of fashion week, Saturday, 6 February 2016:
The Prince of Prints didn’t fail in the land of print. He arrived full throttle and ambushed fashion week with another instalment of impeccably style prints. There was colour, vibrancy, life. It was very well styled and the collaborations added fuel to the fashion fire. There was nothing in particular that was break-through, but I do think the original prints left a highly indulgent impression.
Lights. Camera. Action! From the second Victor Kwen Akomaye stepped onto the ramp, whipped out his vanity compact, fixed his face and proceeded to Naomi Campbell down the runway, it was clear – Orange Culture had arrived. From the eclectically colourful collection with its wintery knits and quirky accessories such as ankle guards, one could understand and appreciate how true to form designer, Adebayo Oke-Lawal was to who he is and his brand. Bold statements such as ‘Touch Me’, ‘See Me’ and ‘Hear Me’ were almost used as leader points to introduce a new aspect of the collection, whether it was colour or fabrication. From a bold 70s Yoko Ono experience to a loose fitting masculine silhouette, Orange Culture presented a well-designed, oversized collection that was serious about style and quality and chilled on the boring hues of autumn winter.
You would not be blamed for believing that the Kola Kuddus Couture man was one from an Islamic background. You also would be off the trail if you understood him to be steeped in tradition. You’d be completely bonkers though to think he could not evolve with the times he lives in. Kola Kuddus Couture at SAMW AW16 presented what was evidently one of the biggest moves the brand has made to date. Bolder colour choices, interesting print decisions and design details that added a much more feminine take on the garments usually worn by traditionalist men. Colour ranged from orange into blue into black and white. The collection was true to form while embracing a new chapter in its growth. Whether or not the more bolder and feminine looks will sell, the idea has been implanted and it’s up to the Kola Kuddus man to decide if it’s a direction he would like to explore.
Tokyo James, in partnership with Simon & Mary on hats, Luxottica on eyewear and Nike Africa on footwear, debuted an entirely high-end cosmopolitan man collection. The kind of collection poised at setting the urban professional young nomad to looking the part both at work and at play. From the bold use of colour in full red ensembles, full canary yellows, rich purples and silver grey; to the dynamic incorporation of furs and hand-sewn embellishments; the collection provided an opportunity for a continental man to explore and engage fashion. Knits were oversized and luxurious, coats made from silks and leathers and suede’s; there was definitely no hiding the opulence. Tokyo Jame’s second collection and debut runway showcase is definitely one meant for a man who knows plenty about fashion, understands his own personal style and is an avid tester of the fashion risks – it takes a brave wild man to pull this off.
Photographs by Larry English Photography.
Join the conversation: Twitter - @_renaissancemen | Instagram - @_renaissancemen | Facebook Page – Renaissance Men SA