Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#FASHION_WEEK: South African Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2017 by Suitable Man, Brian Lehang

The SuitableMan was back again on the front-row to witness South Africa’s finest at its best. Once again SAFW wrapped up the year of fashion on the runway with high and intense fashion. Showcasing collections for the next autumn-winter seasons, it was yet another week to remember as designers came with guns blazing. We saw trends being set and others being relived and reinterpreted in a way that was never seen before. Let’s look at what the gents can look forward to next winter:

A new don of denim rulers. Coming back on the runway with yet another captivating denim collection, I can testify that they will rival international power brands. For a young brand like this, one cannot bring normal or should I say a safe collection if they want to compete with the like of Diesel and Levi’s. Looking at this collection I was filled with joy to see high standards of quality craftsmanship. The deconstructed traditional look of denim styles into a futuristic deformed looks set the tone high of the whole collection. Most of the pieces seen on the collection was not new but were relived in the most daring ways. As extreme as they looked the whole collection was very much practical for an everyday wear. And as much as they were practical, I feel they were not for any Tom Dick and Harry, but Only the Brave!

Like I said that in the beginning that we saw trends being set and this is what Ephraim gave us. You know when it comes to formal wear one has to be very innovative to come back every season with a bang. This is what I call funky formal wear.  As usual he never compromised when it came to fabric choice, the textures were luxurious and the tones were rich. As funky as it was it was yet again practical, the pieces of the outfits were interchangeable, replaceable and can be paired with anything formal or casual. You can play “mix and match-making made in heaven” with all of them. The patterns; prints; lines; and shapes on the garments brought a new flair for office wear as well as red-carpet vibes.

So who said the prints trend has reached its extinction face? Well I say prints are not going anywhere anytime soon, they are here to stay right where they originate, in Africa. This was a collection that reminded us of our identity as they have stayed true and firm to their heritage. Prints never looked so good in formal wear until now, and again this was not the first time we see prints but how we’re seeing them now is on another level. The art that was displayed on those garments was narrative. Everything blended harmoniously with each other, from colours to tones everything complimented one another. The fit and finish of the garments was unprecedented.

What a colourfully warm winter is going to be. Thabo was one of the designers that showcased a five piece installation and his collection was one of the outstanding from the five. He displayed what he called an “Urban Afro Culture”, a collection filled with rich African colours inspired by a mixture of African tribes. With the main colours ranging from the bloody reds to the heavy greys and paired with prints of the rainbow colours, it was a collection inspired by our rainbow nation.

Sartorial on steroids. Yet again Zamaswazi came and broke boundaries of conforming to the norms. A lot of young and up-coming designers shy away from making suits due to critics that come with it. He was another designer on the spotlight from the five who did an installation and was the brave one to do a suit collection. As risky as it was to do such for an installation, as every detail is up close and personal but he pulled it off well. After his multi-coloured collection for the previous season, he showed maturity as he toned down with shades of grey. However the creative detailing was still evolving as he captured the crowd with his turtle neck jersey fused with a shirt fabric. It looked like the model had worn a shirt underneath the half-worn jersey.  

We came; we saw; and we were dazzled and I am sure that from these collections there’s something for every man out there. With all this mixture of talent and quality craftsmanship, I can comfortably say that fashion in South Africa is positively growing and the rise of menswear is inevitable.

Until next time, stay fashionable…
Yours Suitably

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