Tuesday, August 22, 2017

#FASHIONWEEK: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SS 2017 by The SuitableMan, Brian Lehang

Waterfall Park, Mall of Africa - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2017's backdrop

African Fashion International in association with Mercedes-Benz hosted us at Mall of Africa for Jozi’s and arguably the country’s most anticipated fashion week. Since it was the spring summer collection and the weather was starting to warm up, some had already packed away all the heavy clothes. Some even had their summery ensembles ready for this eagerly awaited fashion week, but then the cold front gave us big slap saying “not so fast”. While we were trying by all means to stay warm even though some of us were in suitable layers for the occasion, patience was tested with shows running an hour late. Nevertheless the colds and delays, it was business as usual and we came, we saw and we saluted. Here’s what went down on the runway this season.

DAVID TLALE
Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Celebrating his 15 years in the business of fashion and as an internationally known brand he paid tribute to the Mercedes-Benz by hosting his runway show inside the German automobile’s showroom. The order of the day was the grey pinstripe, which is synonymous with fall season. David’s style of fashion and tailoring has always be unconventional and futuristic and we can testify that his style has influenced a lot of young aspiring designers. Continuing to break boundaries using this grey pinstriped, he maneuvered the fabric from creating the light summery shirt to the breathable unlined jackets. Then with the “pink” cherry on top he added soft silks with exotic prints to complete the summery look.

FABIANI
Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Whilst still celebrating Women’s Month, Fabiani gave us a pleasant surprise by showcasing an unprecedented women’s wear range. The Fabiani ladies looked classy chic and confident on the runway with beautiful floral prints. On the menswear side, it was the simple and sophisticated “007” red-carpet ready affairs. Arie gave the modern man the smart way of dressing up for big occasions without trying too hard to impress with all the unnecessary accessories. He kept it classic and timeless, so smart it can be worn on your big wedding day and repeated on the red carpet without even noticing.

NAROK NYC
Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

One of the international designers that graced us with trendy fashion and out of the box style was Narok from New York City. “Illustrating Canvas” he also twisted the formalities of menswear by pairing tuxedo suits with sandals. Regardless of his unorthodox styling, the tailoring on the tux was on-point. He went with the 2-on-1 double breasted jackets giving the gents an opportunity to button the jacket and not get criticized by the “sprezzaturas”.  He summerized his collection by setting a new trend of pairing unusually colourful trenches with shorts and sandals.
  
SAMUEL MOSALA
Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

One of the interns by David Tlale and in my opinion, the only subtle collection of all the interns. David’s pieces are not for any Tom Dick & Harry, but seeing Samuel’s collection I could already see the future of David Tlale brand being prêt-à-porter and accessible in major departmental stores. Mosala’s collection is young; dynamic and practical. Young in a way that it’s not formal but smart; dynamic in a sense that the pieces can be swopped and changed anyway anyhow; and practical that they can be worn for any occasions and still stand out. The blues hues blended so beautifully making the whole collection peaceful yet powerful.

SCALO
Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

We are moving away from a season that trapped us into wearing jackets and layers. Sello gave us a display of being formal without a jacket not the most powerful accessory (necktie) of all time. In fact he’s saying there won’t be no need for it thanks to the comeback of the band collar shirt. All we need is to be colourful and confident and embrace what I call sartorial simplicity in the making. Looking at that green jumpsuit with a shawl lapel, it was minimal but still had its fair share of dandyism. I was never a fan of these trendy jumpsuits but I could definitely rock this one.

SHERIA NGOWI
Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Image courtesy of AFI.

Continuing with the uncustomary sartorial look was another international designer from Tanzania with his individualistic collection. Bending rules of sartorialism but still looking dapper, he took a calculated risk of doing the unusual. We saw the both the collarless and the lapel free jacket with the untucked dress shirt but still looked clean. He extended the bend collar trend on his shirts and of course the styling was effortlessly elegant with no accessories expect the trendy slip-ons.   

Another thrilling week of fast-forward fashion trends came and gone and left us with memories and inspirations for changing or adding new items in our wardrobes. Fashion is as good as a buffet, there’ll always be something for everyone. What and how we consume it will always differ from one to another.

Until next time…

Suitably Yours


#menswear #mbfwj17 #springsummer17

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