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Zee Fashionista: SA Fashion Week A/W 2012 Wrap-up

10.03.2011

SA Fashion Week A/W 2012 Wrap-up

SA's got talent: Reptilia-inspired shoes from Suzaan Heyns' beautiful A/W collection shown at SA Fashion Week

From the 22th to the 25th of September, the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg, was awash with fashionistas and industry folk queuing to see the latest Autumn/Winter 2012 collections from some of South Africa's most talented designers at SA Fashion Week.

I was one of those people, and I'm happy to say, it was some of the newer designers who stole the show.

ELLE New Talent Show - 22.09.11 
Kelly Esterhuyse's winning collection
Amber Jones for Mr Price

Cleo Droomer
On the opening night of SA Fashion Week, eight young designers showed off their collections in the hopes of winning the 2011 ELLE New Talent Design Award (an award which launched the career of the likes of Tiaan Nagel and David Tlale).

In partnership with local retailer, Mr Price, ELLE New Talent was this year judged, amongst others, by fashion bloggers Sarah Badat and Mili Bongela, while the designers were challenged to 'Show Us Your Pattern'.

For me, this was, without a doubt, the best night of fashion week because the designers, Anneke Koster, Kutloano Molokomme, Danielle Hartman, Kelly Esterhuyse, Khomo Manota, Samantha Constable, Charl JVR and Lameez Claasen, gave us collections that were both of a high standard, and collections that many women would love to wear.

My favourite of the night was 23-year-old LISOF graduate Khumo Manota's 'Haus of Rehab' collection which had polka-dots everywhere. But the winner was 21-year-old Kelly Esterhuyse whose collection had some amazing X ray-inspired patterned knitwear.

Day 2 - 23.09.11

Sies! Isabelle
Amanda Laird Cherry

I'll admit it, I am a huge fan of men's fashion, so naturally, I took an instant liking to the Naked Ape men's collection. The Basotho theme shined through the clothes, and the incredible atmosphere created by the sound of galloping horses and whistles, blew me away. Vesselina Pentcheva's collection was reminiscent of Eastern European winter's with beret's, and a number of elegant velvet dresses on show.

There was some colour-blocking at Fundudzi, with quite a bit of girl-next-door looks. The Sies! Isabelle show featured textures galore, and I particularly liked how functional each of the pieces were. In a recurring theme at fashion week, Palesa Mokubung's had celebrities, Claire Mawisa and Sonia Booth, modeling some looks at her Mantsho show. As usual, her collection was elegant, with a lovely Congolese military woman vibe.

Day 3 - 24.09.11
Gert-Johan Coetzee
Joel Janse Van Vuuren

Rachel de Mardt


I'm still a bit sad that the Clive Rundle show that was supposed to take place on this day was cancelled, but we at least had the exceptional Tiaan Nagel rescue the shoe, with a subtle colour palette and a collection that was all about the sleeves. Joel Janse van Vuuren carried his dye-print dress style over from his Spring/Summer collection earlier this year, adding some faux-fur to it.
Then things got a way too theatrical for my liking. Gert-Johan Coetzee  had a bevy of celebrities in his show (a tactic which, at this point, I was irritated by). There was houndstooth, blues, satin, and dresses made out of hair (yes, hair), etc, etc. At the Pulse Homme show, I finally got to see the gorgeous male model, Stevel Marc (*insert smile for days*), in a collection that was inspired by James Bond. Unfortunately, the clothes were ill-fitting on the models, but I am sure that we can expect a much better collection from Paledi Segapo in the future. After all, men's fashion is seriously underrepresented in SA fashion.

Day 4 - 25.09.11
Suzaan Heyns


Suzaan Heyns' show was the highlight of fashion week. No doubt. This was the only show that got a substantial standing ovation, and that was because the Greek-Roman influences in her show were simply incredible. Everything from the tailored pieces, to the reptilia-inspired pieces, the silk, the chiffon, the high-cowl necklaces, and the inticate hemming was impeccable.

Her avant-garde style is simply inspiring, and it sure spoke to the reason I always go to fashion week - SA's got talent.

(Image credit: Simon Deiner & Malibongwe Tyilo)

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