Amongst shipping containers, industrial equipment and grungy buildings; a fashion show. The contrast of the two settings made for interest and intrigue. AFI brought out Cape Town’s stylish to view the intricate and vibrant work of some the finest African designers. “AFI believes in the promise of Africa.”
It is clear that African fashion has an increasing element of performative art and social meaning. The link to past and present significance means that designers have established themselves as true, aware and connected artists.
The designers of AFI brought a range of narrative and artistic flair.
Clash of prints: MaXhosa and Nic Coutts
MaXhosa showcased a sleek clash of prints for this show whilst still providing an excitement with knitted detail and Laduma’s notorious colour palette. The show was in touch with modern trends, as models powered the runway in the statement socks and sandals. Nic Coutts was back again with his iconic textured looks. Coutts’ classic clashing was made vibrant by the level of saturation in the fabric.
Powerful narratives: Imprint and Unknown Union
Imprint was a crowd favourite with their iconic opening piece which followed from a video storyline. Imprint made use of a fresh yet striking colour palette, unified by bright yellow berets. Unknown Union brought the element of artistic flair to life with a live vocal and art performance. Unknown utilised their talent for both simplicity and detail, while also displaying powerful form in their pieces
Colour palette pieces: Khosi Nkosi and Adele Dejak
With contrasting colour palettes, bright hues and peaceful neutrals; both designers put out collections that would be easy to wear. Khosi Nkosi showcased select colour pallets, with five looks a piece. A standout moment was the breathtaking Oyama Botha walking the show. Adele Dejak went for a neutral palette, with breathtaking jewellery centralising the collection.
Edgy Opulence: Quiteria & George and Orapeleng Modutle
Quiteria & George produced a captivating show with dramatically layered dresses walking through an arch of cherry blossom trees. The unusual colour palette of these edgy gowns made the show even more memorable. Orapaleng showcased a variety of exquisite pieces with immense detail and dramatic flair. Opting for clean gowns with melodramatic wide-brim hats, this finale succeeded in leaving the audience with an everlasting image of pure luxury.
The weekend saw street style comprising of a range between classic neutral palettes and unmistakable colour blocks. Fashion weeks are a place to take risks and blend outspoken trends into your outfit. A standout trend was definitely socks with heels and statement sunglasses; both of these trends were seen on the runway and on the crowd.
African Fashion International Fashion Week was a success; creating excitement, appreciation and anticipation around African designers. It is clear that the fashion industry is delving into deeper narratives and innovative fashion risks.