Hidden from the unrelenting winter rains of Cape Town, bundles of well-dressed individuals gathered around the runway of SAMW to imagine the vibrancy brought to life by the spring/summer collections of talented local designers. Under the all too bright lights designs float down the runway coolly, but it is the backstage panic that showcases the magic of an artwork coming together in the final hour.
ALC’s SS20 collection cascaded down the runway with appropriate airiness and flow. The criss-crossing layering of breathable materials created a lightness amongst deep layers. Rich neutrals, deep navies and stoney beiges complimented the cool spring/summer palette. ALC always impresses with an elegant approach to texture. It is often the fine quality of their fabrics that elevate the collection to an even higher standard, the importance of quality raw materials is seen in the calibre of garments which adorn the runway. The SS20 collection was classic yet innovative wear, embodied by the movement of light, layered fabrics.
Sol-Sol showcased classic silhouettes and fits synonymous with the brand, utilizing warm maroons and trendy animal print. Mathew Kieser has perfected the art of creating classic pieces for a street-wear based wardrobe; many pieces are statements of their own but can transition between styles and seasons, such as rich velvet. Accompanied by New Balance sneakers, the perfect “dad” sneaker, the collection delivered on the perfected simplicity Sol-Sol has become known for. The refined street style was uncomplicated and lively.
GOOD GOOD GOOD
Good Good Good led the way towards sustainable fashion with an exhilarating show full of character, inspired by world travels. The presentation and pieces themselves always inspire an electric energy as personality takes center stage. Ethical design meant that textiles from various sources reduced the collections carbon footprint drastically, while simultaneously supporting sources other than those of mass production. Founder Daniel Sher visited Bali’s largest all-natural dye workshop and brought back these hand-woven naturally died fabrics. Daniel also teamed up with local textile designer Benjamin Nivison, who collaborated with the Bhutti Weavers Cooperative Society to produce a sustainable wool tartan range. The final source of materials came from the rejected fabrics of Mungo. The variety textiles ranging from Bali, India and Plettennberg Bay meant that this collection set the standard for ethical considerations, which don’t compromise on quality or effectiveness of design. The combination of all the textiles created depth and collaboration between textures, colour and fit.
Imprint, an undeniable crowd favourite, is always rich in narrative. Imprint’s last showcase at SAMW produced an emotional response and a dramatic runway . Bold contrasts between print and colour create undeniable showstoppers. Bright yellow, primary colour prints and clashing yet collaborating pieces captivated attendees. The mixture of layers between structured and flowing pieces allowed for a diversified collection. Imprint is no stranger to a showstopping statement dress, leaving audiences standing. Once again, Imprint produced a collection of impeccable standard and considered design. It is unmistakable that Mzukisi Mbane tells stories through his designs, while still pushing south African fashion in countless innovative ways.
Throwaway Twenty showcased a sophisticated, polished collection. Tailored fits, collars and neckerchiefs created a slightly abstract preppy feel. One could sense a fresh summer essence among floral patterns and chic contrasting patterns; Throwaway Twenty is always “gutsy and apologetic”.
The fiery magic behind the scenes is worth it all, for when these collections hit the runway, there were silent admiration which rumbled into expressions of exhilaration.