Fashion for Thought at SA Fashion Week

It’s hard to believe how time flies and SA Fashion Week with it. With so many collections being showcased, it’s appropriate to talk about collections that interested me the most. Just as Cathy Horyn would say: I wasn’t invited, I saw the pictures online.

Suzaan Heyns's winter collection Source:

Suzaan Heyns’s winter collection

In true Suzaan Heyns style, it was a theme that stopped people in their tracks. It was very playful this season, with Minnie Mouse its inspiration, albeit a quite subversive Minnie Mouse. It was all about texture and shape with those dramatic jackets that put emphasis on the shoulder. One item that stood out for me was this gorgeous off-white jumpsuit textured on the neckline to the shoulders’ back.

It’s quite refreshing to have a show in South Africa that’s very theme-orientated and fun, especially a winter collection. Enough with the seriousness. Literal or not, this show was spectacular from that long-sleeved black leather dress to those oversized bows worn on the arm or head.

It’s tricky looking at the shows online because there are certain things that the Internet deprives you of. Black Coffee’s Jacques van der Watt was either fascinated with sci-fi or all things dominatrix… that’s the feeling I got from these incredibly strip-cut jackets and dresses. All black. As futuristic as it was, Jacques always has a way of aggressively tailoring a garment. That’s an extraordinary gift. Young designers can learn a lot from the production of garments of such a standard.

‘Fashion academic’ is a term that always comes to mind when I think of Paledi. When it comes to sustaining a menswear brand in a country where men would rather buy a Zegna tuxedo, he sure can get the affluent SA man buying.

He showcased most of the garments as evening wear. But there are a lot of pieces that can make separates. Red was dominating this collection from the pants to the jacket collars. I adored the extravagance in the way fur was worn as a scarf. Kudos to Paledi. With two women’s wear looks, Paledi, is there a women’s line in the making?

With all the young designers dominating, one young designer I feel South Africans should watch out for is Zano. The Skorzch designer created menswear looks that didn’t look unapproachable or pretentious but rather easy.

It’s a menswear line I feel men would instantly relate to. After all, in men’s fashion… change is subtle.

Sibusiso Mkize



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