The must-sees at SA Fashion Week

With 69 collections on show, SA Fashion Week is reviving its platform to promote style, footwear, accessories and jewellery in Africa.

Now in its 21st year, the runway schedule promises to put the spotlight on the diversity and innovation of designers who live and manufacture their goods in the country. You should definitely join #Trending for the following runway shows:

WOOLWORTHS STYLEBYSA

Tuesday

This year, Woolworths StyleBySA’s designers – Wanda Lephoto, Thebe Magugu, Rich Mnisi and Anees Petersen – have designed AW18 collections inspired by friends and family.

READ MORE: This season is all about the ankle boot

Exceptional fashion designer Mnisi’s latest work is a personal collection that embraces and enlivens his signature retro aesthetic – and his mom was his muse for the designs.

“I wouldn’t be half the man I am today without her,” he says. “She’s taught me to be patient, kind, giving, ambitious and humble. She’s also taught me not to cut my nails at night – apparently, it’s bad luck.”

Returning StyleBySA designer Magugu’s latest collection is inspired by a friend he met while studying fashion design and photography at Lisof in Pretoria. Titled Gender Studies, it explores the balances between masculine and feminine – a formal men’s shirt is made feminine through the use of sheer material and a masculine oversized trench coat is done in a baby pink, faux ostrich leatherette.

“What’s incredible about my muse is that she oscillates between the two, easily looking either vaguely handsome or super pretty. She’s someone to unpack, I find her very fascinating,” says Magugu.

LALESSO

Wednesday

Lalesso, founded by Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusser, is an award-winning and well-established ethical and fair trade fashion pioneer that has been around for more than a decade.

Sold in 22 countries, Lalesso draws inspiration from east African khanga cloth, creating luxurious contemporary summer clothing, on which the print resonates as the brand’s strongest trademark.

BLACK COFFEE

Thursday

All-time favourite Black Coffee blends fabric and fashion in the most exquisite way. With sharp structural designs characterised by complex, layered shapes, designer Jacques van der Watt showed his first collection at SA Fashion Week in 1999.

“The intricacy of a single winding pathway that twists its way from the entrance to the centre and back to its
start is the inspiration for Black Coffee winter 2018,” says the designer.

READ MORE: Cape Town Fashion Week just gave us the message that 'Africa is now' - see why

“The journey explored ... is one of introspection, of being replenished by the movement to a personal centre and back to the start with a fresh perspective.”

GERT-JOHAN COETZEE

Thursday

Having built a stellar label since its launch in 2010, Gert-Johan Coetzee has claimed his place as the darling of top-tier celebrities locally and internationally. His commitment to the development of South Africa’s fashion industry is backed by the GJC fashion bursary programme that he established.

READ MORE: What to wear to Fashion Week (or Friday night outfit inspo, if you're not attending)

Last year, the designer’s Autumn/Winter collection blew everybody away with its modern charm, dramatic attention to detail and his signature over-the-top glamour. This season, he will show a collection in collaboration with McDonald’s.

ISABEL DE VILLIERS

Thursday

Isabel de Villiers’ designs are stylish and fashion forward with diverse shapes. This highly sought-after brand, launched in 2012, is produced in De Villiers’ studio in Cape Town and caters for size 32 to size 48. It is committed to promoting a body-positive message and focuses on figure-flattering, minimalistic and design-focused silhouettes.

De Villiers ensures quality by producing a limited number of garments in each style that are made from ethically sourced fabrics. Her garments provoke feelings of confidence, power, strength and beauty. De Villiers’ designs are available at spree.co.za.

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Yasmin Furmie
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