Hi guys! How was your weekend? I stayed home on Friday night to pin up the first Fashion Week post which was a general account of the vibe at Arts on Main. You were probably sleeping or partying like normal people so if you missed it and fancy reading it, feel free to click here!
Kicking off the evening's fashiony entertainment was the Elle New Talent Show in association with Mr Price. I'm not sure of the exact mechanics but from what I understand, every year, Elle invites local designers to submit their ideas and a handful of the best are chosen to showcase their designs at SA Fashion Week. The winning designer bags a cash prize to help them kick start their career and the opportunity to adapt their winning range for mass retail with Mr Price.
The show began with a projected video of Mr Price designer, Amber Jones chatting about the show. Following that, models took to the runway in Amber's latest collection which turned out to be my favourite of the entire night! It seems I'm a die-hard Mr Price fan, even at fashion week! I should have asked Amber to describe her inspiration post-show but it looked like she'd taken a leaf from the English countryside. Tartans, bows and cardis in muted colours just can't be beat in my book!
The theme for the collections was 'optimism.' Elle's Fash Director, Chris Viljoen, explained that it's a relevant theme post World-Cup which I agree with but I can't help but feel that 'optimism' is one of those words we've become desensitised to in the new South Africa. I wanted to natter about this further but I think it's best I avoid wandering into politically sensitive territory! So back to the show! A video of every 'New Talent' designer was shown before their collections. I thought this was a cool way for us to get a feel for their personal style and aspirations. A rather 'rock chick-esque' designer quipped that she designs for the 'groupies on the street' which generated many a lol! Some of the vids erred on the cheesy but who am I to judge! Mine would probably be a complete cringe fest.
As I expected, there were a lot of African inspired designs. We see this aesthetic often in Durban decor and it's great because it celebrates South Africa's roots but fashiony-wise, it's not really a look that I gravitate too. But I'm probably not the target market! I'm taking a bit of a risk mentioning this, but a mate of mine wondered if local designers often go the 'African route' because they feel it's expected of them. I personally feel there's alot of pressure on designers to create collections that exude this 'authentic South African identity' - whatever that may be. South Africa is so diverse, surely there is plenty of room for all of our cultures to be reflected in local design? I don't have much insight into the industry so I'm commenting from a rather ignorant perspective!
My favourite pieces of the show were the minty PVC jacket by Cleo Droomer and this pink feathery number by the rock-chick designer. I wish I'd jotted down her name. My first rookie mistake of the night was wearing heels. My second was not taking a single flipping note!
To me, one designer's collection shone through as the best and I was so chuffed when they announced my personal fave, Cleo Droomer as the winner. His dreamy range of pale pinks and silvers teamed with minty PVC bore a strong signature that was fun, fresh and as Dion Chang described, totally 'unexpected.' I can't wait to see what Cleo designs for Mr Price! Props to the folks at Elle and Mr Price for creating this initiative because it truly is a terrific platform for young designers.
If my pics haven't come out too blurry, I'll blog the Amanda Laird Cherry show next. It was frightfully hard snapping models in action with my baby SLR. The press must have had a good laugh!