South African menswear week has become a stage for not only talented local designers, but for the fresh, untold stories of South Africa’s fashion. Current, innovative and pleasantly shocking, the spring/summer runway was full of pattern, colour and texture; a sensory overload. Taking place at The Palms Décor and Lifestyle Centre, a new setup of seating allowed for an elevated and inclusive experience. South African Menswear Week is gaining more and more momentum with each showcase, with fearless designers; this fashion show has become unapologetically authentic in what it has to offer.
What made watching the designers’ pieces brilliant was the range of diversity in styling. Such as Nao Serati, incorporating shimmering rompers and pink snakeskin, reforming simplicity into a futuristic, feminine notion. Terrence Bray was another designer that modernised classics. Walking behind acetate masks with a simplified print of faces, models showcased timeless garments in an edgy and modern way; net underneath a black blazer.
ALC man could be seen as representative of the modern day, stylish, South African gentleman. Complete with all the delights; layered texture, neutral simplicity, indulgent pattern and effortless accessories to complete the look. ALC man took the audience on an introspective experience; a childlike, nautical tone brought a personality to the line unlike any other. ALC’s ability to combine classic tailoring and silhouettes with never before seen combinations leaves a sense of awe; a childish theatricalism that still produces a strong and powerful South African look is no easy feat. Notorious for their eccentricity, even the details of the accessories made sling bags and nautical hats seem sophisticated in their addition to the outfits. Forever revolutionary in simplicity, ALC produced a line that allowed for a multiculturalistic appreciation.
Cape town street style is notorious for risk taking, as well as an undeniable love affair with 2bop, Good Good Good and Sol-Sol. Crowd favourite, 2bop impressed with bright, cohesive two piece outfits and retro influences, complete with effortless additions of classic materials such as plaid. Sol Sol’s collection ended in a puff of smoke, literally, as models posed while simultaneously lighting cigarettes. Detailed neutral garments whispered an elegant street style, while a range of subtle patterns like floral, stripe and delicate plaid added a feel of timeless fashion to Sol Sol’s notoriously youthful style. Good Good Good stimulated visual senses beyond retrieval. A candy store of bright colours and bold patterns made it hard to look away.
A noticeable increase in bright colours and clashing textures and print was seen amongst the guests, an exciting new wave of street style is in the air as retro takes over from grunge. Tracksuits have to be one of the most noted street style trends at the moment. Dressed up or edgy, an easy trend to make your own. A common accessory to the tracksuit would be sunglasses. Oversized oval glasses, coloured lenses or small, vintage frames seemed to be the most popular. It was not uncommon to see coordinated outfits in this department, as couples and accomplices balanced colour, print or style to compliment their duo.
South African menswear week spring/summer display of 2017 undeniably proved that South Africa is a kaleidoscope of fashion. Classics were reinvented; classics were mixed with upcoming trends in unconventional ways, and combinations of; texture, colour and print made for many redefinitions of South African fashion.
These are some of our favourite moments from South African Menswear Week spring summer 17/18.
Written by: Nicola Kruger