Day 2 kicked off with the Diamond Fibre Collections which highlight the versatility and luxury of mohair (also known as the “diamond fibre”) from the country’s most formidable young talent.
MmusoMaxwell’s take revealed a devotion to the mohair fabric that produced pristine and classic tailoring played up against subtle cultural symbolism.
Lukhanyo Mdingi’s Coutts collection debuted at Pitti Uomo – the reputable menswear trade show in Florence, Italy in February 2021. It is a profound and personal tribute to Mdingi’s dear friend and fellow collaborator, Nicholas Coutts who passed away in May 2019. Boasting rich artisanal flair, the collection heroes Coutts’ brilliant and oversized handwoven scarves of pronounced textures and colours. Mdingi weaves inspired tapestries of mohair, wool and metallic yarn for refined and timeless elegance.
The Judith Atelier showcase took inspiration from the African American tradition of Kwanzaa which refers to the celebration of first fruits or harvest and highlights seven main principles which include unity and self-determination. The collection was simple and classical but stood out for its clever play on voluminous wool and contrasting proportions and prints.
Known for flowing silhouettes, informed structures and earthy tones the Mantsho collection by Palesa Makubung exuded African royalty. Teasing a geometric cultural print, Mantsho led with the image of an African mask design for regal and playful presentation. (Read our recent story on Palesa Makubang here).
It’s the ingenious details that speak volumes in The Bam Collective’s showcase: The clever use of wool in weaving and styling. Geometric shapes and dramatic proportions. The use of colour and how with each look it steadily intensifies the storytelling.
The highlight with its popping colour and volume reminded me of Erykah Badu’s Bag Lady and her refrain, “pack light.” The Bam Collective philosophy is rooted in a deep appreciation for the country’s unique spirit. The showstopper’s bright yellow symbolised for me how South Africa wears its baggage with energising optimism.
Sober presented floral romance with a collection that hinted at periodic references with its signature sophistication.
The last show of the night featured South Africa’s heavyweight and legendary designers who add to the richness of the industry with their longevity and wisdom.
Amanda Laird Cherry, now based in the US, questioned and highlighted the unjust deaths of black people in America at the hands of the police with her monochrome colour palate and sculptural looks. The white garments in the beginning represented the imbalance of privilege and power and the black garments in the end encapsulated the relevance and awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement.
With 18 years in the business, Rubicon showed off the classic design and form-flattering sophistication that has made her a household name in contemporary women’s clothing.
Clive Rundle showed an avant-garde collection that highlighted the brand’s signature of re-imagining textiles into timeless luxe womenswear. Mbuyiselo Malo headed the collection’s subversive design and tailoring – with backless shirts and downward facing sleeves – for looks that brim with a newly distilled language.