Sustainability and slow fashion underpinned all of the showings at SAFW SS21 and functionality even more so with menswear.
Ephymol by Ephraim Molingoana kicked things off with a fitting solo show. Molingoana is a pioneer. He debuted at SAFW in 2002 with a collection called Pink Panther that heralded fitted tailoring and popping colour for menswear.
He is still just as bold and has a knack for re-invention while retaining the essence of what makes Ephymol so iconic. This latest collection boasts high-end streetwear and leisurewear with earthy tones. Working with an eclectic mix of fabrics, Molingoana showed off exceptional and pristine tailoring with wool. His signature patchwork boasted some geometric elements. Ephymol now prints its own fabrics and Molingoana excels at finding a synergy in his experimentation with contrasting prints.
Throwaway Twenty presented a fun and airy collection with cheeky tailoring and happy colours. The colour palette made me think of ice cream on a hot summer day.
The Maklele collection was simple luxe sports and casual wear. With Mikhayla Farouk’s gender-fluid design approach, she puts forward the question: Can sustainability be fast fashion?
If functionality is a staple in menswear, then utility, it seems, will always be a recurring feature, as shown overtly in the Richard Hoy collection titled “Field Trip”. It was a nostalgic escape boasting bomber jackets and re-imagined utility details like the hiking rope belt.
Michael Reid stood out for his artistic take. With his Xavier Sadan label, he merged art and design for a more creative expression. His conceptual collection contemplated the idea of new money and generational money legacies. It’s a talking point that lends itself to the socio-economic disparities between the haves and have-nots in this country, acutely magnified by the Pandemic.
Reid however approached his “New Money” conversation in a light and entertaining manner. A t-shirt from one of his looks reads: “Tell the old designers I’m here now”.
He complemented this with inspired shirting and quirky design elements.
The show encapsulated much of what represented Wandi: a love for hip-hop, street culture, food, comics and people. The collection showed off an eclectic range of designs that merged high fashion and streetwear.
The highlight was the monochromatic print which Ledimo dedicated to Wandi. It was somewhat of an optical illusion: It essentially spells Loxion Kulca, but in a way that is not so obvious at first glance.
The print will be available at Pep stores.