Average Read Time: 5 minutes.

By courtesy invite, ASA Magazine attended the FEDISA Graduate Fashion Flash and Fashion Film Screening in Cape Town. While the Fashion Flash and Graduation Show is an annual tradition, this year new elements were brought into play as it is the first full-sized Graduation show hosted by FEDISA since Covid, a time when they moved their shows to an online space or a private guest list. Finally, we can indulge in a show with 550 guests to celebrate the hard work of the ‘22 graduates.

FEDISA was founded in 2005 to meet the demand for tertiary-level fashion education, which is on the rise among students looking to get the most subject-relevant skills, knowledge, and competencies in order to succeed in the global fashion and design market. The FEDISA Fashion School is regarded as the pioneer in fashion education in South Africa and has two innovative campuses in Sandton and Cape Town.

The first-ever FEDISA Fashion Film Festival

Fashion in Motion

Outstanding Fashion Film – Shae Isabella Thunder

On arrival, we enjoyed a variety of fashion films in the FEDISA auditorium

by the Diploma students who help the first-ever FEDISA Fashion Film Festival to launch new fashion brands. It was such a treat to see the full spectrum of their skills in literal motion. FEDISA students not only construct garments but they also direct, shoot, do hair and make-up and work within a digital editing and designing space. Preparing the students with an all-round set of skills to face the industry head-on is part of the FEDISA way, according to Allen Leroux, Chief Executive Officer of FEDISA.

The award for Outstanding Fashion Film went to Shae Isabella Thunder.

YEAR 1: Enter the Metaverse.

After the films, we were escorted to the rooftop for the much-anticipated graduate fashion show.

We had front-row seats to view work from each year’s group. When we spoke to Allen Leroux, he said that what surprised him most was the creativity of the first-year students.

First Year Metaverse Character Design

“The creativity of the first-year students, the avatars for the Metaverse, I was absolutely blown away by that…” – Allen Leroux

The brief was to create their own avatar for the metaverse. We noticed a very consistent use of metallic fabrics, deep blues, orange and silver. The students showed construction techniques beyond their years with sculpted body (and head) pieces, reimagined fabric textures and exaggerated features such as capes, sleeves that reached the floor, or garments that would transform halfway through the show. We can’t wait to see how they progress. This could truly be a step into the future of fashion and technology in the Metaverse.

First year: Best Conceptual Look – Dané Mari van der Nest.

Second Year: Meet your Maker, Markhams

As a tradition, the second-year students worked on their collaboration with Markhams to create commercially ready, well-constructed menswear.

Second Year Menswear Design for Markhams

FEDISA places a top priority on the employability and entrepreneurship of their graduates, which is why they maintain close ties with the fashion industry to guarantee that the students receive the best opportunities for skill development.

While the 1st years focused on futuristic elements and dark spacy tones, the 2nd years played on a lighter note with earth tones, pops of colour with loose fits and flowy finishes. It is great to see how denim is coming back in full force within the fashion industry. With obvious trend forecasting, it was great to see the use of denim, linen and more complex materials, such as pleather/leather. The look and feel of these pieces gave us “dopamine dressing” and we could feel it!

The attention to detail was clearly spotted and really made the pieces feel like they could walk from the runway into any wardrobe. One thing we noticed and truly appreciated was the underlying androgynous feel of the garments. While the pieces were created as part of menswear, we could easily see the trends and styling working for both men in women in many cases. Very relevant and fresh!

Second year: Best Conceptual Look – Awarded by Markham – Katinka van Heerden

Third year: Step into your future

These are not just any third-year students, these are the first Covid students to graduate FEDISA.

“Keeping in mind these are our Covid babies that are graduating tonight, they had a shaky first year, but worked diligently during their holidays to try to keep up, we didn’t cut them very much slack, even during 2021 and this year, we were absolutely back on them making sure that quality is driven to FEDISA standards, and again tonight you can agree it was absolutely phenomenal,” says Allen Leroux.

Third year Grad Collection

The quality and originality were unmatched. We could clearly match each student with the collection with very little effort. It was so refreshing to see so much personal influence, with such variety amongst such a large pool of designers. These days it becomes quite easy to follow a trend, but on this night we saw a re-invented street, doll goth, resort-ready, festival couture, and high glam. What was truly special, was the collections inspired by heritage, including a few traditional (and non-traditional) Indian and African collections.

We were astounded by the level of creativity and design execution of the students of FEDISA Fashion School. It’s clear that the team works incredibly close with every student. It’s not about dominating their idea, but instead nurturing their ideas, giving them absolute freedom to evolve their idea while helping them to be commercially and technically executed.

Suddenly you can see what three years of hard work can lead to and they are not the only ones. In the crowd, we had iconic faces from brands such as Markhams, Truworths, Cosmopolitan, and more. This fashion show could very well be the first step into a new career for some students.

Third year: Best Conceptual Collection – Jané van Tonder

What’s next?

Only a day after the show, FEDISA dropped its first editorial magazine. Allen Leroux said, “I saw the rushes. I am so so proud of it, beautiful, high gloss, and beautifully shot, and many of the pieces we saw this evening will be featured. It is a true coffee-table piece.” The magazine is a collection of creations by the students, including some of the graduate collections.

But it doesn’t stop there. A lot of what we saw tonight will be part of the opening display of FEDISAs new event centrum on the second floor, currently preparing. We were excited to ask, but the plans are currently top secret.

FEDISA, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for your students, and we are excited to dive into your editorial work, event centrum, and future shows. Congratulations to the students!


Words   |   Wilke-Mari Hamman
Photos   |   Fedisa