Fashion Week is over, and we’ve had a weekend to breathe, so now we’re thinking back on the SAFW highlights.

1. Style by SA

By far one of the best moments of fashion week happened on the first day, when the Woolworths Style by SA capsule collections were presented. It might have something to do with brilliant clothing or the new and fresh young designers creating them, but the crowds for this show were huge.

The incredibly dressed audience packed the tent in anticipation. Ten designers, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Ephymol, Sindiso Khumalo, AKJP, Maria McCloy, Droomer, Gert-Johan Coetzee, Selfi, Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu produced garments for three different ranges: ‘Resort’, ‘Glam’ and ‘Better Cotton’ collections. There were also solo ranges by Mnisi and Magugu. Each piece was high fashion, with thought put into everything, and brilliantly made. Each look was perfectly styled, from the accessories (wide-brim hats, silver earrings, moon-bags) to the natural hair and make-up on beautifully diverse models.

Rich Mnisi / Photo by Eunice Driver, Eunice Driver Photography

2. Mmuso Maxwell

Another standout moment was the Sunglass Hut New Talent Search, another competition focusing on young designers and their potential. This was the opening show of SAFW, and showed really impressive and out-the-box work. The winner, Mmuso Maxwell, had a range of well-made, considered pieces which could be incorporated into your wardrobe but not be seen as boring. Neutral cream, tan and beige were mixed with a deep navy, in pieces that had asymmetric curves and layers of geometric prints. This is a win, as we seek out practical fashion that still pushes the boundaries and makes us think. 

Mmuso Maxwell / Photo by Eunice Driver, Eunice Driver Photography

3. Ri.ch Factory

Ri.ch Factory’s SAFW debut had us lusting after wax-printed pieces. Brightly coloured prints were contrasted to create gorgeous looks that were modern, refined and not over-done. Although traditional prints, these looks were relevant for right now, allowing for the fusion of past and present. Ruffles and cut-outs were used, but only where necessary and not in a conflicting way. Overall, the models were great, the hair, make-up and styling were perfect, allowing the clothes to shine.

Ri.ch Factory / Photo by Eunice Driver, Eunice Driver Photography

4. Gert-Johan Coetzee

This one came as a bit of a surprise, as we were expecting full ball gowns from Gert-Johan Coetzee. A clever combination of different (but overlapping) themes, which changed with the music, had us interested in each look. The first group of pink street-wear inspired outfits combined GJC’s corsetry and couture with tracksuit pants, printed slogans and a bit of an edge. The stars, a continued motif throughout all the looks, were 3D and cartoon like.

These looks slowly morphed into the all black looks, which although not as interesting, were well made and will be highly sought after. Lastly, the all white looks, featuring a more delicate star, had fully ruffled ball gowns and extended trains. A well made collection, where each look formed part of a cohesive overall idea.

Gert-Johan Coetzee / Photo by Eunice Driver, Eunice Driver Photography

5. Vintage Zionist x Afropunk

This brand have made a name for themselves on the fashion runway and among the cool kids of Joburg. This show defined their look down to a T. Known for their use of leather, stripes and studs, it only made sense for Vintage Zionist to collaborate with Afropunk – the highly anticipated festival happening in December this year. The two collections, the second of which was designed for Afropunk, were strong and cohesive. With clothes for both women and men, and unisex pieces too, the collections were incredibly cool featuring biker jackets, ripped T-shirts, skinny jeans and mesh harness dresses.

Vintage Zionist / Photo by Eunice Driver, Eunice Driver Photography