We’re ready for fashion week. Well, as ready as we can be. We’ve sussed out the schedule, looked at international street style trends to plan our outfits and fully charged our phones (and power-banks, because we don’t want to miss a single moment.)
There is anticipation and excitement in the air as SAFW in Joburg approaches, and as I sit writing the first entry of our SAFW Diary, I think about past fashion weeks which makes me and all the glam to be seen and fun to be had. And then there’s the serious bit where we analyse the trends we’ve seen and look forward to new seasons of dressing. In this case, SS17.
The Marie Claire team, consisting of our Editor in Chief Jackie May, myself (fashion assistant Kira Gimpel) and our lovely intern, Nhlanhla Masemola, is ready. We’ve learnt that the best way to do fashion week is to keep your eyes peeled for what the cool kids are wearing, drink loads of hot chocolate and run backstage to grab and photograph the best clothes our local designers are offering.
For day one I’ve decided to try the slouched shoulder trend, pulling my favourite white shirt off my shoulders and wearing a gorgeous black pleated H&M skirt. I’ve also raided my gran’s jewellery cupboard for earrings and took from her one of this season’s trends: a mini box bag.
To start off, we head to the Woolworths Style By SA show, where the best local designers have created collections which will be available at Woolworths stores and online. Labels Rich Mnisi, Selfi, Pichulik, Sol Sol, Young & Lazy, Maria McCloy, AKJP and Thebe Magugu have created beautiful and innovative clothing. We’re itching to get our hands on the limited edition pieces. It was a brilliant way to kick off fashion week, and was an absolute highlight of the evening.
David West, Design Manager for Woolworths and the collaborator of the project, tells me that ‘there was really no question on the selection of the designers chosen. They’re all doing something exciting in the industry and we believe in them as the future. We wanted to get behind them and it’s a privilege to get their pieces into our stores.’
Streetwear label Young & Lazy is innovative and beautiful without being gimicky. Of the collection, Anees Petersen says: ‘I was inspired by a trip to Mecca. It the first time, as a designer, where I’ve been inspired by an experience rather than a trend, which was a strong angle for a collection. A lot of it was based on photographic prints and trying to fuse it with streetwear. I also looked at a lot of different fabrications, and also actual prayer clothing. A lot of the pants are based on prayer pants, and long tops which are taken to streetwear aesthetic. This is my biggest collection, and it speaks to and is influenced by my heritage – not just as a South African, but more so my religion.’
We are completely blown away by maroon pieces, with contrasted floral prints from Thebe Magugu which combine a structured femininity with edgy styling and unexpected elements.
Then we’re onto Keys Fashion, where models in shimmery shiny gowns glide down the runway. There’s a lot of texture with floral appliqué, feathers and beading.
For a quick holiday feeling, the SAFW Resort Collections feature the best of what’s to come this summer. We saw graphic-inspired printed dresses and swimsuits at Lalesso, nature-inspired full one-pieces at Gabrielle Swimwear, minimal black and white swimmers at Summerheart, Akina’s selection of retro swimsuits styled with gorgeous swimming caps and hand-painted bikini’s at The Hive.
To end the night, an installation at Sies Isabelle speaks to the importance of the inclusivity and supporting the local industry.
We’re inspired, a little exhausted but totally ready for what’s to come…