African fashion on the fast track

Model Irina Miccoli shows off a piece from La Art Neviole Emporiums haute couture collection.

South Africa’s fashion glitterati were out in full force at this year’s African Fashion International (AFI) Cape Town fashion week held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) at the weekend.

In the run-up to the event, I was perplexed as to what to wear as I wanted my outfits to embody what My Attire World stands for.

For the first night, I settled for a soft yellow dress with a flared skirt and paired it with snakeskin high heels.

My day two look was a bit more edgy: I chose a leopard print maxi dress with suede thigh high boots. In terms of make-up, I went heavy on the eye make-up and added lashes which I managed to put on myself.

I am not a fan of wearing layers upon layers of make-up so I was happy to discover the “glass skin” look. The look is relatively easy to achieve by using a good moisturiser, foundation and highlighter. It made my skin look photo ready. I added a pop of colour with Revlon’s Kiss plumping lip crème in spiced berry.

I opted to wear my hair in flowing tight curls on the first night and on the second night my stylist advised me to tip my hair over, run my fingers through it for a beach curl look, which I absolutely loved.

Between shows I chatted to Elizma Crous, senior educator at Wella modern hair and beauty academy in Epping, about the looks they were creating for the models on the runway.

Elizma said they went for sleek hairdos: very Kendall Jenner-esque.

“We also added a side parting in some cases; some models wore sleek low ponytails. Simplicity was key as designers didn’t want the hair to distract the audience’s attention from the clothes.”

South African designers Ruff Tung wowed the crowds with their collection: Blue Blood, which they describe as being trans-seasonal.

Their collection consisted of “strong silhouettes, cropped hemlines, wide trousers, fitted tuxedos, and statement pieces: jumpsuits are the new dresses, pockets are now a feature, sparkled with the bling”.

Body positivity came through very strongly with many curvy models walking the runway; a change, that many fashionistas welcomed.

I was impressed by the Maze Collective as it was a mix of various animal prints: oversized faux fur jackets and simple straight cut pants.

Designer Stephania Morland’s collection was a combination of black lace, flowing silhouettes in gold and mustard, paired with black ankle boots with a metal buckle detail.

The highly anticipated collection by Quiteria and George was cancelled on Friday.

Hopefully, I will get a glimpse of their next collection at next year’s show.

Marianne Fassler, Warrick Gautier, Imprint_ZA, Gavin Rajah, David Tlale and Maxhosa By Laduma were among the other designers who also showcased their collections.

New kid on the block, Imprint_ZA by Mzukisi Mbane has been making waves in the industry.

Mbane’s collection Abenguni certainly did “leave a mark” on the audience. He took to social media to express how he felt about his collection.

“I felt it. My ancestors were there to receive it I have never seen so many people crying for a fashion show.”

I was left completely enamoured by the collections on show by the various designers from across the continent and I can’t wait for the next one.

The quote: “Fashion is like eating, you shouldn’t stick to the same menu,” certainly sums up the strikingly eclectic collections on show at the weekend.

Send your fashion tips and advice to mika.williams@inl.co.za