Ovations for African fashions

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A trio of South African fashion greats showed at Fashion Week Africa: Marianne Fassler showed her remix collection, Gavin Rajah his extravagant collection of pinks and gold, and David Tlale put on the runway the collection he recently showed in New York.

Fashion buyers, bloggers, journalists and designers went to Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, to enjoy more than 20 shows presented by designers from Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Angola, Tanzania, Cameroon, Morocco and France.

Precious Moloi-Motsepe, chairman of Africa Fashion International, which presents Fashion Week Africa, described the event as “the global platform for the African fashion aesthetic, showcasing the global relevance and commercial viability of our industry, along with innovation and distinctive design”.

Bright prints dominated the runway for most of the African designers.

Mozambican designer Taibo Bacar showed a collection of navy, green and brown prints to the soundtrack of The Lion King.

Thula Sindi revived the colourful African prints from his early days when he worked for Dutch fabric house Vlisco. He printed on materials such as embroidered cotton and embossed satin, and used sequins.

Famed fashion blogger Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist, was invited to capture the streets of Johannesburg on film. His blog receives more than 14million page views a month.

”I can put up a picture [on my blog] and hear different points of view from all over the world,” he said.

Striking Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana graced the catwalk and US albino supermodel Diandra Forrest was a designers’ favourite.

On Saturday, Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriel du Toit treated the audience to a collection with an Asian flavour. They posed models on the runway among lavish Eastern furniture and lush carpets.

To conclude the four-day extravaganza the Africa Fashion Awards ceremony took place last night. Lindiwe Suttle, Lira, Chianosky, Nandi Mngoma and Naima Mclean all performed.

Elle magazine fashion director Poppy Evans said on her blog: ”The designers all had a few things in common – a strong design signature to which they remained true; a well-produced and well-thought-out show, including considered hair and make-up; carefully plotted rhythm and sophisticated styling.”

  • For news on the Africa Fashion Awards winners see The Frock Report (http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/thefrockreport).

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