3rd Year Fashion Media student, Zingaphi Njokweni, shares her experience at SA Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016.
It’s one thing having the corners of your false lash lift up ten minutes before you’re meant to leave the house for a greatly anticipated fashion week, it’s another losing the sole of the shoe that was central to your carefully curated outfit, on the way to the Gautrain. Long, white hair blowing in the wind, occasionally sticking to the thick layer of MAC lip gloss I had lathered on, I waddled my way to the train, regardless of the disheartening sound my shoe made. After an entire half hour of frantically texting my partner, Seipati Mosete and our manager, Lissa Mendes, about my misfortune, I finally arrived at Hyde Park Corner – lost, flustered, and fashionably late. Thankfully, Seipati salvaged what was potentially a terrible, mood-ruining night. All was forgotten about upon entry to The Venue – a walk that was littered with, “… on level 7, yes, the lift only says 6 levels but there is a seventh one, promise”. What?!
Before show elevator selfie
The room was full, and that was expected, however, when it is full of people whose Instagram accounts you normally stalk and envy, it’s an entirely different ball game – cue anxiety. Seipati and I are not photographers, never mind journalists, so the idea of going up to people and asking to take their photos scared the living daylights out of us. We made an attempt to capture the atmosphere of the place (it was great because fashionable people in. One. Room.), and enjoyed being around people we aspired to be, and eventually, the anxiety wore off.
And then the shows started.
I have interned at a previous fashion week but had never watched an actual fashion show – it was amazing. The room was lit neon blue, conversation amongst the audience was buzzing, crazy haircuts were bobbing up and down around the room, cameras were flashing, the excitement over opening goodie bags, the energy was just unbelievably high. I can definitely speak for the both of us when I say it was like a dream come true. On the first day, Seipati and I sat FROW (can you believe that?!), thanks to Kerri-Lee Candolini of SA Fashion Week. We watched the Lufthansa 1st Best Collections with an eye specifically at LUMIN and GreerKyle by LISOF alumni. When that was over, we were prepared to grab day 2 by the horns, leaving the day’s anxiety behind
Day 2 came and we watched an incredible show by Dean Hauptfleisch of WITH, a collection that refreshingly reimagined colour-blocking, and presented juxtaposition in such a harmonious manner. That day itself was not without its fair-share of being star-struck by gorgeous people, such as LISOF alumni and The Threaded Man blogger, Siyabonga Beyile, the king of prints, Chu Suwannapha, and once again, more fashion insiders. However, it was day 3 that was peak excitement; Keirnan Forbes, aka AKA (hahaha), commanded the room upon entry. I was ready to pass out from excitement and remembered, “I have to get a photo of this man!” Unfortunately, he prefers photos to be taken of him rather than with fans, otherwise he would never get to point B – which was fine with me because my white-haired head appeared in a photo he posted of the shows later that night, win!
AKA #Frow at Scouting Menswear Show
Day 3 was all about menswear and the Scouting Menswear show, where we proudly watched yet another LISOF alumni, Martelle Ludik. It was my favourite of the whole week. The hunger of someone who is yet at the peak of their career was clearly evident in the designs and it was fun to watch how the designers showed this in their ranges. Unfortunately, I had to Uber home immediately after the winner was announced and therefore missed the rest of the menswear, which, from what I’ve seen, was just as breath-taking.
In any case, we covered everything we enjoyed on the LISOF Instagram account. We are fun people, I swear, but handling an entire professional Instagram account was a bit scary, manageable, but a bit of pressure nonetheless. There are no words to describe how fun the week was, aching feet and all. It reinforced why the decision to come to LISOF was the right one – being exposed to the fashion industry I dream of being a part of while trying to complete a Fashion Theory essay at the end of the same evening.
Many thanks to Ms Candolini, Mrs Mendes, and our Fashion Media lecturer, Lisa Illingworth, it was an absolute honour representing our school, LISOF, at SA Fashion Week 2016. See @lisof_fashion on Instagram #StudentTakeover for #SAFWSS16 moment.
Join LISOF today and you will be exposed to the fashion industry, whether at a Fashion Week, Fashion Studio or at a Fashion Retailer.
For more information contact us: 086 11 LISOF (54763)
Written and images by Zingaphi Njokweni
Edited by Lissa Mendes