South African Fashion Week from students’ perspective
SA Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017
We think it’s safe to say that SA fashion week was not at all what we expected… Honestly, the experience exceeded our expectations by far! What started off as a project we took on to furthermore promote LISOF and learn more about the South African fashion industry; turned into three unforgettable days of fun, laughter and admiration. Something that we both hope we will get the privilege to do again after socialising, networking, learning and most importantly watching in awe the creative prodigies that walked down the runway night after night.
Wednesday, 29th March:
Our first day of preparations for fashion week felt like a scene pulled out of a movie. As LISOFIANS, it isn’t surprising to hear that one of us had a class that ended at 5pm (sigh) and conveniently the first show started at 6pm. Giving us a total of 1 hour to leave campus, glam up and arrive early enough to take photos (mind you, none of this happened the way we had hoped). We ended up getting ready in a total of 15 minutes including the car ride because that’s where we did our makeup. After rushing to Hyde Park, every image anticipated about fashion week had disappeared and we just went with the flow. Dressed by Aya Velase and Glitter Betty we fit right in with the crowd and successfully blew LISOFs Instagram and Snapchat by storm; our question for the night was “What inspired your style for the night?” and the answers were as interesting as the people. The shows for the night were truly moving. We really enjoyed the Lufthansa 1st Class Collections; designers such as AYA VELASE and STITCH AND STEEL showcased impressive collections. Other collections that caught our eyes were RISE OF THE OXX and HEART & HERITAGE which really depicted the essence of contemporary South African fashion.
Thursday, 30th March:
Our second day was much easier to prepare for as we had an idea of what to expect. It was a big night for us as not only were we representing LISOF but we were also representing SUN GODDESS , so we ensured that we had more than enough time to get ready after lectures. That being said it is a lot easier to get ready when your classes don’t end so late lol. We spent our afternoon playing dress up at the SUN GODDESS store in Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City which was definitely one of our peek moments from this experience, trying on their exquisite “Quintessential African Luxury” designs isn’t something we get to do often. After setting out an equivalent amount of time to get ready, we once again made our way to Hyde Park, however this time our group of good friends and fellow students were also attending, turning it into a treasured night. Walking around in a big group drew a lot of attention on us so many people asked us for pictures and essentially we featured on Marie Claire and Spree’s instagram pages (yay!!). The shows on this night were long but enjoyable. We especially loved the collections by VINTAGE ZIONEST and of course SUN GODDESS. Our question for the night was “Do you think fashion shows are still relevant and why?” and the answers were documented on Lisofs Instagram and Snapchat respectively. We ended off our night with a “mini photo shoot” with SUN GODDESS’s head designer Vanya Mangaliso backstage, the pictures came out so editorial lol.
Friday, 31st April:
We were especially excited for Friday night; it was the beginning of menswear night but most importantly Nondy’s 19th Birthday! Essentially our looks for the night were street wear inspired (mixed with a little glam of course). The night was eventful and ended off our experience with a BANG! The shows were inspiring; it was really nice to see how artistic South African menswear designers are and how fresh and exciting menswear has become. We particularly enjoyed a collection by Bayanda Khathini who showcased under SAFW Scouting Menswear in Association with GQ Magazine – his collection was clearly inspired by an authentic South African lifestyle, so much so that his show might as well have been in the middle of the KZN midlands. The only thing that outshined the clothes were the people wearing them, yes, we mean the models. They were truly a sight for sore eyes and we made sure to take photos with the guys that were too hot not to (hehe). We also enjoyed interacting with the crowd during the intervals. Our question for the night was “Would you consider SAFW as a way of analysing trends?” Because this was our last night we made sure that we wanted as much fun as possible and to communicate with everyone we came across. This night’s crowd was definitely the most diverse and we certainly saw the link between fashion shows and trend analysis. After the shows we decided to take a moment and let the event sink in, definitely very 1990s sitting in the parking lot chatting up a storm with our friends haha! This then encouraged us to grab a quick bite to eat at McDs to end off our night and commemorate Nondy’s 19th.
Overall, we can say that this experience was a lot of fun. We learned important things, met a lot of relevant people and hopefully made good connections that could help us in the near future. It was also nice to see several LISOF students every night, especially since we surely stressed on how important we felt it was for fashion students to attend such events. It was also great meeting all the LISOF Alumni sitting front row proving their relevance in the industry; it was truly inspiring as that is something that we both hope we could achieve soon. Of course our experience could have never happened if it wasn’t for LISOF; we are really grateful and hope we get to do this again.
See all the images here.
Mich & Nondy