+Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week 2014 – Day 3

Saturday was the final stretch, and although the weather remained chilly and wet outside, the fashion scene was only heating up on the runway of Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week Spring Summer 2014.  Designers who showcased included Pichulik and Kat Duinen, Lazuli, Lo, Danielle Margaux, Leigh Schubert, Lalesso, Loincloth and Ashes, Selfi, Craig Port, Kluk CGDT,  and Fabiani.  Predominant trends seen on the ramp were “Soft pastels”, “Global traveller”(mostly Eastern and African) with elements of soft tailoring, flowing silhouettes and hints of “Metallics”, “Sport Luxe”, bold prints and accessories and a colourful splash of the 70’s!

Pichulik x Kat van Duinen showcased a phenomenal range of North African inspired accessories complimented by oversized travel bags.  The colour palette was a mixure of black and gold, pastel blue and pink, amber, aqua, royal blue, grey, beige and white and in true Pichulik fashion ropes were beautifully intertwined and combined with metals and glass beads to create the most exquisitely crafted pieces…the show stopper…a regal head piece for an African queen!

 

Lazuli showcased elegantly feminine looks in the softest pastel colour palette accessorized with wide brim open crown sun peaks. A Sport’s Lux touch was added by introducing the summer sports jacket to the range, whilst voluminous skirts were paired with soft cropped tops in pale floral prints.

Lo‘s creations seemed to be inspired by African summer skies, mountain ranges, sunsets and the ocean.  Dresses with triangular prints resembling mountain ranges and cloud prints hit the runway in pastel pinks, turquoise and pistachio.  Fabric with circular wave like laser cut hem lines were layered to create playful tunics and midi length summer dresses were paired with sneakers to add to the youthful feel of her Spring Summer collection.

Danielle Margaux presented an elegantly effortless collection with Oriental inspiration.  A mix of soft tailoring and draped tops and dresses in pale pastels and white were followed by “cherry blossom” printed kimono dresses in  black red and white.  The collection was completed by a range of beautifully beaded evening dresses flowing down the runway.

Leigh Schubert also drew inspiration from the Orient shown through her clever use of construction and design elements.  Her collection was bold and geometric with unusual style lines and fabric manipulation in a colour palette of tangerine, watermelon, peach, black and white.

Lalesso‘s Spring/Summer 2014 resort wear collection fused classic silhouettes with striking East African prints in pastels, red, blue, beige, black and white – the epitome of luxury and ease.

Loincloth & Ashes drew inspiration a little closer to home as models walked the runway in bold combinations of prints, colours and “Voortrekker style bonnets” in matching prints.

Selfi showcased a beautiful range of youthful, soft tailored designs in pale pastels, ochre, cerulean and black & white.  Her bold use of prints were both intelligent and creative, and looks were paired with colourful knee high socks and visors, adding a playful sporty feel to the collection.

Craig Port‘s collection was one of my favourites this year – a secret garden of Spring pixies showcasing soft tailored looks for the urban individual.  The menswear range sported camo prints in beige and powder blue, sports jackets in lustrous fabrics and light weight knits paired with quilt textured pieces,  chinos and tailored shorts.  The men’s swimwear range was comprised of a fresh colour palette of pastels and clean solid lines.  The Miss Port ladieswear collection was both modern and ethereal.  It incorporated clean feminine silhouettes in soft pastels with hints of metallics, a gorgeous floral print, soft knits, lace and georgette.  A beautifully cohesive collection!

The scene: a modern urban setting complete with sidewalk cafes and food trucks. Enter the modern dandies(defn. “a man unduly concerned with looking fashionable and stylish”) International model, Sebastian Sauve, was one of the many dandies who walked the runway for Fabiani‘s Spring Summer 2014 collection this weekend, showcasing immaculate iconic tailoring combined with a modern streetwear twist…”fit for the man about town”.

This year, Kluk CGDT showcased their Spring Summer Fashion Week collection at the Official launch of their brand new 3 story studio on Bree. Upon arrival, guests were treated to champagne and caviar whilst being teleported back to the era of Studio 54 and all things psychedelic, paying homage to icons such as Twiggy, Grace Jones and Diana Ross.  Models were sprawled across couches, lounged on staircases and danced on table tops, drenched in bright bold prints, glitz and glam.  The second floor showcased models in exquisite bridal couture gowns in shades of ivory and pearl, splashed with colourful bouquets resting on their laps…the ceilings above, covered in bubbles and white balloons.  All in all, a fabulous celebration of life, fashion and new beginnings!

+Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week – Day 2

Day 2 of the Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week commenced on yet another tempestuous day in CT this past Friday and even though the winter chill had crept into my bones,  I just could not resist taking a sneak peek at what would be in stores next season!  So I bundled up and marched myself down to the CTICC  to take squiz.  Once again, the trends seen on the runway for Spring Summer 2014/2015 were “Global traveler”, “Spring Blossoms”, a hint of “Sport Lux” and lots of vivacious prints.  Whilst industry favourites such as Michelle Ludek, Tart, Kobus Dippenaar, Ruald Rheeder and Non European all showcased incredible collections, I am always keen to see the emergence of new talent.  This year AFI Fastrack brought ranges by the likes of Nicholas Coutts, Ernest Mahomane,  BLANC by Alexandra Blanc and Akedo by Eleni Labrou  to the ramp of MBFWCT…

AFI fastrack

Nicholas Coutts, winner of the Elle Rising Star 2013 Award, designed a beautifully structured collection with subtle elements of the East and Africa intertwined.

 

Ernest Mahomane showcased an elegant yet playful range with interesting uses of circular and linear embellishment.

BLANC by Alexandra Blanc’s collection had a strong Oriental influence, focusing on avant garde construction details and bold fabric combinations.

Akedo by Eleni Labrou also took influence from the East by combining Japanese silhouettes with a modern sports lux twist.

Michelle Ludek drew inspiration from Africa, and showcased an effortless, urban chic collection.  Accessories were bold and exagerated, prints vibrant  and complimentary in shades of blue, green and lime. Love this collection!

Love was in the air at Tart‘s Spring/Summer show as Cari Stephenson brought her signature original prints to the forefront of her range.  This year, a pop art brush stroke print as well as a dragonfly repeat pattern emerged in lime, fuschia and black.  The collection was grounded by sports lux pieces in pops of fuschia, charcoal and black.  The use of drapery in her knit dresses seemed effortless and hey…who says it’s not “JITZ” to add a bit of glitz to your… sportswear.

Kobus Dippenaar Atelier‘s new Spring Summer collection encapsulated all that is flora and fauna, which could be seen in his use of floral prints, lace applique and subtle construction details, such as the use of boning which(in my opinion) resembled branches or stems. There was also a strong sense of African inspiration translated through the use of bold prints, lines were fluid and elegant.

Ruald Rheeder brought a fresh vibrant range to the runway this year at fashion week.  The menwear range was an explosion of colour with strong urban Morrocan influences. Use of prints were bold in shades of aqua, peach, powder blue and powder pink, lemon and lilac.  The monochrome womenswear range sported ultra feminine designs fit for a lady, models adorned with strands upon strands of pearls.  The showstopper was modeled by Expresso and Goodhope fm presenter, Leigh-anne Williams, who simply epitomized elegance and beauty on the night.   It was then that heart rates were sent a flutter and it wasn’t long before smartphones were whipped out to snap shots of the “swimwear collection” as another 2 familiar faces, sports personality Ryan Botha and Expresso presenter Ewan Strydom, took the ramp!  The swimwear range was beautifully balanced and sleek in neutral tones and prints of beige and white.

And then there was Non-European.  The tone of the collection was set as models walked down the runway to a live soulful djembe drum performance, wearing t-shirts reading “Who am I”, “Who are you”, “Who are we?”… an by the time 2 identically dressed and styled models walked out side by side in unison, arms touching, I had the answer.  Despite our differences…we are all the same.  We are all African.  The proudly self professed ” unashamedly ethical” brand showcased kaleidoscope prints cleverly positioned and complimented by tessellated construction and appliqued shapes.  All pieces were locally created from hand spun cotton and organic fabrics.  It was refreshing to see them represented not only by models but individuals of different ages and ethnicities.  A truely inspired range.

 

 

+Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week 2014 – Day 1

With the first day of the Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week underway, fashionistas did not seem to be held in doors by the Mother City’s stormy weather last night.  As always Cape Town’s finest designers put their best foot forward and showcased their Spring Summer 2014/2015 ranges in the most spectacular fashion.  The main trends which could be seen on the runway last night were “World traveller”, “Pop Art Prints”, “Liquid Metallics, “Sheer Elegance” and “Pretty Pastels”as seen on the international forefront of fashion from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Raf Simons(Dior), Riccardo Tisci, Givenchy, Karl Lagerfeld(Chanel), Prada, Jeff Koons, Celine, Lanvin and Proenza Schouler.  Marianne Fassler, Gavin Rajah and Stefania Morland all drew inspiration from across the globe whilst soft pastels were the highlight of Lara Klawikowski and Spilt Milk collections.  Shana Morland combined playful metallics with ombre pastels whilst W35t used soft pop prints in pastel shades.

Marianne Fassler drew inspiration from Africa, showcasing bold African prints, brightly coloured kaftans strewn over animal print and metallic swimwear, with hints of a pastels, sheer fabrications with beautiful applique details and Spring blossoms.

Lara Klawikowski showcased a sophisticated range of cleverly manipulated and pleated sheer fabrications in soft shades of pink, yellow and mint along side solid contrasts of black and white.  Spilt Milk’s range emulated the ease and freshness of Summer, choosing a neutral palette of soft greys and nudes, with simple yet intelligent uses of pleating and sheer insets in swimwear.

Gavin Rajah‘s new collection exuded opulence of the Orient combined with an urban sexiness and an effortless sense of sophistication.  His use of delicate lace applique, sheer  insets, ostrich feathers and rich luxurious fabrics were simply exquisite.

Stefania Morland also went East for inspiration, putting a playful Harajuku spin on her designs whilst  infusing elements of African prints with effortless charm and femininity.  Her range showcased subtle nuances that ring true to her design aesthetic, for example her signiture neckpieces, bows, ribbons and tassel details.

Shana Morland showed us that while the cat’s away, the fish will play in her new Spring Summer collection.  I found her use of cat and fish motifs to be a clever tongue and cheek accent on the range, which had a sporty, youthful feel yet still feminine and fun. I particulary loved her playful use of embebellisment and applique, vivid prints and flirty feathers skirts.

W35T show cased a range coloured in pop art brush stroke prints in pastel blue, mint and tangerine. Ruching and cheeky sheer insets were common threads running through out the collection in lightweight fabrication, whilst fresh faced models donned sequins embellished flat peek caps with a pop of colour on the lips.

 

+Winter Journey 2014

One day of Cape Town’s weather is in itself a winter journey…from the glimpse of the early morning mist(trying to determine what to wear), to a moderate air conditioned mall (where I was to attend a midday winter launch), to the humid afternoon vinos with a good friend, to boisterous laughs cutting through the crisp evening air over dinner with an ex colleague, and ending off with some light drizzle and a winter chill which led my shivering bones homeward bound.  And just like CT’s weather, I had no idea what a wonderful winter journey Stuttafords had in store for me…

My morning began with my ridiculous method of testing the weather, in an attempt to help decifer what to wear(this involves drawing back the curtains, glaring out the window and sticking my finger outside at 10 minute intervals to check the actual temperature as opposed to my cozy room temperature…yeah, I just paused to side eye myself on that one) Eventually, half and hour and 6 outfits later, I decided on my black polo neck jumper, olive green flare skirt, black tights, black cut out boots, silver accessories(including perspex dog tags given to me my a tech buddy, Grant Hinds), tortoise shell “Lennon” shades and tan Rowdy backpack, which I am obsessed with by the way.  No seriously OBSESSED with.  And without rambling on too much about my obsession with backpacks, this particular backpack goes with me everywhere… and I MEAN e-ve-re-where. Where? EVERYWHERE.  The backpack, in my opinion, has to be a stylist’s best friend…it leaves your hands free to juggle clothes swept over one arm, check your phone for emails updates, whilst trying to make sure you have your parking ticket at hand, signed appro forms as well as being able to skillfully manoeuvre your trolley, one handed, through a storm of rails, isles and counters…sooo glamourous the life of a stylist is, right?!  Well every once and a while, the fashion and beauty universe aligns, culminating in a day filled with tasty treats, champers, fashion updates, pampering, and exceptional goodies to take home and indulge in…and the Stuttafords Wintery Journey launch was no exception.

I arrived at Stuttafords Canal Walk, with just enough time for a few familiar and unfamiliar meet and greets and grab a glass of champers before being taken on a journey of men’s and ladies winter 2014 fashion trends, touching on brand aesthetics along the way.  Some of these trends included fair isle, colour blocking and colour bottoms in mustard and forest green from Ted Baker; Gingham checks and sports jackets from Ben Sherman;  flannel shirts from Guess; cuffed bottoms and geometric prints from Adidas; colour turn ups, camo hunter jackets and printed denim oxford shirts from Levis; as well as  a common thread of layered looks(Gilets, jackets, shirts and sweaters) and shades of blues for men.

Mens

Ladies trends included beautifully bright statement melton coats from Ted Baker, studded dressed and biker jackets for a punk chic look from Sissy Boy, as well as over all winter trends such as cut out details; sheer lightweight fabrications such as chiffon; winter pastels; lace details; the midriff; the 50’s flare skirt, bright shift dress and Jackie O jacket belted at the waist; geometric and floral prints; PVC;  and bottoms in skinny leg shapes as well as wider cuffed trousers.