By Ludwig Spies
Photos courtesy of planetivan.com
The common problem with fashion writing is that we either overlook the most brilliantly conceived and painstakingly produced elements of a collection – or we ramble on, praising, criticising, fainting and gasping to a point where it’s no longer clear whether we’re talking about coats, shoes or an obscure branch of 19th Century philosophy.
So we set ourselves this challenge for the SAFW SS16 Collections: reveal the essence of each collection – in less than 50 words.
By DS SS16
The high-sheen, sultry outfits printed with West and Central African designs possess all the sensual flamboyance of those regions. Interestingly, the warm, ceramic palette, geometric patterning and some of the sexier cuts would not be out of place in ‘60s America and Britain.
Loayo Art & Creations SS16 (Accessories by EG Jewellery)
This collection most strongly showcases Arabic influences on African garments. Each ensemble includes a unique headdress carefully assembled to complement the outfit. The Post-Impressionist faces printed on some pieces seem drawn from paintings of island cultures by Gauguin – a social statement, perhaps?
African Style Story SS16
A somewhat muted collection that turns away from finery. Simple and plain, the garments carry a strong mood of traditional honour and quiet dignity, and resemble those worn by women along the East African coast.
Urban Zulu SS16
The white-cloth pieces of this collection possess all the virginal dignity of traditional Zulu attire. The dark-cloth pieces, however, constitute a gritty glamorous, surreal and brooding contrast that fully explains the name of the label.
Liz Ogumbo SS16
Resplendent, regal African ensembles live comfortably next to reimagined colonial safari gear for women. Although the European garments retain their traditional cuts and arrangements, they are Africanised with boldly patterned and coloured fabrics.