Last day of SA Menswear Week AW16 and I was so keen to conclude the week…hmmm, first time I’ve been excited to get to the end of a fashion week. One need not guess how rare that is, and how tempestuous it renders my reviews.
Anyway, first show of the day was Chulaap by Chu Suwannapha. The celebrated designer brought his design signature to his AW16 collection, with the clashing patterns styled together with knitwear to create Africa’s most praised global trend these past 3 seasons. While his designs may not at all be to my taste,I recognize the merit to his latest offerings – particularly the shawls that men have started donning without feeling their perceived masculine identity dwindle.
The highlight of the Merwe Mode collection were the Merwe stylized logo embellishment on the back of some of their AW16 collections jackets and coats. I also got an interesting Where’s Waldo vibe from one of the looks that made me smile in contentment the way the collections pastel demure colors did.
Kim Gush’s showcase had a feather jacket. You know I love those (**,) Buuuuuuut, everything else was boring – from the leather pants to crop top jerseys, cotton sweats, sheer chiffon shirts etc.
Orange Culture starting off their showcase with the male model doing a quick mirror check of hair & make-up, was amusingly fun and the color of the ensemble worn, was warm to the eye and inviting to wear.Orange is obviously the color of the Fall 2016 season and Orange Culture embraced it. The accompanying accessories to the rather normal clothing, were the most coveted by those watching the show, right from elaborate knit necklaces, to simple suede and leather satchels. The patchwork leather motif recurred during this showcase,manifesting subtly in sleeve pockets and vests. I kind of dig the extra long sleeves in the jerseys making their way into most of the shows.
Kola Kuddus designed pseudo-priest robe/military uniform pieces that I found quite lovely for men to don – especially considering the African market that incorporates dresses into all gender wardrobes in accordance with traditional cultural practices. The toga frontispiece that utilizes a different pattern and/or color to the tops and jackets, made for a really sophisticated and stylish AW16 collection. Color coordination and patterns that don’t overwhelm the look or eye, was the authority of the collection.
Tokyo James’s show had the extra long sleeves, generic streetwear, the fur-lined coats that have become one of this seasons key design choices, rich colors in shades of yellow, red,orange and brown; and particularly modest suits, tailored pants and formal Oxford shirts with an Indian-style mosaic&geometric pattern. Simon & Mary’s hat contribution to the showcase really brought out the realistic wearable nature of most of the apparel.
The Sol Sol collection bored me entirely, as did the 2Bop showcase which relied on the animated box-head gimmick to distract from the utterly uninspired apparel. The Young and Lazy collection epitomized the brand name so well.
Hip Hop rapper Reason performed in closing of SA Menswear Week, and following him walking for Magents. The brands showcase reveled in socioeconomic and geopolitical conscientiousness through the shows theme and the brands identity. The clothing did not even register as average for me. I enjoyed the premise of the brand vision and show concept, but the apparel showed no true creative and innovative design methodology.
Now, while I have many a criticism about the event itself, I honestly don’t have the energy to write up a comprehensive review. Everything that needs to be said has been stated in my reviews of Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 of the event. I ‘m owing the failures of the event on its infancy, and it’s successes on the assumption that they have learned and developed accordingly since they began SA Menswear Week. I’m not sure weather I’d be keen to attend it every year, but I have been instilled with an interest to keep a whether eye on SA’s menswear designers that are coming up.
Now here are some obligatory Street style shots from Day 4.