My tastes tend to tilt toward the side of decadence. However, the admission of a sense of style, and embracing exquisite taste, is oftentimes vilified as the closest sentiment to blatant materialism, and impacts the world of fashion and lifestyle development quite profoundly. I came to this discovery during Day 1 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Johannesburg 2016, and its had a heady influence in my experience of the entire event this past week.
Enough about my philosophizing, here’s how things went down: After prepping various travel, marketing, hosting and clothing proposals, and getting a very slow trickling in of responses rejecting my proposal to partner up, I stood at the airport on Wednesday morning freaking out about missing day 1 of fashion week. I was overthinking everything so much, at some point Monde – the other half of my #MBFWJ16StyleDuo – just said “Dude! Get on a flight. YOLO! You can figure out accommodation and such when you arrive”, so I did just that. I landed in Johannesburg to a #OneNightOnly invite from the esteemed hospitality establishment known as Fairlawns Boutique Hotel.
I was pretty chuffed to stay there because who wants to prep somewhere less than stellar, for fashion week?! I’ve been lucky enough, and worked just hard enough to get to experience some of the most world-renowned SA hospitality; and Fairlawns reputation preceded itself even before I stepped foot on the gorgeous property steeped in luxury, exclusivity, and history.
A shuttle service fetched me from the Gautrain station, wherein I was handed an envelope with a welcome note, and got to use the in-car Wi-Fi to update my Instagram family about my trip so far. I arrived at the hotel, to sun and courteous smiles. I rushed to get ready for Day 1 so I was unable to explore the property till the next morning – but I did manage to snap a selfie by their wall of gold-framed mirrors.
Day 1 began with the AFI Fastrack presentations, where designers collaborated with a celebrity for the showcase of these capsule collections. I will say that Tayla Nguskos and Minnie Dlamini ‘s collection was entirely wearable with its trendy all-white and metallic silver color palette and mundane designs. What I noted of Chesney Williams and DJ Zinhle‘s collaboration, was how everything from the fabrics to the design and styling, was so close to Zinhle’s actual tastes, and reveals the truth of just how involved she actually was in the process.
I give it up to Siyathemba Duma, whose Matte Nolim collection kept in mind Parisian high-end fashionable streetstyle, while keeping the garments functional to South African consumers.
Following the successful reception of her one-of-a-kind original evening gown on the 2016 BET Red Carpet, one of the most anticipated shows at this years Joburg Fashion Week was Colour by Nandi Mngoma and Inga Madyibi.
Image courtesy of SDR Ramp
It lived up to the hype. I enjoyed the showcase, as much as I did about 78% of the pieces she designed. I could tell you about it, but the images say everything.
The Intern by David Tlale’s interns was a showcase that I think most will agree, revealed that David had bestowed his interns with the wisdom of lines, shape, and structure as key component of creating an ideal garment for men and woman.
Other, rather forgettable showcases: WAKE by Pieter Burger, AFI Fasttrack presented Buda Malete & DJ Tira; and Bulbulia Threads by Tasleem Bulbulia – whose collection could be found in any tourist boutique store catering to conservative and eccentric linen-donning woman above the age of 45.
Myself, and Monde Mtsi – renowned under his platform Renaissance Men – spent Day 1 laying the foundations of our #MBFWJ16StyleDuo marketing model, with streetstyle looks that include Puma and Eye Spy, that slayed!
and Limited Edition Mustard Suede Puma Clyde sneakers from Puma Select.
Fast-forward to the next morning, when I woke from my lovely cocoon of blankets and pillows – at a time of my own choosing thanks to wicked blackout curtains – to have a courtyard breakfast. Munchies couldn’t wait so I had to go into the large spread and a-la-carte breakie, but I explored the property afterward and owmygod you guys!
I absolutely love the design of Fairlawns: the architecture, landscaping and interior design is birthed from the owners impeccable tastes.It is steeped in rich history, of even richer owner lineage. I had a #OneNightOnly stay during Day 1 of my Mercedes Benz Fashion Week JHB 2016 experience, that packed the punch of vacation-long relaxation, and classy international hospitality.
My goodness! The boutique hotel houses amazing design aesthetic you guys…and apparently, some even more ridiculously lavish rooms are opening up soon. So I give them a solid 7/10 purely because I cannot wait to see the unveiling of their new quarters, which are sure to push the boutique hotel into a world-renowned 10/10 five-star establishment.
Can we say “Yaaaaaasssssss!” to another trip here?!
Bland review of Day 1? check out Day 2—->