The Fashion Week, one of Africa’s top fashion events, this year took place from July 25 to 28.
We managed to get exclusive access to the Csquared x 36MAN Midnight Express Show and After Party and what a blast it all was. Definitely a few lessons to take home for our own Fashion events.
We watched as fashion took over the city for a week. The fashion industry in South Africa has definitely made strides and it is encouraging to see a fellow African country produce a fashion week that is sophisticated, imaginative, bold and yet still proudly African.
Top-notch designers that showcased their collections ranged from the popular Gavin Raja to the eccentric and never-disappointing David Tlale. The 2012 theme was simply “icons” and included everything iconic from celebrities to cars to venues. With 4 days and over 15 shows, it was a busy few days as designers unveiled their Spring and Summer Collections for 2013. The city was abuzz as celebrities, musicians, designers and the corporate world came together to celebrate style and fashion.
One of the main events of the fashion week was Tlale's show, titled “I am NOT Colored, I am Color” which was held on a street in the largely Muslim neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap, Cape Town. Because of Ramadan, the community had said it could not participate in the show but gave their go ahead for the show to be held there.
In typical David Tlale catch-you-by-surprise manner, the invitation cards sent to guests said that there would be lots of colour at the show. Everyone assumed he was referring to the outfits he was presenting but all the garments in his ready-to-wear collection were white. The colour he was referring to was the bright reds, oranges, greens and blues of the buildings along the street which created a beautiful back drop for the show. A crowd of about 600 people attended and memebers of the community watched from windows, doorways and stoeps.
Another highlight of the week for us was Zimbo Jam’s exclusive access to the Csquared “Mediterranean Resort” Summer 2012 Collection unveiling at a most elegant location, The Reserve.
The venue defined luxury at its highest level. The red carpet was rolled out and the media was snapping away at guests who included Actor and Viyella Heritage ambassador Tumisho Masha, singer Chad Saaiman and former Miss South Africa, Cindy Nell among many others.
The Reserve is set in a historic, 150 year old building; the imposing space with its 12m high ceiling has been decorated in a fabulously eclectic style. Guests were greeted at the door with a chilled bottle of Peroni.
Once inside, the crystal inspired chandeliers hung, humbled in their presence by the vines that run beautifully around the venue. The bar is reminiscent of kitsch 1950s Palm Springs. With a fabulous wealth of detail and opulence, this space becomes the perfect backdrop for a night of lavish escapism in fashion. It was stocked with a never-ending supply of Moët & Chandon and Dom Pérignon.
Csqured show at The Reserve, Cape Town Fashion Week 2012.
With hardly any space to move, the show was definitely popular with fashion goers so much so that for late comers it was difficult to get in.
For Zimbo Jam, hailing from a country where men often don’t keep up with Fashion trends, it was exciting to see Menswear being so popular with those present.
The lavish ambiance set the tone, and as the runway brightened the venue was engulfed in fashion bliss. The male models revealed the new Csquared collections, and bright colours are definitely a trend. Csquared Menswear is one of South Africa’s most cutting-edge formal wear brand worn by celebrities and bold, styling, IT-guys .
This year’s fashion show celebrated Ten years of Csquared revolutionizing South African men’s fashion by introducing slim fit garments, sharp Italian tailoring and ready-to-wear menswear that continues to dominate the Fashion Week runways. The highlight of the collection was the architectural innovation of the summer suit. The re-working of the traditional pants and jacket proportions added a fresh “slouchy-tailored” edge to men’s wear.
The Csquared 2012 Mediterranean Resort Collection lit up the runway with electric colours; parrot greens, oranges and highlighter yellow contrasted with sea blue and green to turquoise, terracotta, raspberry, lemon and pistachio. This was a move away from the usual greys, as the collection is tastefully awash with statement colour in the form of acid and pastel brights.
When asked about the collection, Csquared Menswear Designer, Wayne Govender commented, “Our designs were inspired by people who want to stick out of the crowd, be a little more different, trendier and fashion forward. The theme is about collaborating bold, bright colours and prints with modern and classic tailoring, which creates not only a fascinating catwalk but also exciting new garments that are both accessible and wearable.”
A surprise performance by musician Stoan Seate (well known for his part in highly successful band, Bongo Muffin) was a fun musical twist to the night. One of the highlights of the night was seeing 2008 Face of Africa winner, GhanaianKate Menson, strut the runway at the end of the Menswear section just before the designers.
I am in awe of her beauty and she is definitely one of the finest and talented African models hitting global runways.
The After Party which was attended by special guests, saw celebrities and fashionistas dance the night away. It was the perfect way to celebrate fashion and the new collections that will be filling many spring and summer wardrobes.
For now, we anxiously wait for third edition of Zimbabwe’s Fashion Week which is set for August 30 to September 1, 2012.