South African Menswear Week has become an event that invites creativity, confidence and an uncontainable curiosity. The now well known and routine event introduced a change this year. The Cape Town City Hall provided a classical and historical environment; with such beauty, fashionable attendees floated from inside the marbled stairs to the impressionable outside.
While the Cape Town City Hall is regal in its beauty, the runway space was somewhat underwhelming; however, a good show is made up of standout garments. The return of the iconic Chu Suwannapha’s Chulaap was met with an indescribable energy from the audience. Notorious for his powerful prints, Chu delivered an array of layered prints and patterns in both brights and pastels. The “faceless” models carried print covered cases, elevating the collection. Terrence Bray showcased an extremely textured and narrative collection. Collage style patchwork allowed for a unique intrigue in the garment, while warm colours, such as yellow, rooted the origin of this seasons collection. Tokyo James was another stand out designer of the event. The collection was divided between soft pastel and dark, leather looks. Yellow gloves unified the juxtaposition within the collection and the androgynous undertones placed the garments in a progressive context. Overall, it was the designers that pushed their narrative, as well as their recognisability, that stood out.
It is not only the collections showcased on the runway that determine the experience of fashion at SAMW. The attendees always seem to bring a variety of evolving styles. Retro influences are undeniable, as the OG of sneakers could be seen. The fashionably creative often mix different styles and eras. Oversized garments could be seen contrasted against on trend pieces. The clean cut classics existed amongst the street style and vintage flair; clean suits, sharp silhouettes and timeless colourpalettes.
One thing is for sure, the street fashion give the designers a run for their money in their boundary-less ensembles.
Written By: Nicola Kruger