Styling on the beach at SAFW

It looks like we will be styling on the beach next summer, looking at the volume of designers presenting swimwear collections at South African Fashion Week showings for Spring Summer 2017 in Johannesburg.

Of the 67 designers presenting 19 shows over five days,  including three international collections last week, however, Uitenhage born and bred Jacques van der Watt’s Black Coffee had to be one of the stand-outs of SAFW.

He brought to the ramp a new (to South Africa at least) sensibility of an entire range of gender-neutral garments. His extensive collection focussed on a combination of fluidity and structure, right on trend for a world in flux.

Gert-Johan Coetzee and Ryan Keys brought their A-game to glamour ranges showing curves and skin while other established designers such as Rubicon continued to explore feminine shapes through contemporary yet elegant silhouettes.

Swimwear was a strong focus in collections from Gabrielle, SummerHeart, Lalesso, The Hive and Akina, and lightened the mood to give a sense of optimism for next summer.

Sies!Isabelle featured more than one pregnant model and included one playing a guitar in a fecund boho-chic range in a subdued, darker palette.

Woolworths launched its 2017 “StyleBySA” capsule collection by eight South African designers: Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu, AKJP, Pichulik, Maria McCloy, Sol-Sol, Selfi and Young & Lazy.

This first foray collaboration covered several fashion genres, from modern streetwear, to footwear and accessories inspired by the continent. In a first for SAFW, the collection was available online straight from the runway, a trend that looks set to continue as more South Africans trust cyber-shopping than ever before.

Lufthansa 1st Class Collections winner

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Sheila-Madge Bakker Picture: Simon Deiner Ramp

The winner of the Lufthansa 1st Class Collections initiative, Sheila-Madge Bakker, was described as presenting an “exceptional collection inspired by avant-garde with wearability”. The young designer said the natural environment provided her with endless inspiration, evident through her use of colour and texture.

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