Sunday, March 28, 2010

[Grand Finale]

The last 3 shows of the evening looked at designers DM Classics, Thunderstorm, Darkie, Ephymol and Sylvester Falata. And boy, am I glad I saw these... the ranges were now also focusing on men and their perfect summer range.

DM Classics
Did you ever watch the film Jackie Brown?
You know, that other Tarantino film that didn't get as much spotlight as Pulp Fiction did?
The one with Robert De Niro? Yup. That one.
This range reminded me of that film - really 'cause it screamed attitude and funk.
Designer Dennis Manthata Maponya used brown like you'd never seen it be used.
From light hazelnut ones to that resembling Godiva chocolates
(Hey, no drooling please - it messes up your keyboard)
Men were dressed from head to toe in that which screamed hard-core and professional.
To suit any business (get the pun?)
It brought about this sense of Evening elegance for any night out on the town, the summer air brushing up against his jacket and licking the edges of your evening dress.
With the colours of chocolate milkshakes to classic caramels, Dennis looked at the warm side to summer and the heat in darker, richer, African colours.
AND... he made me smile by reviving the bow-tie
- I honestly think more men should wear them.
From old school biker jackets, to little black dresses, to tuxedos
- it was like James Bond and James Brown were the siblings we never heard about

Above 2 photos: © Planet Ivan - Ivan Naude

Bob the builder, can he fix it? Bob the builder, yes he can!
And yes, yes, yes did designer Thabo Maserumule amaze us with his builder's wear inspired range. Everything down to the last detail was thought out. Every single model had something to do with building apparatus. One would walk in with a hammer in hand, the other with a bag filled with sandwiches and coffee - the worker's lunch.
It was ingenious! Affective, grungy and added to the attitude Thabo wanted to portray.
He brought back the close-to-turquoise blue and clean white.
To me it felt kinda like ice cream soda pop colours with that hard-core builder's cheek intact.
Kinda 70's Motown yet still very modern.
It was interesting that he chose the builder's wear specifically 'cause what I felt that it did, was bring back the question to 'what actually is, a real man?'
The type that builds? Constructs? Changes?
There was this a sense...hard core image established on the outside, yet with this inner soul on the inside. A real man who loves, cares, nurtures and understands.
It screamed masculinity at every chance it got and experimented with a new concept that succeeded in making us smile, laugh and want the term 'real man' in every context.

Above 2 Photos: © Planet Ivan - Ivan Naude

Each year I have the privilege to be blown away by Themba Mngomezulu's work.
And this year proved to be no less.
Darkie combined style and culture this year in a way that old school trends, icons and cultures were revived.
For instance, and thanks to Vincent - who was seated next to me and who I'd just met - the use of the Ndebele culture and art in prints and patterns, revived the culture, which according to Vincent, is slowing dying out and isn't as prominent as it used to be.
This made me smile. Here, you have a designer who isn't just designing clothes, but is multi-taskingly bringing back trends and cultures.
Themba revived the spirit of old historical icons, those who fought for peace and freedom - Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jnr, Gandhi...
all asking the same question repeatedly: Victim, or hero?
It was like a 70's Afro funk revival, so much you'd expect the models to have Afros - but instead screamed attitude and revived a retro Sofia Town.
I then made up the following phrase, Retro African Kitch.
What do you think? I reckon it works :)
There was a revival for this almost golf-like like, the big carrier bags and trippy colours.
It was casual and somewhat Pulp Fiction-y - I dunno, maybe it had something to do with the haunting yet soulful Tom-Watts kind of music.
Full colours to Themba :)

Ephymol designer, Ephraim Molingoana took his inspiration from the streets of Jozi, bringing in waistcoats, linen and earthy shades.
His use of thin and light material portrayed summer's care-free attitude perfectly and breathed as the models moved.
There were moments were old 70's flowers were revived in clothing and this one outfit that reminded me of Scooby Doo - probably 'cause it resembled either character Shaggy or the Van they use to catch monsters in.
- Don't mind me, I love that program.
I must hand it to Ephraim for his impeccable detail and exquisite use of light, wispy fabric.
The dull routine of rolling up a sleeve was now changed into a purposeful move of style. The earthy creams, brown and oranges encompassed summer's warmth and the sands of Africa.
His use of shorts and straw hats made the men look ever-so-cool in light, relaxing clothing.
His range reminded me a lot of that of Paul Smiths - which is a compliment might I add.

Sylvester Falata
Last for the evening and for the event was a range from designer Sylvester Falata.
This range looked at exotic and candy-coated colours that aren't normally used.
This experimentation with colour meant that his range was different, new and completely fresh.
He brought in jumpsuits that stoppped at knee length, in bright exotic colours - cool and easy to wear on a hot day.
Remember how we use to take off our jerseys and tie them around our waists? Yeah, that kinda died in 2002 (well at least for me it did) well, Sylvester brought it back in a way that it was super sexy, attractive and showed summer at every chance it had.
The use of thai silk meant that the clothes were uber comfortable and light for a day out - yet it still portrayed masculinity - don't think it didn't.
There was something interesting he did with the shoulders - you know those pointed flat, outward shoulder guards that the ancient japanese and chinese soldiers had? Yeah it was kinda like that - it brought in a whole new look for the male figure, he looked strong, bold and pretty hard-core I'm not gonna lie.
Buttoned sweaters were used, again to shield those light summer winds and chilly, dew-stained mornings.
And to top it all, was the guest appearance of singer Lira - a beautiful women in a beautiful dress.
Radical :)

Back with epilogue bit later

Paris B

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