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By Thami Kwazi

Lifestyle Print Editor

WATCH: Bonang Matheba, menswear, print designs steal the show at South African Fashion Week

South African Fashion Week (SAFW) captivated fashionistas who were clamoring to see Mzansi's top designers' latest trends and breakthroughs.

From 18 to 20 April, South African Fashion Week (SAFW) held in Midrand at the Mall of Africa stunned attendees with a kaleidoscope of inventiveness, displaying the country’s best designers’ latest trends and breakthroughs.

Fashion is evolving and so are the attendees, the TikTok generation now takes centre stage and front row at all shows. 

Watch video here

The advantage of TikTokkers is that they do the work, carrying their phone stabilisers and making sure to shoot and edit each show.

A positive for the industry!

Standout moments included Biji’s La Maison, Franc Ellis’ elegant menswear, and Imprint’s vivid printed fabric designs.

However, despite the glamor, some concerns tarnished the event, particularly the treatment of working journalists and media.

Biji La Maison, who designs dresses for Miss South Africa and did Zozi Tunzi’s winning Miss Universe 2019 beaded dress, had a celebrity-studded catwalk, celebrity Bonang Matheba wore the showstopper,(Queen B) also known for pushing boundaries, took centre stage by featuring celebrities on the runway. 

Biji’s showcase was a reminder to return to femininity in a world of harder fashion trends.

ALSO READ: Who designed Zozibini Tunzi’s Miss Universe gown?

Her bold designs, combined with the star power of notable personalities, created a buzz both on and off the catwalk – celebrities like Thembi Seetee, Miss South Africa finalists, and music legend Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

The fusion of fashion and fame captivated audiences and highlighted the brand’s commitment to innovation and inclusivity.

Meanwhile, Franc Ellis captured attention with his impeccable menswear collection. With clean lines, expert tailoring, and a modern aesthetic in neutral and muted shades, Ellis redefined traditional menswear, earning praise for his attention to detail and sartorial sophistication. 

His collection exemplified the evolving landscape of South African fashion, blending global influences with local flair.

ALSO READ: Local fashion designer joins fight against Covid-19 with reusable masks

Imprint, on the other hand, made a statement with its striking printed fabric designs. 

Drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of South African culture, their collection was a celebration of color, pattern, and craftsmanship. 

Imprint, is a favourite of television personalities such as Slee from The Real Housewives of Durban.

Each piece told a story, weaving together tradition and modernity in a visually captivating manner.

Despite the successes on the runway, the working press and media treatment at SAFW raised concerns. 

Organisers were criticised for their lack of hospitality, with reports of press members being denied basic amenities such as water while covering the event.

Such shortcomings serve as a reminder that behind the glamour of fashion weeks lies the importance of professionalism and respect for all participants, including the press.

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Moving ahead, SAFW organisers may address these challenges and ensure that future events are creative displays and spaces that inspire collaboration and mutual respect.

As South African fashion continues to gain global recognition, events like SAFW play a vital role in shaping the industry’s trajectory. 

By exposing various talents and challenging limits, SAFW solidifies its position as a platform for innovation and creativity, motivating both local and international audiences.