ajfw4.jpgThe last day of the Audi Joburg Fashion Week Winter 2010 collections did not disappoint with a number of new and well known designers presenting their collections. Ceilidh Simpson reports.  

New Generation Show

This show gives young designers their first experience of AJFW. Three designers showed women's ready-to-wear.

First was "Mis.s.a", using a black and white palette, with muted purple-grey as the third colour. Melange grey, gold and silver, and reddish brown appeared occasionally. Slim silhouettes were interrupted with volume, for example, a puffball skirt, covered with feathers accompanying a tight knit top. A knitted jersey, chic jacket and white sateen trousers provided straight 'off the ramp' wearability.


"Forever Me by Llana" began with an innocent, country girl feeling. Soft blue denim trousers, a grey cotton twill apron dress and jumpsuit were girly but not sexy. Cotton-Lycra knits in purples formed draping cardigans, long-sleeve tee's and vests with the logo's hand drawn flowers printed on. Chic crept in with an oversized silver-grey sateen jacket and a blue pencil skirt, pleated into a high waist. Eventually, splashes of red appeared.

Lastly, "Nooi" presented a collection immediately invoking a mixture of Voortrekkers, old school uniforms and an Amish modesty. Black and white with shades of beige and cream were the base colours. A blue stripe, mint green ribbons tied in bows at the waist in and pale pink organza ribbons on bonnets were the accent colours. Cotton dresses, shirts and shorts combined with cream lace stockings, beige knee-high socks and brown veldtschoen's summarises the look.

Click here for the full New Generation show

Vesselina Pencheva

Celebrating the 10th year of her own studio, Vesselina has used this fashion week to re-launch the label, centring it as a high quality brand. The fifties was the inspiration when creating the strong feminine looks and elegant dress sense this collection projects.

Sourcing fabrics in Europe, she chose to use only natural fibres as they create the sense of rich luxury she needed. Wool fabrics included a heavy textured weave, fine grey suiting with various checks and tartans as well as black with a faint grey pinstripe. Silk fabrics dominate the collection, in satin, chiffon, fine mesh, taffeta and organza. Cotton twill suiting with velvet flocked flowers was also used.

Black and white were the lead colours, and a polka-dot satin coloured as such was a sensation. There were also greys and some creams and browns. Turquoise was an effective accent colour in accessories, as lining or under semi-transparent fabrics. The silhouettes were all about the waist and creating ultra feminine lines.

Blue stockings were worn by all, and gloves featured extensively, ranging from soft brown leather elbow lengths, to short black driving ones and gold cocktail styles. Corsage's made of gathered fabrics, ribbons and metal zips were styled into neck-pieces, broaches and belt details.


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Thula Sindi

This winter Sindi's gone formal with, "A Woman of Consequence". Rather than turning to outside inspirations, he's thought about woman he'd like to dress and turned their qualities into a collection. These muse's are powerful, assertive woman who are confidant of their choices and always ensure they're well dressed and uniquely feminine.

The collection starts with smart daywear. White stretch wool, with black lace sewn down, creates figure hugging shift dresses, wrap dresses, jackets and skin-tight trousers. They’re an extremely flattering fit and introduce a quirky detail; metal zips with brightly coloured zip tapes are sewn down exposed, some function, others highlight a line or seam. Grey melange knits and white broderie anglaise introduce more dress styles, always accentuating the waist.

Black sequin fabric, yellow chiffon, navy lace and elastane 'bandage trim’ mix in. For example, a white wool dress gains panels of black sequins or a yellow chiffon sash. Multiple strands of chain adorn necklines in colours like pink, turquoise, gold and purple while various diamante broaches add sparkle.

Evening wear options have a twist, like a black, tuxedo tailored suit with a high-gloss finish or a black jacquard kaftan with heavily beaded designs down the front. Ultimately, silver sequin jackets, purple chiffon dresses, leopard print gowns and silver lame trenches are sure to entice.

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Suzaan Heyns

Heyns' mixed gender collections take journeys to the darker side of fashion, where nothing is quite what is seems and she didn't disappoint. A storm of strobe lights and electronic noise dramatically revealed the first outfit.

Latex, a specialised 'fabric' with particular construction needs, was the heart of the collection. Her ubiquitous leathers were present too. Heavy cotton twills, Melton wool, satin, plain weave cottons, sateen and melange stretch knit surround the latex base, creating extreme contrasts between textures and reflective appearances.

Black latex gloves and stockings accessorized most outfits. Men's vests, corsets, strapless bodices, skirts, dresses and a rather apocalyptic looking army green cape were made entirely out of latex. Big pouting lips of black latex covered the girls' mouths and the boys all wore stylized Dali moustaches.

Wool coats, dresses and jackets were cut with angular, asymmetric shapes. The garments dare you to see how they're constructed as they are draped, layered, folded back upon themselves or wrapped around the wearer like a mobius strip. Men's and woman's wear shared the collapsing coats and streamers of fabrics wrapping them into the garments. The restrictive nature of latex helped create an overall feeling of entrapment, of being twisted and tangled, desperate for change.

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Stefania Morland

Morland described the collection as "an embodiment of luxury and adornment" and the audience emphatically agreed. People quite literally wanted to buy straight off the ramp; it found that perfect mix of design concept, trend readiness, exclusivity and instant wearability.

The triumvirate of ivory, navy and gold combined with classic black to produce an unusual palette. When it came to fabrics, only the best basics and classic luxuries were used. Silk was the primary fibre, coming in chiffon, georgette, satin, organza, velvet, lace and a Lurex blend. Plain and twill weave cotton in various weights, and in mesh, completed the line-up.

The concept was, "celebrating strong women with symbolic armour and protection, while simultaneously celebrating femininity with transparent meshes and chiffons," said Morland. A blank ramp set off the detailed garments. The young, carefree, opening looks including simple dresses, pants, and jackets in ivory and navy took on an older, sassier edge as French lace tops and silk velvet bra's joined the ramp.

The different look of the gold in satin and cotton added visual interest, soft slouchy sequined jerseys induced pure desire and garments encrusted with sequins invoked jewelled armour perfectly. Ultimately Morland won an Audi A5 for being the designer whose work "most aligned with Audi's philosophy - progressive, sophisticated, luxurious and sexy".

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Audi Finale Show - Craig Port

Port's menswear collection, "Fangbangers", was inspired by a global obsession and personal fascination with vampires. Dark, rich colours like red and violet, detailing with studs and faux fur trim dominate. Sleek suits like a three-piece silver/black jacquard, two-tone red/black floral jacquard and a black velvet jacket with sequin detailing are superb.

A Miss Port collection continued the look, including feather/tulle fascinators, eyelet studded panels, velvet, sequin leggings and messy textured knits. Bordello styled satin lingerie under velvet gowns in opulent colours, with trailing feather trims dazzled.

 Click here for the full menswear gallery

 Click here for the full Miss Port gallery

Audi Finale Show - Featuring Errol Arendz

This hotly anticipated show saw a return of one of South Africa's most loved designers, Errol Arendz, to SA ramps after a long absence.

Suzaan Heyns styled ballet dancers began with a dramatic routine. Arendz opened with 'Love Sucks', a rock chic collection worn with teased hair and red devil horns. All black, figure-hugging dresses, distressed Lurex stockings, a wool biker jacket, faux fur trims and reptile skin textures created a bad girl image.

Arendz finished with all black couture called "Kiss of the Spider Woman" - who had towering beehives and dark cat eyes. A fine wool fitted dress, with square, exaggerated shoulders and seams closed with hooks & eyes, radiates perfection. A velvet dress with square shoulders covered in faux fur and bird-of-paradise feathers projecting from the neck closed the show.


Click here for the full gallery
Add your comment (2)
written by Subjects, February 02, 2010
Suzaan's line was beautiful. We (Subjects) collaborated with her to design and manufacture the latex for the show. It isn't the easiest material to wear but it's well worth it :-)
We custom make latex coutre.
Come by to have a look, I promise we can make just about anything you'd like out of latex.

written by amanda, February 01, 2010
Vampires and Voortrekkers as fashion've got to love the South African fashion scene. smilies/smiley.gif