FASHION TO WEAR OR DISPLAY?

An admiration of the recent SA Fashion Week presentations for AW18 – a work of art.

Undoubtedly, Woolworths Style by SA was a standout show the first day of SA Fashion Week’s autumn-winter 2018 collections. The overall shows were a pure display of artistic charm. 
Collaborations by Thebe Magugu with illustrator Phatu Design is one instance. But there’s more, our eyes popped wide open to prints that unveiled like oil on canvas. Loayo Art [pictured above left] married that with velvet and its rich texture, giving an affirmation to the brand’s name and the point of this article. 
 
Floyd Avenue, Beware the Wolf in SHeep's Clothing, Ephymol
 
The menswear did not shy from colour, intriguing fabrication and draping. Floyd Avenue, Beware the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing and Ephymol fit that framing.
 
Mantsho
 
As collections took turns on the runway, Manstho reminded us of a contemporary Africa. The designer did not have to say it, but we believed what was felt from seeing the embroidery over chest and sleeves and the kofia hat, which are just a few mentions. 
 
AKJP chose SMAC Gallery in Rosebank for an installation and proved the beauty of clothes while on display. The collection looked like an artist using charcoal for some of his work and print for others. 
 
Clothes do need character, of which comes through the wearer. But a display has its own effects. We don’t need to put it in a comparative context. Just as there is no need to compare the colourful and the simplicity of no colour, so the streetwear we saw is not vetoed and we enjoyed the coming together of Vintage x Afropunk - placing monochrome on the ramp and clothing rails.
 
The term wearable art has flowed for a while and perceived one-sided. It is undisputed that apparel is for humans not walls, otherwise it would be wall –paper/-covering. Maybe. But if we were to consider the beauty of installations, hanging your clothes for your guests at home to see, touch and fully experience isn’t such a bad idea. Serves as a good alternative if you are not wearing them. Essentially, the clothes we see now are a work of art, in construction; in patterning; in print. Do as you will with your fashion: wear it, display it or both – show it off.