SA Fashion Week SS24 | The Wrap Up

ft. the L'OREAL Paris show, a new talent search winner, and a legal workshop for designers.

Marsh Media | Official SA Fashion Week Social Photographer

Here's your recap of South African Fashion Week SS24! Questions? Just hit reply.

Table of contents

Bonang Matheba walks the runway with designer Biji Gibbs at the L’OREAL Paris Walk Your Worth show
Eunice Driver Photography | Official SA Fashion Week Runway Photographer

L’OREAL Paris joins Mr Price and ISUZU as a new headline sponsor

Signing a deal for a 2-year partnership, L’OREAL Paris joined Mr Price & ISUZU as a new headline sponsor of SA Fashion Week.

To celebrate, L’OREAL Paris brought its global series of ‘Walk your worth‘ fashion shows to South Africa with a large runway spectacle at the end of night 2. The sections of the show appeared to be split up into product textures — nude numbers filled a pressed powder section, red designs for the lipstick section, all-black ensembles for the mascara section, white for one of the new serums, etc.

L’Oreal-affiliated famous faces including Leanne Manas, Jessica Nkosi and Yvonne Chaka Chaka walked the show in designs by Biji la Maison de Couture (the designer responsible for that Zozibini Tunzi dress), accompanied by dancers and poetry by Lebo Mashile. Brand Ambassador Thuso Mbedu was not in attendance, but Bonang Matheba closed out the show.

Oddity’s Jessica-Ann Sheperd wins the SS24 New Talent Search

Jessica Ann Sheperd’s winning Oddity collection
Eunice Driver Photography | Official SA Fashion Week Runway Photographer

The SS24 emerging talent competition brought a mix of known and unknown names to the runway final, but the name that took home the prize was Cape Town’s Jessica-Ann Sheperd, designer of Oddity.

The Oddity collection was cohesive, cleanly finished, youthful, engaging in texture and colour, and made the most sense visually as the winning choice when you consider that it’s likely to be adapted into a capsule collection for MRP.

On the Runway

Viviers – Marsh Media | Official SA Fashion Week Social Photographer

The 4th edition of Fashion Bridges featured Italian designer ANDREADAMO alongside returning local favourite Viviers. While Lezanne Viviers offered a surprisingly wearable round of her slow, artful fashion…

ANDREADAMO – Marsh Media | Official SA Fashion Week Social Photographer

… the Italian guest showed sheer layers, feminine draping, canvas tailoring and a softer tailored take on the leather craft Italy is famous for.

Marsh Media | Official SA Fashion Week Social Photographer

Ephymol’s draped menswear was incredible, but my favourite details across the shows had to be the accessories at BAM Collective. These sharp folder clutches with floor-length fringe left an unbeatable impression, particularly when rendered in silver leather. Fingers crossed they make it into production.

IMPRINT – Marsh Media | Official SA Fashion Week Social Photographer

Mzukisi Mbane’s IMPRINT showed off the fruits of growth and maturity this season, with a print story that has evolved far beyond the brand’s beginnings and a more comprehensive display of the design language that’s made the brand so popular in recent years.

This season’s runways also featured rugs — yes, rugs. Belgotex appears to have provided a selection of off-white rugs featured on the runway throughout shows, one night a long runner down the middle of the runway, and another night two large round rugs (as above) with models walking around them in a figure 8. Whether this was a placement sponsorship or a simply solution for a potentially slippery surface is unclear.

Off the Runway

Marsh Media | Official SA Fashion Week Social Photographer

There was a media lounge at SAFW for the first time in a while (leading me to believe L’Oreal’s partnership deal may be worth quite a bit of money). The space featured a few spots to sip, post & write from, as well as a secondary CRUZ vodka bar and some snacks.

(supplied)

Consultant Kirsty Leo of LEO SZN curated & hosted an intimate industry gathering that began with a specially curated menu by acclaimed chef Akido at his eponymous restaurant at The Leonardo, and ended with enjoying the SA Fashion Week runway. Guests included stylist Julienne Mpoko, model & DJ Ponahalo Mojapelo and Mozambique’s Shaazia Adam of MINA, a participant in the decade-long exchange program between SA Fashion Week and Mozambique Fashion Week.

LEO SZN Consulting’s Kirsty Leo (supplied)

“We are passionate about cultivating an environment where local luxury brands can not only flourish domestically, but also continue to captivate the international market,” says Leo. “By fostering connections and facilitating collaboration, we aim to propel these brands onto the global stage.”

ISUZU’s MU-X @ SAFW | Marsh Media | Official SA Fashion Week Social Photographer

ISUZU’s MU-X made its return to the shows, this time with a ‘Car-eoke‘ game, recorded using the webcam in the vehicle’s media console. Sessions were screened at a photo stop area outside the media lounge. In a press day ahead of the shows, representatives for the brand mentioned that they had applied learnings from their first season to their second and were expecting to engage with attendees differently.

Designers, creatives & ENS lawyers celebrate ‘Sustainability en Vogue‘

I had an early kick off this fashion week with Carlyn Fritelli Davies, an environment & natural resource lawyer at ENS Africa with an incredible passion for sustainability and local fashion. ENS is focusing on different sectors of industry and taking a deeper look at their compliance and legal needs to put together tailored guides, and the day before the shows, it was fashion’s turn. ENS celebrated local design with a showcase and the launch of their sector focus guide (download a copy of the ENS Fashion Sector Guide here).

A diverse collection of designers received a half day legal workshop from ENS’ specialists in environment, IP, compliance and more at ‘Sustainability en Vogue,’ an awesome first event at ENS’ Sandton offices that ended with local shopping & cocktails. I was honoured to lend a (tiny) hand to Carlyn & her colleagues as they put the event together, and to speak in the morning and cocktail evening sessions.

Look out for a Cape Town edition of the event, and for ENS’ forthcoming business toolkit – a collection of documents and instructions to keep your business in good legal standing (for a small fraction of what it would cost to be a client).

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