The South African Menswear Week Spring Summer 2015/2016 occurred last week and featured the best in both established and up and coming African menswear designers. This 3 day event provided a large platform to showcase, develop, and promote African menswear designers within the continent. Furthermore, throughout each runway show, there were many noticeable trends. Richard of Haute Fashion Africa wrote a great trend report for this just ended Menswear week.
Check out his trend report...:
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Menswear took a completely different direction this season, especially at the just concluded SA menswear fashion week; where designers were a lot more darker, edgier and really rock and roll, almost like an ode to the goth impresario: Jean Paul Gaultier. From designers such as Kim Gush, with her very severe take on black leather, to Rich Mnisi’s bold statement collection in navy blue and Palse Homme’s super sophisticated and minimalist collection that was majorly anchored on white.
Across board –from London to SA; the rebel gang meet rock and roll vibe seemed to have been the order of the day — with Magent and Agi & Sam’s face mask and body painting and Saint Laurent’s 70’s rock and roll retro throwback, the next season’s man is definitely a rebel, non-conformist and some may say an outlier.
What makes a trend, you ask? Well, firstly, for a particular style to become a trend, such a style must have singularly reoccurred a number of times across catwalks in that season, which makes it very likely to become a wardrobe staple across the globe. And these trends mentioned below have this and so much more in common.
Shorts was singularly the biggest trend across catwalks in South Africa and London. Designers such as Martin Kadinda made a strong case for the short pant suit, Rich Mnisi went super short and Maxhosa’s intricate take on textured shorts. Other designers who incorporated this trend across the catwalks include: Magents, Kola Kuddus, Kim Gush, Taf The Taylor, Martin Kadinda, Palse Homme, Terrence Bray, Imprints, Jagadi and Shirt & Co.
Whether it was faux or real leather, this trend was a bang on the runway. Saint Laurent went biker jacket with his leather while Kim Gush’s entire collection was reverent of it. Other designers that incorporated leather include; Merwe, Julia M’poko, Agi & Sam, Rich Mnisi.
3. Vests and Sleeveless waist coats
Summer is symbolic for the heat wave and hot burning sun, hence, these designers that have made this a must have sartorial staple for spring summer 16. Kola Kuddus’ neon green vest and the white native vest with the Hausa inspired traditional embroidery were the stand out pieces for the designer’s collection. Other designers that incorporated the sleeveless trend into their collection include; Kim Gush, Nguni Shades, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Taf TheTaylor.
Camo has been here for a long time, if these indications are anything to go by, then it is here to stay. It was a full fledged war zone on the Taf The Taylor’s catwalk and hints of army green were splashed across Merwe Mode’s collection.
5. Longline shirts
Longline was such a formidable force at the Taf The Taylor, Merwe Mode and Palse Homme’s catwalks. Other designers that incorporated this trend into their collection include; Jenevieve Lyons, Augustine, Casely Hayford, Shirt & Co, Terrence Bray and Jagadi.
Black was such a huge palette for designers: Kim Gush, Merwe Mode and Taf the Taylor, while white was of equal standing at Palse Homme’s minimalist presentation, Jagadi, Casely Hayford and Lukhanyo Mdingi all favoured white. Designers Rich Mnisi, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Julia M’poko, Agi & Sam and Casely Hayford all took the navy blue route.
Layering was major at the Saint Laurent catwalk, just as it was at , Agi & Sam and Casely Hayford.
This trend will indeed be the defining factor for spring summer 16, as it continues to challenge the preconceived notion of gender and masculinity ( Hey, Caitlin Jenner!), and designers at the SA menswear week caught on with this trend like a wildfire. Kukhanyo Mdingi’s collection was characteristically sheer, Palse Homme’s lacy sheer longline shirt absolutely blurred the lines of gender for me. Kim Gush, Merwe Mode, Rich Mnisi and Jagadi were all on board the sheer trend.
What will be a mens fashion month without the jackets? Saint Laurent went biker and bomber, while Simon Deporres, Palse Homme, and Nguni Shades took the varsity jacket route, with a refreshing twist, might I add!
Taking a cue from Spring Summer 15 womenswear, the next season’s man is bold enough to try his hands on the very hard to ace trend. And designers such as Merwe Mode, Kola Kuddus, Palse Homme, Rich Mnisi, Agi & Sam, Casely Hayford and Shirt & Co all resoundingly echoed this trend in both bold and pin stripes as was the case at Rich Mnisi’s collection.
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Credit: Richard Akuson on Hautefashionafrica.com