The menswear shows held at the Cape Town stadium last night were mostly a showcase of emerging designers, who I thought displayed potential with cohesive work, only at times betrayed by poor workmanship, but nonetheless buoyed by creative execution. The irreverence of Armand Dicker’s Suck My Dicker collection often defied utilitarianism, but then again, functionality for who??? His use of mohair, sporty references, bold text prints and silhouettes communicated an obvious edge and grit encapsulated in those zap-sign-up words: “Suck My Dicker”!
My first impression of Siviwe James’s Pilgrim Clothing was “Sun Goddess could have so evolved in this direction, rather than stagnate”. The stitching on soft linen, the silhouettes, and, of course, those leather neckpieces and sticks carried by the models, while steeped in modernity (not the sticks, but you catch my drift), were totes rooted in the dress of Amampondo.
One can always spot an item or a few to snatch off the ramp when it comes to streetwear, and such was the case for me with Black Dog. While I enjoyed many of the looks from Nao Serati, I do look forward to how this young designer will hone his skill going forward. I do hope he doesn’t lose the cheeky streak.
One can often tell a brand’s star power by just looking at the front row, and boy, was that FROW at AKJP telling. Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen’s brand is certainly a fav with the fashion elite, the art community and it’s not hard to see why.
Name drop? Fans of the brand – or at least the creatives behind it – include former ELLE editor and now owner of Salon 58 Jackie Burger, author and TV presenter Bonnie Mbuli, Zeitz Mocca (museum of contemporary art Africa) executive director and chief curator Mark Coetzee, most fashion editors and more (we’re right there with them, too, boo).
The duo presented an extended version of the collection they showcased in Florence at Pitti Uomo, and the chit chatter on the FROW did not stop. There was simply nothing to hate. One has come to associate AKJP with texture, whether this be the fabric itself – jacquards, animal hide, silk, mohair, cashmere and more – or whatever’s embossed on it. There’s the signature artful quirk, and AKJP continued on this trajectory, lifting inspiration from the work of artist Georgina Gratrix. As a muse, I think she’s a comfortable fit for the AKJP brand.
Her work betrays the perceived seriousness of art as she injects whim and humour in her paintings, and this, I think, was abundantly present in what is quite possibly my favourite collection from AKJP. But, then again, this is probably what I’ve said for the last few seasons.
Before I sign out: the Skattie team wishes Keith Henning of AKJP the happiest of birthdays for today. What could be better than celebrating off the high of a runway victory?!! *champagne showers*
By Sandiso Ngubane
Images from SDR Photo/SA Menswear Week
& Malibongwe Tyilo
*click on an image to view all as slideshow