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It's time for all things fashionable again. SA Fashion Week takes place in Joburg from this evening, with some of the finest designers showing their summer collections.
WHIRRING sewing machines, beautiful models and stressed out designers will fill Braamfontein this week, taking part in the much-anticipated SA Fashion Week.

 

Designers will showcase their summer collection at various venues in JohannesburgDesigners will showcase their summer collection at various venues in JohannesburgIt is the turn of the summer collections, which will be shown from 8 to 10 April at the Shine Studio in Braamfontein. There will also be fashion seminars and a Fashion Fusion project. A full programme is available online.
 

SA Fashion Week comes hot on the heels of Joburg Fashion Week, which took place in February at various iconic venues in the city. Shows were held at the Bus Factory in Newton; Constitution Hill; the Rand Club on Fox Street; the Johannesburg Art Gallery; and the Nelson Mandela Bridge that links Braamfontein and Newtown.

Designers showing at this year’s SA Fashion Week: Summer Collection include Black Coffee, Amanda Laird Cherry, Ephymol, Lunar, Urban Goddess, Loxion Kulća, Gert Johan Coetzee, Mabu, Sober, Joel Janse van Vuuren, Clive Rundle, Naked Ape and Leigh Schubert.

Van Vuuren, who has recently moved to Joburg from Durban, explains that his designs reflect his explorations of beauty, fashion and the 21st century. His passion for fashion design was sparked while working at a London high-end fashion store.

He explains that his design method is random and non-restrictive so that he can produce garments that are creative from the outset of the design process.

“In my exploration of this process, I came across Rorschach’s inkblots which sparked the idea of creating fashion illustrations from inkblots. This child-like approach to design led me to create around one hundred paint blot fashion illustrations from which I could select those I could use in my collection,” he says.

“In this process of creating paint blots, I used a variety of mediums, from acrylic paint to gouache and ink. I placed the medium on a page and either flattened another page on top of it or folded the page in half, both of which created interesting silhouettes that could later be transformed into fashion designs.

 

ModelsLocal designers are making a name for themselves internationally“Once the paint and ink had dried on all the pages, I placed a figure into the paint blot shape to create a fashion silhouette. I did not want to allow thought or logic to dictate the figure and the design, so I allowed myself a brief 20-second window in which to draw the figure before moving on to the next paint blot page,” he says.
 

“I am moving away from any previous understandings of the fashion design process I may have been taught. I believe that with this method, seen through the ‘chaos’ of randomly spilling paint on to a page and allowing the free form to determine my fashion silhouette, I introduce order and create a fashion illustration from a paint blot. In this way I impose structure on the chaos.”

Fashion Fusion
In partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, SA Fashion Week launched the Fashion Fusion project in 2006. Organisers say: “To date, this initiative, which actively promotes collaboration between rural crafters and designers, has established a national network of collaborative groups in all nine provinces and has empowered 900 crafters and assisted 40 designers to develop collections with a uniquely contemporary ‘made in RSA’ signature.”

SA Fashion Week has previously invited an American product developer and agent to the country to set up an export agency for local designers to increase the export trade for the local fashion industry.

A number of orders were placed with local designers and selected stores for export after visits were made to Market on Main, and meetings were held with Black Coffee, Clive Rundle, Two, Naked Ape, Lunar, Stoned Cherrie and Ephymol, among others.

SA Fashion Week adds: “Increasingly, South Africa is becoming the source as a destination for local design in fashion and clothing, textiles, homeware and jewellery. Customers desire quality items with a nostalgic and somewhat bespoke hand-crafted quality.”

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