NOTHEMBA MKHONDO, Features Writer
As the last fashion week of the year, the energy at SAFW was at an all time high and as I watched the new season shows unfold on the runway, I couldn’t help but simultaneously reflect on the last year of local fashion and be reaffirmed that young designers and menswear designers are the true heroes of the AW18 season and the year as a whole. Season after season, young designers and menswear step up to the plate with collections worthy of international audiences and this season again Thebe Magugu and Rich Mnisi held their spot as two of my favourite local designers, with their vibrant and playful, yet wearable collections. Style by SA remains a highlight of SA Fashion Week, more so this season with the addition of Droomer and Sindiso Khumalo to the line up. The menswear collections didn’t disappoint this season with Floyd Avenue, De Mil and d.o.p.e, showing us that South African menswear designers have a lot to offer to the growing SA industry.
NOKUBONGA THUSI, Beauty Editor
Beauty this season had a very minimalistic approach with skin being the hero and features being used to punctuate the glowing canvas. The beauty looks at the Style by SA, Gert-Johan Coetzee and Sunglasshut New Talent shows were ultimate resort goals with monochromatic deep pink flushes worn all over the face on cheeks, temples, eyes and lips or just focusing on one feature. It was super easy and completely wearable for any woman.
The use of colour was more considered this season with placement of bright colour being crucial in the differentiation between garish and refined. The Thebe Magugu show gave us a beautiful cyan lined waterline that really popped set against a neutral, illuminated face. The eye look at Ekta, Sheila Madge and T-Niche gave me the idea of exaggerated, almost cartoon-like highlighting. The eyes were awash with molten black while the brow bone and the inner corners of the eyes were painted with a liquid gold pigment, giving off the most intense refection of light. A mix between winter and summer, the glossy lips at Sies Isabelle, a wine red that had an almost “just bitten” appeal to them, made them perfect for summer as precision application became optional - making the glossy dark lip that we saw in AW17 a lot more effortless.
Hair also had some shining moments this season with dual textured hair still being a delight to see on the runway. The New Talent Search show put a retro spin on the usual ultra sleek, lacquered wet-look. The hair was subtly slicked back with a tiny amount of gel to give it a more flexible looking hold and the rest of the hair was done into voluminous, loosely combed out waves. I preferred this version of wet hair for the summer, as it had a playfulness to it and gave the more leeway to restyling. Though most hair was beautifully tailored to our season, in terms of being wearable and the textures, I did feel that there still needs to be more local interpretations of the beauty looks, and not direct copies of the trend. I loved the inspirations taken from international runway trends such as the high bun with the corn rowed back from Dior Spring RTW 2016 but I would have love to have seen a South African spin on the look instead of giving us something that we had already seen.