15 Autumn/Winter Trends Seen At AFI Cape Town Fashion Week

African Fashion International (AFI) hosted its annual autumn/winter Fashion Week at the Salt River Film Studios in Cape Town from 21-24 March 2018.
Gavin Rajah was the first designer to showcase his sportswear-inspired range at the Living Space, which was refreshingly different to his signature eveningwear and bespoke designs.

The official opening dinner was held at the prestigious Ritz Hotel in Greenpoint and hosted celebrities including Bonang Matheba, Lee Ann Williams, and Grace Constable Davies.

This year’s theme ‘I am Africa’, awarded designers the opportunity to exhibit their appreciation of Africa in their exhibition of fabrics, print, silhouette, and colour.

There was a beautiful mix of feminine, sophistication, juxtapositioned with 3D ‘unfinished’, artisanal looks. Luxury synthetic fabrics included velour, organza, lame, fur, and velvet, while natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, and denim were also key.


All of the designers’ ranges were distinctive, exciting, and displayed a high level of craftsmanship.

The up-and-coming designers selected as finalists in the AFI Fastrack Programme will have the opportunity to showcase at Fashion Week in Johannesburg and the winner will also receive R15,000 and a trip to New York. The finalists are Dani Bitzounis, Cari St Quentin, Sindi Mbobo, and Aaliyah Randeree.

Here are 15 key trends:


Sexy, sleek sports silhouettes from dungarees to off-shoulder bombers make a cheeky statement. As shown by Moxhosa by Laduma, Gavin Rajah, Khosi Nkosi, Leigh Schubert, and Sitting Pretty.


This trend transitions from summer and is updated with beautiful waterfalls cascading down sleeves, centre fronts of dresses and skirts, or traditionally on hemlines as shown by Adama Paris, Craig Port, Matte Nolim, Nicolas Coutts, Orapeleng, and Quiteria and George

Fabric formation

Fabric manipulation is taken to new levels as the fabric is frayed, fringed, reconstructed, and hems left undone. As shown by Lumiere Couture, Leandi Mulder, Nicolas Coutts, and Mahone.

3D is key!

Fabric and trim details are raised and create beautiful sculptural and artistic shapes. As showcased by Quiteria and George, Ituen Basi, and Adama Paris.


The ice princess and snow queen take their lead from here – as designers showcase the application of organza, chiffon, mesh knit, etc. As shown by Quiteria and George, Kahindo, Lumiere, Orapeleng, and Craig Port.


Velours are displayed in seductive silhouettes and vary from bold mustards to jewel tones. As shown by Quiteria and George, Diane Paris, Craig Port, and Sitting Pretty.


Fringing is updated in trousers, unusual placements, and created by means of fabric manipulation. As shown by Leandi Mulder, Lumiere Couture, Moxhosa by Laduma, Salima Abdel, and Fastrack finalists.

One shoulder

This ‘80s trend continues into winter and is concluded with statement sleeves as shown by Adama Paris, Orapeleng, AFI Prive, and Ituen Basi Tangoro by Sarah Diouf.


Levels of pinks in sheers, velours, and feminine silhouettes are key as shown by Quiteria and George, Sitting Pretty, and AFI Prive.

The Matrix

Pleather goes super feminine in peplum and ‘50s inspired silhouettes as showcased by Diane Paris, Leigh Schubert, and Matte Nolim.


Sequins, satins lames, organza, and many other luxury fabrics are showcased in sleek, simple, silhouettes. As seen in Craig Port, Nicolas Coutts, Kahindo, Lumiere Couture, and AFI Prive.

Exceptional sleeves

Power sleeves showcased include Archangel, Leg-o-mutton, Tiered, Bishop, and many other sleeve styles. These are shown by Craig Port, David Tlale, Imprint, Utien Basi, Kahindo, and Lumiere Couture.


Uneven and asymmetrical hem details add a playful and feminine edge to skirts and dresses as seen by David Tlale, Matte Nolim, West – Export, Mahone, and Craig Port.

Sexy suiting

Androgynous suiting is replaced by formfitting sexier silhouettes. As shown by Craig Port, Kahindo, and Orapeleng.


Trousers are showcased with centre front slits, while super-slits add a sexy touch to feminine skirts and dresses. As shown by Craig Port, Kahindo, and Fastrack.

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