REVIEW: Taibo Bacar at Cape Town Fashion Week

REVIEW: Taibo Bacar at Cape Town Fashion Week

Mozambique’s Taibo Bacar presents their latest collection at Cape Town Fashion Week

Taibo Bacar makes the case for quiet luxury at Cape Town Fashion Week

Closing out Cape Town Fashion Week, Taibo Bacar presented a collection that exemplified world-class mastery of quality and craftsmanship. We should all be very nervous, waiting with bated breath for the strides that this Mozambican luxury powerhouse is yet to make in bringing African luxury to the world. Titled “Nightmare”, Taibo Bacar produced a show that was deliberate, haunting, and sultry – the coveted wardrobe of a terrifyingly elegant femme fatale. Producing clean silhouettes, precise tailoring and intricate detailing, the luxury label’s AW2023 collection reasserted Bacar’s status as a pioneering fashion brand in Africa.

Currently making strides towards recognition in global fashion markets, it is clear that Bacar treasures the very notion of luxury — curating it as much as executing it fluently in expertly finished garments.

Speaking during the Cape Town Fashion Week Masterclass “Unveiling the Future of African Luxury” the day before his closing show, Bacar made the point that Mozambique is often overlooked in conversations about African fashion and luxury. With this in mind, one is inclined to attach a greater symbolism to the Maputo-based label’s Fashion Week success.

Bacar’s “Nightmare” is an expression of fear and loss that he believes is best articulated through fashion. The minute that initial sequined two-piece suit twinkled its way down the runway, it seemed as though the audience was plunged into Bacar’s ominous reverie, where his story was about to unfold through intricately detailed pieces made of impeccable silks, satins, and chiffons.

Elements of performance and showmanship indicated that Bacar’s muse for “Nightmare”, is intimidatingly refined, sophisticated, with a penchant for the tastefully ornate. Staying true to its title, Bacar’s collection rarely strayed from the colour scheme of black, midnight blue and white, with sparing use of pink, red, brown and the rich blue of quality denim.

If ever there was a show of excellent artistry, it was in Bacar’s embrace of restraint.  Although some garments were adorned with crystalline decals, a pure and simplistic approach to decorative details allowed graceful yet dramatic silhouettes, expert tailoring, and lush fabrics to be the primary focus of the show. Amidst the dramatic and commanding silhouettes of Bacar’s belted blazers, standout pieces included a belted A-line gown in an exquisite red silk; a priestly ensemble with a magnificent black skirt and a collared white “clergy shirt,” and a sheer black robe that was the picture of femme-fatale elegance.

Taibo Bacar was the perfect show to close out Cape Town Fashion Week. Bacar’s collection certainly marked the occasion, representing the high calibre of African designers in the luxury arena. As the brand works towards emerging in global markets, “Nightmare” gives African consumers all the incentive in the world to invest in local luxury. It is my hope that this collection garners the investment that it so deeply deserves.

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