AFI Privé's Returns with a Resort Collection at Joburg Fashion Week 2023

AFI Privé's Returns with a Resort Collection at Joburg Fashion Week 2023

Ranji Mangcu

After rebranding to House of Nala by AFI, AFI’s in-house brand has reverted to AFI Privé at Joburg Fashion Week. First established in 2014, the brand has had several talented designers at its helm. The brand is now under the creative direction of Thulani Mlambo and Keneuoe Mhletswa, who design the menswear and womenswear collections, respectively.  

 

Key to the AFI Privé brand, is creating garments that are accessible luxury. And their Joburg Fashion Week collection, continued to boast their mastery of accessible, ready-to-wear fashion.  

Conceptually, the menswear and womenswear offerings of the collection were mostly divergent, dealing with different themes altogether, but united under an established set of house codes that blend a luxury philosophy with a utilitarian aesthetic – mobility that never compromises on quality. And this is what made the HUAWEI WATCH GT 4 sponsorship a perfect alignment with the brand. It was a fashion forward collection that showcased both brands, beautifully.  

AFI Privé Womenswear Collection 

 

The womenswear collection took inspiration from the age-old tradition of bridal couture. Mhletswa infused casual, functional elements that elevated a cargo-adjacent aesthetic into a high-quality collection that managed to be both structured and sophisticated but also wearable, accessible and versatile. In this way, Mhletswa once again accomplishes the timeless, ageless, ideal ready-to-wear collection.  

Two cargo-style dresses coming one after the other elicited a stirring audience reaction, one a strapless, olive-green piece with a collar construction at the neckline; the other a collared dress with large pockets at the chest, and an anorak-style detail at the back. These more relaxed silhouettes were followed by sweeping violet gowns, punctuated by architectural ruffles and accessorised with headscarves and sunglasses creating a vintage aesthetic.  

AFI Privé Menswear Collection 

 

 

Mlambo followed with a menswear collection that paid homage to denim tradition, balancing it out with lightweight linens in a collection led by summery shades of blue and loose-fitting, streetwear silhouettes.  

Despite the unending mill of fashion philosophies and trend cycles, denim has endured as a wardrobe staple since as early as the 17th century, its origins being in blue-collar workwear. Mlambo litters the material in, in a soft shade of blue, first through a set of dungarees worn with a plain-white tee, then through an impeccably tailored denim jacket with two pockets at the chest.  

The collection is now available for purchase at House of Nala by AFI, Shop U47A Upper Level, Sandton City. You can also purchase online, here 

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