“Curated chaos that leaves no room for restricted dressing.” That is how Mimangaliso Ndiko, AFI Fastrack finalist and founder of SIXX6, defined his capsule collection at Joburg Fashion Week during the AFI Fastrack showcase.
Titled Umnqolobi, this was an insurrection staged on the runway. Delicate lingerie met bold outerwear; a soft pastel blue colliding with denim, rich browns and greys.
The collection celebrated Gen-Z’s radical commitment to self-expression, aligning Gen-Z’s transformative cultural impact with a revolution; a mutiny on tradition and the structures that work to keep it in place.
Ndiko has a firm grasp of his target audience, and demonstrated as much through a collection that speaks directly to a subset of Gen-Z consumers who refuse to be restricted in their dressing. Instead, they’re committed to being conversation starters; blending past styles and subcultures with their own ingenious touches to destabilise sensibilities of taste and flattery.
The New Left: A pale blue, two-piece cutout top, comprising a strapless bralette and light vest fastened at the neck, is paired with a dark-blue maxi-skirt. Draped over the two is a voluminous brown leather jacket with an exaggerated collar.
Going into the challenge, Sixx6 was already armed with a built-in sustainability model, which creates longevity through detachable and adjustable elements, producing fluid and adaptable silhouettes.
Ndiko used the common expression, “form follows function”, as a jumping-off point to cross genres, expertly play with weight and volume, and ultimately blend Sixx6’s signature sultry and deconstructed silhouettes with structured grey plaid and sturdy brown leathers.
Religious Dystopia: A lace bodysuit covers the body from neck to ankle. It forms the base for an under the bust corset and a matching mini skirt and a ruching detail, adjustable by drawstring. Draped over the shoulders is a grey plaid outerwear piece, ruched sporadically to produce an irregular, quilted effect.
Ndiko named each look after what he terms “Stages of Terrorism”. The three looks were titled “The New Left”, “Religious Dystopia”, and “Utopia”.
Throughout the Fastrack programme, Ndiko has been consistent in producing collections that were as poetic and perceptive as they were well-researched. In this collection, he makes a relevant cultural and philosophical analysis.
Utopia: This look forms the perfect centrepiece for this capsule collection, capturing the thesis of Umnqolobi best. A draped, pale-blue and denim dress with a stand collar, and an asymmetrical skirt wrapped around the hips, draped over a black lace underskirt and lace stockings. A cropped jacket sets a patchwork of brown leathers against a grey-plaid base.
By naming it in his mother tongue of IsiXhosa, he asserts an African frame of reference, showcases the richness of an African perspective in fashion and how naturally it fits right in.
We cannot wait to see what thought-provoking and culturally significant collections he will continue to create in the future.