A Memorable Ending for 2018 AFI Joburg Fashion Week
The off-site shows are always something to look forward to, bringing exciting elements to the Fashion Week atmosphere. This season, Tsotesti KL and David Tlale both put on dramatic and emotionally packed shows, which reflected on our country’s history.
Tsotesi KL’s show was held at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg, which has a rich story that lent itself to the show’s theme, Unscripted Wounds. Tsotesi told a story of the jailed women who never got a chance to tell their own stories; this was his attempt to shed light on this and spark conversation around this topic. Garments were embellished with coloured ribbons that signified the beauty of the subjects in his story – the silenced women. He presented an array of garments, which catered to everyone from the wild and free, to the tame and demure. A moving scene as the finale saw the models walk out in handcuffs, led to a performance on the outdoor lawns where Kelly Khumalo sang songs of struggle. The models got in formation, surrounding the stage as she performed, which brought a sense of unity amongst the women. A deeply moving experience.
The second, and closing, show of the day was David Tlale. Leading up to his extravaganza, there was much speculation about what he would do next. Held at the Skyrink Arena in Johannesburg’s city centre, he described the venue as “world class” and hoped that his guests and attendees would use the venue for their future events. When David said world class, he wasn’t kidding. As the show began, the crisp music and dancing strobe lights set the scene for what would be a sensational display of African fashion at its best. One hundred models, including local celebrities Lala Hirayama, Refilwe Modiselle and Vusi Nova to name a few, walked the runway. Celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela, the show made nods to the struggles of South Africa’s past, the resilient women who held our country together, and the thought leaders who subsequently led us to freedom. All of which was accompanied by tense music, which had guests on the edge of their seats waiting to see which looks would come out next. The evening concluded with a special performance by Vusi Nova who never ceases to capture the hearts of an audience with his riveting voice.
There was no better way to end off such a remarkable week. As we moved from the show tent, to the Melrose Arch Gallery, to Constitutional Hill, and finally The Skyrink Arena, true African talent was displayed along with esteemed guests and designers from Asia. What may have seemed like the duration of a lifetime has now drawn to a close, meaning we’re gearing up for next season. See you there!