SA Menswear Week, not to be confused with Africa Fashion week, held their SS19 show this past weekend at The Lookout in Granger Bay. To my absolute shock and horror, I had no idea what SS19 meant. Part of my weekend was spent being confidently vague when answering any questions about the show out of fear for letting it slip that I had no clue that SS19 simply referred to the season and year, Spring Summer 2019 as my boyfriend later explained to me.
The best part about fashion week is definitely the validation you get from the world for putting together a totally cute outfit. People will tell you they came to see one of their favourite designers, which is true, I went to see my favourite designers too. The fact remains, however, having fashion photographers take your picture at fashion week is one of the greatest compliments, especially if you’ve had a few shots at the pre-drinks the night before and need a pick-me-up!
The entire event was a glamorous blur even though the first show started an hour later than scheduled. One of my favourite designers had to be Chulaap with bold prints and bright colours, they stayed true to their unmistakable African aesthetic. Chulaap has become a veteran at SAMW, never failing to disappoint the audience, giving us exactly what we didn’t know we needed.
We can’t talk about Menswear Week without talking about Tokyo James. The British Nigerian designer showcased a Burberry-esque collection of latex suit pants, lilac snakeskin jackets, bee embroidery and metallic trench coats. There was a playful bit of gender swopping found in aspects of every design he showcased, especially in the materials used in the construction of the garments.
While I was casually sauntering about, trying my best to look as effortlessly chic as some of the other fashionistas, bloggers and Instagram models, the event was in no short supply of, I couldn’t help but notice how events in the international fashion were at the epicentre of almost every conversation. Very few people discussed the actual show until I asked who they came to see.
SA Menswear Week is where one would expect to find insight into next season’s hottest fashion trends, all of this is overshadowed by fashion politics and the general lack of support by the public. I mean, this is the only Fashion Week in Africa dedicated to men’s clothing. This event should be sold out with people fighting over the chance to sit front row. I will still lend my support to this event every season in hopes that more young people will attend. The growth and evolution of this event is something I very much look forward as a South African who loves fashion.
I thoroughly enjoyed the use of models who don’t necessarily represent the industry standard. The label Good Good Good is known for their diverse casting of models every season. My hopes for next seasons showcase is that younger people start attending these shows. It gets tiresome seeing the same faces every season. The fashion industry has always thrived off of growth and change. I can honestly say it was a great showcase.
I am busy planning my next outfit already!
All images taken by Micah Delport.