SA Fashion Week A/W 2012 Roundup - Elle New Talent Competition

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

For the second consecutive year, I was asked to be on the judging panel of the competition that has launched the careers of some noteworthy local designers including Tiaan Nagel, Anisa Mpungwe and David Tlale.  Last year's winner Cleo Droomer has been interning at Gavin Rajah in Cape Town and presented a new collection at the Elle New Talent Show on Thursday night. I still don't know how he turns that glossy rubbery fabric into beautiful dresses.  I like that he experiments with different fabrics - the other pieces were made from parachuting, something one hardly sees on local runways. His new collection for Mr Price hits stores this week.

Amber Jones for Mr Price

Somebody over the weekend said that Amber Jones is the best thing to happen to Mr Price.  Although she would turn redder than her hair if somebody said this, I must say that she is synonymous with the Mr Price brand, even though she doesn't work there anymore.  I'm not sure in what capacity, but she presented a new range for this show.  

I liked the youthful bubblegum quirk of this collection - it was big on dresses and cutesy paraphernalia like the bows on the shoes, shorts and accessories and heart shaped specs.  Bang on trend, I think they young un's will like this. Of course, I didn't love absolutely everything - for my personal reasons and also because I feel some of the stuff was too bang on trend, a bit predictable and like you'll wake up next year and not want to wear some of these clothes because their time would have passed.  But I'm 26 not 16. 

Onto the reason we were all there, the reason I almost had heart failure that evening, was the Elle New Talent Awards.  The 8 finalists all really deserved their place and overall, the standard of entry's compared to previous years was pretty high.  This is why we spent much longer than usual arguing it out, discussing which of the top three should win.  In the end, the votes went to Port Elizabeth based student Kelly Esterhuizer, whose knitwear collection blew our socks off!  It was something we didn't expect, it was novel especially in South Africa for knitwear to look so fashion forward and lastly, those looks don't only look good on the runway, a lot of them could be worn off the hanger.  

Kelly's range was fighting it out with Kotloano Molokomme's fierce force of a red collection that had a lot of the audience members ghasping in disappointment with our decision!

Here are some of my other favourite ranges from South Africa's newest designers

Lameez Claasen from Cape Town and two of her Lam Collection looks.  Hoping we will have this adorable range at Mememe.

I heart Danielle Hartman's Heroine collection! It was full of the binary opposing components of soft and hard, feminine and masculine - leather against chiffon, pleats vs big folds.  

The tailoring in Khumo Motane's House of Rehab (don't know about the name) collection was impeccable.

For me, this was the most exciting show this season - I like discovering new talent and playing a part in bringing in new blood to the industry.   

pictures: Ivan Naude




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