“Oh my gaaaad, daaahling you look fab” the one fashionista said to another as I walked past looking as bewildered as a bull shopping for fine china. My experience at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was off to a shaky start, because of course I’d be late for my first fashion show at my first Cape Town Fashion Week, of course. Nevertheless, the media desk handed me my tickets and told me to rush in, I might be able to catch some of the show. I did so, and obliviously clapped along with the crowd as the show ended while voicing an audible opinion here and there, hoping I looked like I’d been there the whole time.
Out in the hall where the fashion lovers gathered I stood with a deer in the headlights kind of expression. Except this deer was looking nerdy hawt in a high-waist maroon skirt, tucked in cream shirt and black cardigan and the headlights was that of a fashion bus hurdling down the road at a phenomenal speed. And BANG! It hit me, the metaphorical fashion bus hit me. And sure I didn’t have a seat on it like the rest of the stylish and trendy people, but I reckoned hanging onto the windscreen was a good way of joining the journey.
HABITS BY JENNY LE ROUX:
First stop was the Habits show, designer Jenny Le Roux told Flair360Fashion her ready-to-wear range was somewhere between chain store and couture boutique, which sounds like the perfect combination. Staying true to her passion for fashion, Jenny produced a beautiful collection featuring monochrome in classic shapes, while sticking to a feminine theme throughout. I appreciated the fact that all the pieces weren’t skin tight or form-fitting yet they oozed femininity with classy ensembles and big flowing fabrics.
Something also prevalent in the collection was crushed fabric, something I’ve never been a fan of, but it somehow worked in this case. Half way through the show came what I like to call a plot twist – bright pink, yellow, blue and fabulous floral made an appearance. It felt like habits had produced a collection for a woman that works hard but also relaxed hard while staying stylish all the time. I personally loved the hooded cloaks that the models wore at some point, something about it screamed forest creature to me, but that could just be my overactive imagination.
I guess I should be eternally grateful to Jenny for putting together a good collection for me to witness at my actual first show (thanks Jenny).
After more awkward hall-lingering, feeling significantly short with everyone else wearing sky-high heels, they announced Rosenwerth was up next. I was meant to interview Gabi from Rosenwerth, but due to some schedule clashes, I was unable to. This meant that whatever was to be shown would be completely unexpected. So as I sat in my seat, not too far from front row I was feeling posh as fuck. I was holding my breath for both my excitement and my waist belt – that was straining of course. “Bly stil klein belt, dis nou-nou verby, sterkte” I whispered to my belt as the show was about to start.
They projected a cute little story onto the backdrop of the runway, something about two kids and women in a forest (hmm… more forests? This is getting weird), I’d like to say I knew what was going on, but I’d be lying. The runway doors finally opened and there entered the little girl from the projected show, and all I could think was ‘well if all the models are this tiny, we’ll never be able to see the clothes’. Thankfully, normal models eventually emerged and the real show began.
More pinks, oranges and blues were spotted in this range, mixed with whites, creating a very airy and light aura all together. The prints featured consisted of colourful diamond shapes as well as a play on animal print in different hues. I personally preferred the darker prints and the jewel tones used in some of the garments.
One area that Rosenwerth rocked in was the bridal wear, the dresses were beautiful and not too over the top. Too be honest, this wasn’t my favourite collection as a whole, but a piece here and there definitely caught my attention. The skirts were on point – big and dramatic movement are what’s on trend with skirts at the moment. There was one leather-look skirt that got me drooling (apologies to the peeps in front of me), it was perfection. The shape and its overall look was unique compared to the conventional tight leather skirt we often see. I mean, it’s totally normal to have human feelings for a piece of clothing right? If so, that’s how I feel towards that skirt.
The show came to an end and as I questioned my sanity while my heart lusted over a skirt, I realised that this is what fashion shows are all about. Besides all the glitz and glamour, fashion shows are actually just huge sales pitches. Designers are showing us what they’re capable of and we’re there to say yay or nay. It seems simple when put in a single sentence like that but I know a ridiculous amount of effort goes into all of these things. However, it’s this exact realisation that got me a bit upset over the next collection.
Up next was Cheryl Arthur, owner and founder of Hip Hop clothing – a reputable South African clothing brand. There was a lot of hype around the launch of her own label, so I was rightfully excited to see what she had in store for us. Out of all the collections I had seen so far this was the most contemporary and trendy, which I quite liked.
The digital print was amazing, beyond amazing in fact, and the dresses with them were beautiful, but sitting in second row and being able to see a cotton strand hanging from a dress is NOT what should happen. I found this little mishap very disappointing because I know designers are supposed to show their best stuff on the runway.
Throughout the evening I was yet to be wowed, until Ruald Rheeder came along and blew my mind. He was like a fashion angel that came from the heavens to restore my faith in good clothes once more. He started with a menswear collection that I loved because he took something simple like a suit and made it extraordinary.
His colours were on point, the styles were great and he appealed to such a huge variety of different people. His range was well rounded, with nautical themes as well as luxe velvets and rich colours. Think all of this but incorporated into well-tailored outfits – definite winner in my book.
Before I was able to profess my love for Ruald, his newly launched womenswear collection made its debut on the runway, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. He once again was able to create outfits for all kinds of women, I’m sure everyone there loved one or two ensembles, which is a difficult thing for a designer to do.
The colour most used in the collection was navy blue, super trendy and a classic colour often outshined by black. There were midi-skirts for the more conservative look but there were also sequin shorts for the flashier dresser – the right combination of sexy and classy.
I’d love to say something about the swimwear but it was around this time that my undies had decided to disembark by themselves (because of the gawjus models). It was a great way to end my first day at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town, so thanks are due to Ruald and his team. I could keep going on about how much I loved this show, but I think I’ve done enough butt-kissing so far.
As the hours flew by, the fashion shows had come to an end. I had witnessed enough good and bad fashion as well as great style from everyone. I had also been subjected to enough pretentious air kisses and was surrounded by enough skinny bitches in high heels to last me a lifetime, but the thought of returning the next day exciting me tremendously. The fashion bug hit me hard, probably because I was still stuck on the fashion bus’ windscreen, but mostly because I’ve fallen in love with it.