The fashion gods have spoken! Cowboy hats are cool, your pocket square should match your belt. Welcome to my judgmental discussion on current menswear styles. With any luck it’ll help you avoid the fads that betray the trend pigs a mile away.
South African Fashion Week – Mens A/W’17
Fashion weeks, along with the rest of the industry the globe over, are going through some intense identity crises. Already it seems odd to be viewing winter garments in the spring. As if I’ll even remember these come March next year…perhaps as much as I recall the spring collections from 6 months ago. I’ve been watching designers from all over the planet display their new wares, and think we’re increasingly moving towards a world of only one season. That most important of all fashion seasons: NOW!
As the archaic cycles of the fashion industry become ever more irrelevant to the modern consumer, one may as well enjoy the fashion week parties while they last.
What’s hot? Who’s popular? Do we still have genders?
Ephymol is a brand with a pretty consistent delivery of class, sophistication and a modern vision of African men. It was good to see Ephraim bring out some fresh shapes among his generally conservative silhouettes. And a relief that he’s dropped the retro vibe from last season.
Presidential, just shut up and take my money!
Floyd Avenue had a lot to live up to after winning last season’s new talent search. Again I at first thought the collection was rather plain, but upon review have been mesmerized by the intricacy of the details.
I enjoyed some of the looks by Palse, but can’t say I saw anything revolutionary. I also struggled to see a coherent point of view.
I chatted with Henni of Rogue before the show (shout out for the tickets mate!!) who said he wished people would be more critical of his work…so here goes:
It’s difficult to criticize Henni’s work since his aesthetic is right up my alley. Of all the designers that are desperately attempting to make something new, I feel like Henni and Floyed are the only ones actually imagining novel garments.
Rogue’s A/W’17 collection I felt was less an exploration of our distopian future wardrobe, and more a refinement of Henni’s already known aesthetic. Of all his collections this was certainly the most commercially viable (which is of course, the most important thing for a designer), but because of that also the least edgy. I want to see more of the unbridled Henni I saw in 2015, the man disillusioned with the drudgery of social norms, the man unafraid to drape a menswear collection.
Zamaswazi managed to tone it down a bit from last season, and I must say I’m enjoying his new use of paneling quite a bit.
Not my thing, but hey You do You
Esnoko, sho again I must say I love these prints I really do…but there’s more to being a designer than using different fabrics on the same garments we’ve been wearing for a 100 years. Also, less is more. I’d say more this:
And MUCH less this:
Dope would be hard pressed to convince me these clothes weren’t just bought from a store and patched haphazardly. Not that deconstruction is a sin, but calling it a collection might be a bridge too far. Combined with the earsplitting sound track repeating the N word as frequently as possible, I have little positive to say about this sad attempt at ghetto golf.
I actually liked African Swiss‘s collection, but this much denim was a bit off-putting. Although I can see a lot of effort is going into reworking seams and construction, I have to say these garments look poorly cobbled together.
Trends to look out for
Since we’ll have completely forgotten all about these shows come winter, I may as well point out which trends you should be focused on right now.
First, loose asymmetry is definitely making its way into the average bloke’s wardrobe. Gone are the tight fitting v-necks, replaced by the flowing scoop-neck hoodie.
Second, pastels are big right now, owing to their popularity in the spring collections from the North. In general lighter colours are all the rage right now, and certainly work well with our Spring.
I’ll just leave these here
Fashion week, in addition to it’s commercial focus, has always been a place of free expression. With the future of fashion weeks in debate, I can only hope that they remain to provide this open platform for creative expression by the designers who give us our daily personalities.
House of Saint Luke
If you’re interested in what our designers put out in March 2016 for our current summer, I blogged that here.
These images are (mainly) from SA Fashion Week, which also gives some background on each designer, the other looks from their collections and a video of their show (go here).
The Studio is at 625 Levinia Street, Garsfontein, and open every Thursday from 10am to 10pm. You can also subscribe to this blog by hitting the follow button, and join the monthly newsletter here for fashion scandal and exclusive designs.