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So much more than the dress

10 October 2013 - 03:17 By Andrea Nagel
ON TRACK: Models wearing designs by Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee, at a public viewing outside the Cycology store at 44Stanley Avenue in Johannesburg
ON TRACK: Models wearing designs by Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee, at a public viewing outside the Cycology store at 44Stanley Avenue in Johannesburg
Image: Alon Skuy

SA Fashion week is hotbed of creativity. Six fashionable moments struck Andrea Nagel

1 Designer collaborations bring a whole new edge to collections

Suzaan Heyns was inspired by Minnie Mouse, Ella Buter from Superella worked with artist Nelisiwe Xaba, Tvzi Karp included everyone in his offbeat designs, but the stand-out collaboration of the collections was Jacques van der Watt's Black Coffee range. The designer, known for his conceptual style, collaborated with Vincent Truter of Cycology, a brand that promotes electric bicycles. ''The velocipedic inspiration drives the design to a point where efficiency, comfort, motion and aesthetic meet seamlessly," said Van der Watt. It was magnificent. See www.blackcoffee.co.za

2 Art and fashion go together

Arts and culture writer Mary Corrigall launched the first of her experimental performance and fashion-related initiatives, Ramp It Up #1. The project focused on the significance of the ramp not only as a site for fashion display, but also in terms of the spatial and performative politics attached to this narrow stage. ''This temporary structure is the physical and ideological locus where ideas about what is in fashion and what is wearable or unwearable are negotiated and tested," Corrigall said.

3 I can see me in next season's clothes

Kim Resnik installed the Webcam Social Shopper at SA Fashion Week. It's a virtual way to try on clothes. The mirror incorporates built-in webcams that capture a person's body dimensions and position. Using augmented reality and gesture recognition technology, the mirrors then superimpose clothes on the captured on-screen images. Participants were able to see how they looked in next season's range without ever taking off their clothes. See www.virtuelle.co.za

4 South Africa has talent

''Cutterier" by Laz Yani won the Renault SAFW New Talent Search with his dramatic flowing shapes and bespoke fabric. He beatAnmari Honniball, Hanrie Lues of the Mej Lues, Take Care and emerging label Erre. He said: ''Like with my previous collections, I have used a print technique that involves the skills of African people, a unique ethos for my brand items, over and above the draping signature, which minimises fabric wastage."

5 Clive Rundle is ironic

During the showing of his detailed, meticulous range, Rundle played the introduction to the documentary Zeitgeist, a speech by Jacque Fresco criticising materialism and mindless consumption. It ends with the words: 'This sh*#'s got to go". Simultaneously, couture-dressed models paraded, showing off his exceptional craftsmanship and innovation, which come at an exceptional price.

6 Give us soft-serve

While there was a fair amount of grumbling about having to queue to get into the installation area, Take 2, most spectators said they would be appeased by a glass of champagne in the queue - note to organisers. We all felt like kids in a candy store off site at 44 Stanley Avenue at the Black Coffee show when we were served ice-cream from a brightly coloured ice-cream truck playing tinkling tunes from our childhoods.