Mode for the man: Madiba shirts live in a new 'Eclection'

16 July 2015 - 02:01 By Rea Khoabane

The signature shirts of former South African president Nelson Mandela are more than just a range of clothing. Presidential Shirt, also known as the ''Madiba shirt" brand, appeared on the catwalk for the first time at Menswear Week, held recently in Cape Town.At the showcase of its spring/summer 2016 collection, Presidential Shirt founder and head designer Desre Buirski said the range showed the richness and diversity of African culture and heritage.She also said that this collection in particular was a fuse of traditional fabrics with current trends.Buirski said the new range, called the ''Eclection" and released just in time for Madiba Day on Saturday, was a step forward, adding ''print on print" to men's luxury formal wear."The name of the collection comes from fusing the two words 'collection' and 'eclectic'," she said.The range combines hand-painted silk, printed cotton and woven fabrics, and the new collection has a younger feel and includes suits, pants and scarves mixing styles, textures and exotic fabrics.But each item of clothing still maintains its particular homage to the original Madiba shirt style.''The range makes use of a lot Shweshwe fabric," said Buirski."It incorporates several pieces tailored from this traditional South African fabric."The Shweshwe pieces bring imvelaphi to the Presidential Shirt range, drawing inspiration from our roots."Imvelaphi is a Xhosa word that roughly translates into ''where you're from"."People from all over the world love our beautiful fabrics, and the fine attention to detail in our shirts."We still use the traditional hand-painted silk batik and batik-printed cotton, but the new range also has hand-painted batik cotton, jacquard woven fabric and digital print."Buirski, gave the late president a batik ''fish shirt" as a gift two days before his inauguration as president.He wore it in Pretoria for his first official address as president of South Africa.

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