New Fabiani range is tailored for powerful & sophisticated women

The traditional menswear brand launched a range that celebrates women at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2017

24 August 2017 - 14:19 By Sibusiso Mkize
Creative director of Fabiani Designer Warrick Gautier.
Creative director of Fabiani Designer Warrick Gautier.
Image: Simon Deiner Photography

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2017 was the hot fashion ticket of the week, with many established and emerging designers putting their best stilettos forward to show the public their spring/summer collections.

Showing to an audience made up of members of the press, buyers, celebrities and trendsetters, Fabiani - until now a menswear brand - surprised everyone by launching its debut women's wear collection. The range was opulent, with 18th-century motifs on the fabrics which were silk chiffon and jacquard.

Designer Warrick Gautier is the creative director of Fabiani. He said he was inspired by empowered South African women with a sense of independence and style.

"There's a gap in the market for luxury African clothing tailored for powerful, successful, progressive and sophisticated women," he said.

"Fabiani launched a women's range to complement the highly successful men's collection and to address the pressing need for African luxury that's tailored for women," Gautier said.

Top international model Aamito Lagum opened the show in a black, floral number. It was couture as art.

"Intricate hand beading is at the core of the collection. Adding to this, we've incorporated opulent metallic woven jacquard fabrics, silk chiffon and silk satin. The idea is to position couture as art in a way that it's still accessible.

 "Key objectives of the collection are its refined tailoring, high-voltage suiting and dramatic femininity," said Gautier.

The aesthetics and fine craftsmanship of the women's collection resonate with the menswear line. Both collections have sharp, rigorous tailoring and intricate detailing in the fabrics.

"The collection reflects Fabiani's unmistakably couture flavour, with a graphic, tailored and feminine aesthetic, setting the pace for women's fashion this season," said Gautier.

The response to the collection was overwhelming, eliciting cheering from the audience.

"The feedback has been very positive. We couldn't be happier with what we've heard from the people that have experienced the collection. There was a standing ovation at the end of the show," said Gautier.

So what does Gautier think about the state of fashion in the country?

"With the recent growth of the fashion industry, there's great opportunity, now more than ever, for designers to show their unique offerings. The ability to create fashion that's new, interesting and of a high quality will definitely be the deciding factor in whether a designer is successful or not. The launch of Fabiani Woman stores and an online platform is imminent."

• This article was originally published in The Times.