3 young Durban designers who should be on your fashion radar

At the recent SA Fashion Week, students from Durban University of Technology showcased collections inspired by the 'art of fashion'. We chat to three of these talented up-and-coming designers

14 April 2019 - 00:00 By Keneilwe Pule
One of Katekani Moreku's looks for 2019 DUT show at SAFW.
One of Katekani Moreku's looks for 2019 DUT show at SAFW.
Image: Eunice Driver/SAFW

Each year, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) selects students from its third-year class to showcase their designs at South African Fashion Week (SAFW).

Creative director at DUT, fashion designer Gideon, explains that the collections chosen represent innovative and original thinking by the designers, and are in line with the selected theme — this year's was the "art of fashion".

We chat to the three students who, in our opinion, are the ones to watch.

1. KATEKANI MOREKU

I am inspired by innovation so anything that is new to me taps into my subconscious and sparks new creation.

The aesthetic focuses more on storytelling through unconventional methods and being disobedient to acts of conformity.

My collection was inspired by how I was raised in a home filled with only women, which means I spent most of the time in the kitchen. I wanted to express my feelings towards sustainability, gender neutralisation and creating beyond limits.

The process of making my collection was not so difficult because whenever I had new ideas I was able to consult with Gideon and his creative assistant GianPaolo, who I believe understand and know how to nurture my creativity and help me express my vision.

My favourite designer is Gideon, probably because I've had the privilege to be mentored by him and watch him work. I am also very fond of Craig Green and Thom Browne.

My client is a brave individual who suffers from the fear of "being basic" - a man with a weakness for detail who dresses not only for Instagram "likes" but to tell a story.

Next I intend to be established enough to educate society that art and fashion can be a successful business venture and become a perfect example of that.

Katekani Moreku, 082-202-3655

2. LUNGILE DLAMINI

I am inspired by the decolonisation of African art; how it expresses a re-imagined aesthetic.

My aesthetic explores how fashion can be used to express an Afro-modernist identity.

The collection is a body of work developed for my third-year range titled: The Exploration of Open Form. It was inspired by Cubism as a form of art. The work focuses on the cubist technique of exploring open form by blending background into the foreground and showing objects from various angles.

Lungile Dlamini's collection was inspired by Cubism.
Lungile Dlamini's collection was inspired by Cubism.
Image: Eunice Driver
One of Lungile Dlamini's looks for 2019 DUT show at SAFW.
One of Lungile Dlamini's looks for 2019 DUT show at SAFW.
Image: Eunice Driver

The process of making my collection was achieved by using different hand-crochet techniques and tapestry with undertones of quirkiness that speak to interesting silhouettes and textures. The use of transparent sheer fabric as panels acknowledges the "blending backgroundinto foreground" aspect of my inspiration.

My favourite designer is Rich Mnisi.

My client is a modern woman who is fun and quirky and pushes fashion boundaries; a woman who makes a bold fashion statement.

Next I want to explore hand-craftsmanship and create Afro-modernistic designs that will change the perceptions of African art. My designs evaluate and challenge the placement of African art within categories, allowing for the "African" art to be explored in more contemporary ways.

Lungile Dlamini, 081-585-3809

3. VICTORIA BOSHOFF

I am inspired by my culture and heritage and my appreciation for abstract art.

My aesthetic focuses on art, with a fundamental part exploring different design forms to create a unique fashion range.

The collection incorporates my heritage, of being a Voortrekker and Irish, into a fashion collection founded by art. The design silhouettes became an intermingling of traditional Voortrekker attire with a modern twist, and the beautiful colour inspired by the Irish artist, Anthony Wigglesworth.

Victoria Boshoff calls her collection 'Voortrekker attire with a modern twist'.
Victoria Boshoff calls her collection 'Voortrekker attire with a modern twist'.
Image: Eunice Driver
One of Victoria Boshoff's looks for the 2019 DUT show at SAFW.
One of Victoria Boshoff's looks for the 2019 DUT show at SAFW.
Image: Eunice Driver

The process of making the collection was centred on abstract painting using bright colours against a white background, like a blank canvas for an artist. The aim was to slowly apply more paint to each outfit to create the perfect transition of the art process.

My favourite designer is Alexander McQueen.

My client is someone who has an appreciation for art and the willingness to explore fashion through the lens of a young South African fashion designer.

Next I will be completing a Bachelor of Technology in Fashion Design, where I will be focusing on children's wear. In the future I hope to design for women and children with an emphasis on art.

Victoria Boshoff, 079-343-3875


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