Fashion and textile is mostly influenced by our own belief in culture and lifestyle.
We are a nation known for our history and celebration of origin and authenticity. Culture today is incorporated in fashion, which reflects the diversity and talent of our artistic work. Designers are focusing on offering more choice when it comes to local trends. Fashion designers in South Africa have regained a sense of pride and with that comes more creativity. Even fashion retailer’s like Woolworths understand, that local customers want more choice and affordable style, that is locally made.
Since the MBFWAFRICA, Africans are no longer looking into international labels for inspiration. They now choosing to wear local labels as well. The world now looks into Africa for innovative and globally competitive designs. South Africa has artist like Esther Mahlangu, whose cultural knowledge and background influences her work. Esther is proudly celebrated in Africa and abroad and has also collaborated with BMW creating artwork on the BMW 525i artcar collection in 1991 as well as the 7series BMW in 2016.
Blogger, photographer and social media influencer Trevor Stuurman also shows his origin through his sense of style. You’ll spot him in ethnic prints incorporated with high fashion. His style shows authenticity in my opinion. He surely represents our origin through his travels and is huge on social media – a person that stays true to his style.
Certain techniques whether its block printing or beading, cannot be faked, they give a garment integrity and what better way to stand out as designer than to use the resources and the gifts of culture to be influential and recognisable.
And of course let one not forget the vintage find, one of South Africa’s pride, rich history and dance culture. In today’s world it has become what is known as ‘street style’ looks. The streets and the city is their playground, each person having a way they express themselves through our own fashion findings. Vintage finders are a proud group, and they influence social media as well the streets and photography all round.