Day Four kicked off with De Mil and Ntando Ngwenya’s brand, Ntando XV. De Mil, by designer Coenraad De Mol, who has been designing for over two decades, has built a strong reputation for being a master patternmaker and clever constructionist. True to his signature of gender-neutral clothing, his SS/19 collection revealed edgy silhouettes, dominated by solid and sheer black with touches of lace, salmon-pink and pinstripe. His artistic ability is consistent, revealed through his strong use of unique shapes with layers of detail and completed with statement accessory pieces.
Ntando Ngwenya’s brand, Ntando XV, presented an SS/19 range that was positively electric. Ntando’s evident talent for high-end tailoring presents a fresh perspective on men’s style. By merging his experience with his natural talent, he has an innate ability to merge the conservative with the post-modern. His use of teal, yellow and white, with snatches of red, combined the unusual with the unexpected. Longer-length hemlines, jumpsuits and tunics designed with his love for experimental engineering resulted in a range defined by a utilitarian sensibility with smart and arty detail.
Ephymol’s SS/19 collection, titled “Men of the World”, featured this designer’s obsessive love for bold, masculine tailoring. Two decades later, the brand’s designer, Ephraim Molingoana, remains one of SA’s most respected menswear designers. His unique ability to design timeless silhouettes in strong patterns and unexpected colour palettes have guaranteed his popularity and success, year on year. Stone, taupe and black dominated this collection in which he played with pattern and perspective, with oversized polka dots and stripes. Drawing inspiration from the streets, the townships and as far away as the English countryside, his SS/19 collection will be a sure hit with his loyal client base. Like Moligoana, the Ephymol collection is brave and confidently humble, all in the same moment.
Day Four’s final show was Loxion Kulca’s 20-year celebration with SA Fashion Week. Born on the streets of Johannesburg and Soweto and inspired by South Africa’s vibrant cultural townships and urban culture, the brand is representative of liberty, identity, heritage, pride and self-determination. Loxion Kulca XXLX SS/19 was a passionate expression of the brand’s iconic signature; a dynamic and highly spirited collection of streetwear, glamour and utility.
With fashion reflecting who we are as the people of this beautiful country, SAFW SS/19 was a truly evocative and dramatic visual of our current South Africa and all of its incredible talent.
Polly Ester for SAFW.