Invited Designers take fashionistas on a journey through time

Ending months of speculation, the eight icon designers chosen for the Vodacom Durban July Invited Designer Showcase, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, wowed the audience at the first Fashion Showcase evening with their elegant and creative interpretations of the raceday theme “It Is Time”.

Given total creative freedom to immerse themselves in the theme, unbound by commercial limitations, Casey Jeanne, Sandile Mngadi, Kathrin Kidger, Vino Moodley, Zama Mathe, Paledi Segapo, JJ Schoeman and Leigh Schubert provided a visual feast for the packed Silver Ring Room on Thursday evening at the première of the annual fashion highlight.

Casey Jeanne took much of her inspiration from Ancient Egypt. “Cleopatra was one of the very few female leaders of Egypt, which was one of the earliest civilisations that promoted reading and writing and the arts. The shapes are all very geometric, which we have used in the hand beading that we are creating,” she said.

Sandile Mngadi, who drives the menswear brand Duke, showcased his trademark tailoring on his time travel journey, which included a subtle retrospective element in a clock running backwards. “We have delved into some classic trends from the past and taken it into a futuristic direction,” he said.

Kathrin Kidger took her range on something of a personal journey, as she referenced a hallmark cream and beige outfit that helped establish her career. “For me the whole time concept revolves around showcasing you – now!” she said.

“”The range pays homage to the past, but at the same time it has an eye on the future, so you will see sport lux streetwear elements, especially in our menswear range that juxtaposes the women’s wear, which is very raceday-ready, with some fun play on textures.” she said.

Vino Moodley touched on eras when fashion had the capacity to make an impact. “The times when fashion was a turning point is the focus of my range,” she said.

Zama Mathe delved into a number of iconic eras of fashion for her inspiration, exploring the structure and volume of Victorian fashion and the adventurous Seventies, using garments made from Terracotta hand-made fabrics.

“I was looking at the earth and it’s richness, and what time does to it,” said Mathe. “It takes away everything from it and leaves it with nothing but dry sand.”

Paledi Segapo stunned the show with a range that he said was unusual and decadent. “I incorporated a disco ball inspired fabric, using sequins. Then, angels are never late, especially the angel of death. When it is your time, it is time,” he said.

JJ Schoeman set his sights on timeless classic fashion, but couldn’t resist breaking away from his hallmark design aesthetic by doing an Avant Garde piece as well. “I wanted to produce something unexpected,” he said.

“Ask the question: Which time is it? So I produced a classic look, a futuristic look and an Avant Garde look.”

Leigh Schubert touched on the geometry of Roman numerals in her trio of garments. “I took some literal two dimensional and three dimensional elements like clock hands, cuckoo clocks, and Roman numerals and incorporated them into classic simple lines,” she said.

The final show takes place at the Silver Ring Room at Greyville Racecourse on Friday 22 June at 7pm. A limited number of tickets are still available at the door. Call Ayanda on 031 314 1645 to confirm availability.

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