FASHION2019-08-30T18:12:47+00:00

UNRAVELLING

It’s all-out Nigerian style as photographer Noma Osula captures the relaxed masculine-meets-feminine flair of Bloke, with shoes by Maliko.

Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling

Bloke is an androgynous Nigerian label founded by Faith Oluwajimi. As creative director, he likes to explore new knitting techniques seasonally. However, aside from his penchant for knitwear, Faith also enjoys creating carefully considered garments. Known to be quirky and artsy, the brand is embraced by a community described as ‘spiritually conscious, art lovers, unconventional with an African identity’. Bloke won the maiden edition of the Emerge ALÁRA Awards 2018 and was a finalist of the Lagos Fashion Week ‘Fashion Focus Africa’ 2018 competition which seeks to uncover new design talent.

Maliko is an artisanal accessory brand based in the energetic city of Lagos, Nigeria. Ebuka Omaliko is the creative director and founder, who’s known for his use of colours and silhouettes when it comes to shoes. Maliko exclusively engages local artisans as a means of encouraging sustainable craftsmanship and ethical practices. The brand was one of the winners of the 2018 Lagos Fashion Week Green Access competition.

Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling

PHOTOGRAPHER: NOMA OSULA @NOMA.O
PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT: JAMES UKPAI @U.JAMESOFFICIAL
MODELS: BLESSING SOMA @BLESSINGSOMA @FOWLERMODELS AND
TOMORI AANUOLUWAPO @AANUOLUWAPOTOMORI  
PRODUCTION: GINA AMAMA FOR GENERATION_X @GNATION_X
COLLAGE AND RETOUCHING: GENERATION_X @GNATION_X
CLOTHING: BLOKE STUDIO ARCHIVE @BLOKE_NG
SHOES: MALIKO SS19 @MALIKOSTUDIOS

SELFI & MARGOT MOLYNEUX

The Cape Town-based fashion labels take a fresh and fluid approach with their latest collections.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot

Selfi designer Celeste Arendse looks to a genderless future with her utilitarian Spring 2019 collection, titled Devine Femme. Rendered in 100% biodegradable raw silks and bull denim, Selfi’s collection is produced by a team of local CMTs in the room behind its Loop Street store.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot

The Molyneux pieces are from her recently debuted menswear collection of versatile core pieces designed to stand the test of time. Similarly, Molyneux’s design studio is down the road from her store. Organic styling, genderless embellishment and a highly considered approach to sustainability are its defining qualities.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot
Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot
Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot

Floral artist Alwijn Burger, aka Blomboy, says the fashion shoot was borne from photographer Jacobus Snyman’s vision. ‘He has a brilliant eye and hand-picked a gang of creatives who could each bring a unique angle to the visual. Magic happens when you put 4 creatives in a room – a highly contagious level of inspiration!’

In terms of the foliage and blooms, Alwijn explains that they were selected for their sculptural qualities. ‘I wanted the floral accessories to complement the garments in a masculine and minimalist way, so colour was kept to strong, neutral earthy tones. We used bleached Italian ruscus; guava foliage and green fruits; the petals from a white king protea, preserved hydrangea; and dried banana leaf.’

While his style evolves and adapts, he says: ‘I’d like to think of it as considered, sensitive and masculine.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot

SA MENSWEAR SS20

The fashion crowd defied the grey, rainy Saturday and showed up at the KPMG building in Cape Town’s city centre for the Spring/Summer collections 2020 of South African Menswear Week

IMPRINT ZA

The collection is a preview of the latest spring/summer offering. The silhouette, mood and inspiration is nothing but a collection of memories. The stand out being their ‘roots’ – ‘sex, geometry and rock ‘n roll – harbouring hope’. The collection was a further display of where they have been, starting out with commercial prints and colour, and growing into a brand that adopts the use of print as a storytelling tool. A brand that has thrived and now redefines their identity through creating their own prints.

GOOD GOOD GOOD

The collection is based around a growing desire to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint. It embraces soft colour mixes and tried-and-trusted shapes made exclusively from three textile houses, all notable for their ethical processes and sustainability.

ALC MENSWEAR

This season’s offering is a masterclass in elegant layering with elements of eccentricity such as flowing ribbons. The must-have accessory  is the bucket hat.

SOL SOL MENSWEAR

Sol Sol walks the line between menswear and streetwear using melton, velour, cotton, teddy and nylon. Expect clean silhouettes in red tones and leopard print. Add the Sol Sol shoulder bag to your summer arsenal.

THROWAWAY TWENTY

This year’s SA Menswear week ended with romantic gestures like floral prints and playful stripes. Shorts or ankle-length pants, all paired with white socks and sneakers. The Throwaway Twenty man completes his look with a tied summer scarf.

TEXT: SARAH WECHSELBERGER

PHOTOGRAPHER: ZANDER OPPERMAN

PHOTOGRAPHER: ALEX PATERIMOS

VIDEOGRAPHER: RYNO STOLS

DIGITAL EQUIPMENT:  PHOTOHIRE

ALC MENSWEAR

Brendan Sturrock, ALC Menswear designer, gives us insight into the creation of the Autumn/Winter 2019 collection, from the initial artistic inspiration provided by Amanda Laird Cherry through to the inventive collaboration with ceramic artist Frank Nthunya.

Known for its range of considered basics, separates and statement pieces, the Amanda Laird Cherry label is celebrated for giving familiar styles and silhouettes contemporary and avant-garde twists. The label includes ladieswear, accessories and ALC Menswear, created in collaboration with Brendan. We chatted to him about the latest collection.

Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man

Two Katsushika Hokusai artworks served as inspiration for the ALC Menswear A/W 2019 collection. Can you take us through how the process works in terms of creating a new collection? What happens after the initial moment of inspiration and how does this develop into a fully-fledged collection?

The brand has always been influenced by Japanese sensibilities and aesthetics, at times more subtle and at others more obvious. Amanda shared these images with the team as a starting point for both collections. Elements we pulled from these images were the movement captured in the rolling waves, the colour palette from the sky and Mount Fuji, the geometric nature of the style, as well as the balance in colour and composition.

‘The vast history behind the brand is a melting pot for inspiration, and I often lose myself in the archives.’

Where else do you get your inspiration?

My personal inspiration comes from how things are made and my fascination with the architecture in clothing. Amanda has cemented the brand as a force to be reckoned within the fashion industry. The vast history behind the brand is a melting pot for inspiration, and I often lose myself in the archives. So combining these two elements works seamlessly.

How did the collaboration with ceramic artist Frank Nthunya come about and what was it about his work that was a good fit for ALC Menswear?

Amanda has a history of working with the Woza Moya crafters at the Hillcrest Aids Centre in KwaZulu-Natal and Frank has his studio on their premises. We met him a couple of years back and fell in love with his work. We knew immediately we wanted to work with him, but it took a while to figure out how to do so. We collaborated with him for the AW19 ladieswear show at South African Fashion Week.

Frank was inspired by our signature prints in his etchings and we were inspired by his unique silhouettes and process of sculpting clay. The overlap into this season’s menswear collection is rooted in the spontaneous nature of Frank’s sculpting and also inspired by the surface texture and colouring his pots take on after being fired. I reinterpreted this with a hand-dying technique called Ice Dying where, much like the firing process, the final result is largely left up to chance. There is an element of risk involved when Frank fires his pots. While a lot of time and effort goes into the prep, there is a good chance his pots could explode in the kiln. This actually happened during our process which gave me a whole new level of respect for his work.

‘This season, we created silhouettes which are abundant with expressive, voluminous layers, and the styling is a mixture of utilitarian and avant-garde.’

Could you outline some of the avant-garde twists in the A/W 2019 collection?

The avant-garde elements are an opportunity for us to stretch our creativity, put on a show and elevate the brand identity. We love this part and it often encapsulates the season’s story as well. This season, we created silhouettes which are abundant with expressive, voluminous layers, and the styling is a mixture of utilitarian and avant-garde. Some of the looks are intentionally monochrome and others have been styled using the same treatment for the entire ensemble. The garments are adorned with details such as sunken utility pockets, intentional topstitching and the marbled print dyed by hand using the technique I mentioned before.

How difficult is it to strike a balance between artistic aesthetics and commercial sensibility?

It’s a careful and intentional process. We approach each new season by designing the collection that will go into stores first. This ready-to-wear collection consists of considered designer pieces, which are more accessible than avant-garde; we focus on subtle but unusual/unconventional details, which inform and extend into the avant-garde pieces we create for our ramp show. We balance the avant-garde with more commercial pieces so there is enough for people to understand, yet we are able to express our creativity and tell a story at the same time.

ALC Menswear is available at Space+Man stores in Durban and Johannesburg.

Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man

PHOTOGRAPHER: SIMON WINNALL
STYLIST: CHRISNA DE BRUYN @CHRISNADEBRUYN
PRODUCER: IAN CUSH @IANCUSH
TEXT: FIONA DAVERN @FIONADAVERN
MODEL: DINO MINGO @PHOTOGENICSLA
LOCATION: JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA, US

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