It’s been two years since I attended African Fashion International Fashion Week Joburg because of Covid-19. After a long break, I am happy to have reunited with the industry’s best.
This past weekend, AFI staged a two-day fashion show at Sandton City’s Diamond Walk, where 21 designers from across the continent showcased their Spring/Summer 23 collections.
Unlike in the olden days when Fashion Week was a closed event, this one was open as passers-by could also watch.
As expected, many designers did not disappoint. They showcased their talent most creatively, making sure to catch the eyes with striking prints, bold colours and exquisite designs.
Prints and patterns
It wouldn’t be AFI without some African prints, and Botswana’s Kidunia did much of that. Her collection was full of suits, each with different prints. Our favourite is the blue, red and yellow one with feather detailing on the jacket’s wrists.
Indoni Fashion House, which made its AFI debut, showed Joburgers how fashion is done in Durban. Kwenzi Nkomo, owner of the brand, played around with Shweshwe prints in the most refreshing way. She recycled the materials to create modern shweshwe dresses, some of which could work so well for a traditional wedding.
Like its name, Imprint ZA kept to its signature prints. This time, the designer, Mzukisi Mbane, combined the Inkomi Yabenguni and Africa Is Not a Trend to create a beautiful clash of prints.
Seditsi focused on the pyramids, while Kreyann’s prints were inspired by the peacocks.
We also loved Suitability’s use of tiger print, giving the collection masculine power.
When someone mentions spring/summer, the first thing that comes to mind are the bright colours, and that’s what the likes of Eric Raisina brought to the runway.
We also liked how House of Nala mixed olives and oranges, so refreshing.
We also saw lots of pink from Alia Bare, House of Stevolution and Gavin Rajah, and some blue from Lebo Merafhe.
Woke Studios focused more on yellow.
Meanwhile, Sisters of Afrika and Ascend the Label brought green, red and yellow to the runway.
Thando Thabethe of Thabooty’s also did wonders with the colour block on her swimwear range, something attractive for the hot summer days.
Fashion is all about playing with materials to bring in different designers, and that’s what Kwenzi Nkomo of Indoni Fashion House did with her collection. From strapless to princess and bell gowns, she did them all. What made her collection stand out is that she did multi-layers in most of her dresses, and our favourite is the strapless, sheer one.
Nguo’s designs were one of the best because of her detailing. She used wide pockets as a point of attraction, which worked well on the wide-legged pants and maxi dresses.
Lebo Merafhe’s fringes were no ordinary ones, they were thick squares and rectangles patched together to create a beautiful illusion.
Gavin Rajah added more flare to his sequin A-line dress by adding orange fringes.
Also, Kaylaamiel’s pleats were one of our favourites.
AFI Fashion Week Joburg took place at Sandton City from November 18-19.