Photography by Lungile Mdaki
The SANAA Africa Fashion Show kick-started the 2013 SANAA Africa Festival in style last night, 23 of May 2013. I went along with photographer Lungile Mdaki to check out Africa’s fresh new talent. The annual festival is about celebrating the spirit of Africa, and last night didn’t disappoint with African designers coming together on this Africa Day weekend.
We managed to have a quick chat with one young South African designer, the man behind Skorzch designs, Zanomzamo Sithetho.
“We were each given a country theme to follow. So tonight’s designs are about fusing my collection with an African feel.”
Zanomzamo Sithetho opened the floor with a Namibian-themed range. The tailored suits features lots of colour including orange, green, navy and a touch of white.
“This came after so many questions I battled to answer. The question of what it means to be African? What it means to be a fashion designer in Africa? Whether we should stay in the past or move forward as a new people of Africa? I just wanted to say there has been a lot of misconceptions about what African fabric is and what an African woman looks like. But at the end of the day, us new guys must rewrite Africa. Hence, I used white on all my designs. It represents a fresh start on a new page.”
His theme was of the country Cameroon, and none of the colours on the country’s flag were featured. Another designer that had an amazing show stopper was Khothatso Tsotetsi. The Tshwane University of Technology product had Egyptian-themed garments. Very elegant, less dramatic, very light and very desert. The colours included olive green, beige and cream.
Then we had lots of time to check out the works of old dogs like Thula Sindi, Mantsho, Stoned Cherrie and House of Ole, just to mention a few. Their garments showed sophistication and the modern class of Africans.
Other forms of art work that were showcased included those of a Zimbabwean-born fine artist Charles Nkomo. His work documented an everyday life of an African citizen – the modern day public transport commuters. He took us through his work and mentioned that he mainly does semi-abstract work, inspired by the colourful people we are.
The SANAA Festival will run all weekend from 23 – 26 May 2013 in Johannesburg. For more information visit, www.sanaaafrica.com.