In celebration of South Africa’s different fashion styles and unique approach to dressing up, Skip South Africa called on residents of Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town to inspire a range that would represent their city.
From 31 May, lovers of local fashion have been creating virtual mood boards on Instagram for fashion designers Sibu Msimang from Durban (@SibuMsimang), Rich Mnisi from Johannesburg (@Rich_Mnisi), and Jenevieve Lyons from Cape Town (@Jenevieve_Lyons). Each city had its own hashtag (#MyFabulousDBN, #MyFabulousJHB and #MyFabulousCPT) so the designers could follow the development of the boards in real time.
Revealed to the public for the first time, the designers showcased their ranges at the Skip Fashion Exchange event in Johannesburg on 13 August 2015.
Says Rich Mnisi of the experience, “Drawing inspiration from Instagram was a challenge. You need to see the images through the eyes of the contributor, and try to understand their creative process. I placed the images in single themes as people were posting photos of similar buildings and spaces and the differences were coming through in how they interpreted the beauty. The angles and the final edits varied yet the structure was repeated on the feed, so the concept of unique and individual interpretation is what appeared as most frequent, and so it became the theme.”
The result is a collection for confident and romantic women. There are structured lines, blue and white hues and a different take on denim. It feels urban and edgy. “It’s a range open to interpretation thus it’s aesthetic or the way it is presented does not determine anything for the wearer.”
Durban-based designer, Sibu Msimang, drew inspiration from arts, crafts, beautiful pieces of jewellery and people she met on the street. “People posted the most amazing pics of Moses Mabhida Stadium as well as interesting graffiti art and the beach. We really live in a beautiful city with the most beautiful weather. Being a part of Skip #MyFabulous made me look at Durban through fresh eyes and appreciate everything around me. Durban is more than just a landscape. It’s the people.
“Embracing Durban’s rich Indian heritage, I used a lot of spicy colours like masala and saffron toned down with cream and beige. I also took a few images from Instagram and had them digitally printed on to fabric so you’ll see beautiful landmarks coming through in my range accessorised with traditional beaded jewellery.”
During the inspiration phase of the campaign, Cape Town experienced a lot of mist and cold. Jenevieve Lyons captures this in her range using muted colours and sheer fabrics. “My collection, called Disparent, is a combination of transparent and solid pieces with cleverly cut garments to capture the beautiful linear lines and textures of Cape Town’s buildings with misty overlays. It’s a trans-seasonal range for a fashion conscious women who longs for high quality design and buys into separates that can be carried through more than one season.”
The devil is in the detail with Jenevieve’s range. Getting up close to the garments, you become aware of the layering, and panelling used to bring this range with strong asymmetrical designs to life on the runway.
Three contributors in each of the cities won their respective designers range, and attendees at the Skip Fashion Exchange, had an opportunity to exchange several items of the #MyFabulous designer pieces on the night.