Monday, 3 June 2013

Namibian Fashion on the Rise

Finally, I have time to sit down and write my review of the 99FM and Jameson Autumn/Winter Fashion Show.  I can honestly say that the media-hype and publicity was totally worth every printed line. It was both well organized and beautifully put together. The sound, decor and venue were professional beyond the usual Namibian standard. The runway, scattered with crunchy autumn toned leaves, took my breath away. I was excited to see the show.

This excitement soon turned into a dismal near-coma experience with the opening collection by Hemline. The first dress down the runway was a cobalt evening gown that was atrociously tailored.  The collection sported a selection of hats; fedora, Victorian, and bowler. All of which could have been done away with. The hats made no sense at all and made the outfits look frumpy and out-dated. The collection lacked class, consistency and the basic designer skills needed for a show of such magnitude. All-in-all the collection was a complete snooze fest.

Hemline’s collection was followed by MC Bright and I loved this collection! Although it also lacked a clear vision, I enjoyed the innovation and skill of the costume-like apparel. My absolute favourite was his use of capes; they are so in vogue for winter right now. Even though some of the capes seemed more runway than real-way, they can easily be modified for a cold night out on the town. He mixed textured fabrics and prints, and incorporated them beautifully into his designs. Big thumbs up for MC Bright!

After three, very over the top performances by Lize Ehlers, the final collection by Nikola Conradie graced the runway. The crowd was wowed by beautifully tailored clothes that made the heart sing. Her use of romantic clothes inspired by the 40s made me think of bourgeoisie Parisian style. The upholstery-like fabrics were rich, warm and soft, and the beige and subtle mint colour combination made the collection a delight to see. Nikola had a clear and consistent thread running through her collection, showcasing her designer talent unmatched elsewhere in Namibia. Bows, berets, soft masculine suits, elongated silhouettes, and sleek necklines made Nikola Conradie’s collection superior over the other two designers. If I had to describe her collection in two words, I would say… top class. The perfect end to the night.

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