JOHANNESBURG — South African Fashion Week, which ended Sunday, saw designers present their fall 2013 collections in a unique format aimed to encourage commerce over entertainment.
Eschewing the spectacle of glitzy productions or off-site locations, SAFW has, for the last two years, chosen to show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the bustling Johannebsurg suburb of Rosebank. Group shows clustering two or three designers take place over four days; on the fifth day, SAFW hosts a “Buyers Lounge” to connect designers with buyers. Because of this format, designers often end up showing capsule collections of between 12 to 15 outfits, which works best when a designer displays confidence in his brand’s identity, as well as a coherent vision. This was evident in the collections of Suzaan Heyns, Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee, Clive Rundle, Joel Janse van Vuuren and House of Ole. As SAFW founder Lucilla Booyzen noted, “This season, the design language has been particularly strong.”
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