HOT, young and ambitious: the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s annual graduate fashion extravaganza – with collections by 18 students specialising in womenswear, menswear and special mohair creations – recently took place at the university’s North Campus.
The vibey show offered a stylish platform for the third-year students to showcase eight pieces each for their graduate collection, including two mohair outfits that had to be complimentary to their runway range.
Projecting exceptional quality, imagination and technical skill, the future generation of hip and happening fashion stars presented an interesting mix of designs running from edgy and conceptual to pretty and commercially wearable street styles.
While there were pops of bright colour, Fifty Shades of Grey set the tone for the evening as many of the young designers marched out their models in smoky, muted monochromatic hues.
Inspired by her African roots, Tina Ngxokolo won this year’s coveted best student collection honour, she also took third place in the mohair category. Ngxokolo impressed the judges with her culturally inspired AmaQaba (ancient Xhosa people who applied ochre) runway collection. Frané Kotze pulled out all the stops with her organically dyed mohair garments incorporated into her eco-friendly range of hemp, pure cotton and silk blend garments, to nab Mohair SA’s top prize of R5 000. Rayaan Sirkhotte
came second. Text: Barbara Robertson Pictures: Tamara Heron and Thomas Bekker
"We are always excited to see how each young designer demonstrates the creative possibility of incorporating mohair into their designs,” Mohair SA general manager Deon Saayman said. The company was the fashion evening’s main benefactor. "Bringing the natural properties of the fibre to the fore, the combinations of knitwear and tailored garments using mohair yarns and fine worsted cloth were truly inspirational,” he added. Best technical student winner Lisbe Schoonraad’s chic collection incorporated her own metallic screen-printed panels. Standouts were her stylish Melton panelled coat that was teamed with a sequined skirt, her jacquard-print mohair knitwear and a screen-printed mermaid dress.
Other eye-catching items included beautifully flowing evening pieces like Maryke van Zyl’s elegant red coat-dress and Ané Snyman’s splendid draped satin skirt. And one of my favourite tailored ranges came courtesy of Ruth McNaughton, whose edgy urban architectural-inspired neoprene (wetsuit) range put her second in the best collection stakes.
Though the judges made their choices based on strict criteria, standout for me were the many handworked accessories and embellishments: Cindy Jeffrey’s macramé neckpieces, McNaughton’s knotted rope necklaces, Emma Wissink’s paper maché kudu horn headpieces and ostrich eggshell detailing, Snyman’s chunky twisted chiffon baubles, Kotze’s eco-friendly driftwood clusters, Ngxokolo’s traditional Xhosa beadwork as well as a cut-out cardboard rhino, from Van Zyl’s runway collection.