THE Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) was a glorious three-day kaleidoscope of florals, every manner of print, spots, stripes, sparkling white, and the brightest of the bright colour palette – all artfully collaborated to get us fashionably fabulous for summer 2013.
The annual event saw nearly 30 local designers display their upcoming Spring/Summer 2013/2014 collections mostly at the home of Cape Town Fashion Week, the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
With a jam-packed schedule of between six and eight shows each evening, the looks started to blur somewhat as the style glitterati, fashion flotsam, twitterers, texters and bloggers traipsed from show to show to show to watch yet another endless troop of bright young things display the newest looks.
It must be noted that the brightest young thing of all had to be Port Elizabeth model Shana Mouton, a Sophisticate Model's protegee. Shana, 17, from Bluewater Bay, stalked the catwalk for 14 designers and was also the "poster girl" for MBFWCT. The 178cm tall model headed off to Milan last week for Milan Fashion Week.
While there were many new talents under the spotlight, classic designs from Jenny le Roux, of Habits, were standout for me. She presented a delightfully wearable collection highlighting monochrome combos in crisp linen and also flowing fabrics in a host of bright colours and floral prints.
Even with the focus on Women's Month in August designers pulled out all the stops with distinctive menswear collections from Fabiani, Ruald Rheeder (fabulous nautical looks) and Adriann Kuiters. Dax Martin and Craig Port showed sexy swimwear and catered for both men and women.
But it was maestro David Tlale who blew the crowd away with his chic menswear show which took place on the city's unfinished highway with Table Mountain as its backdrop. The immaculate menswear collection was dramatically led by an energetic group of Burundi drummers and dancers. Oh, and another Port Elizabeth model – Tyrese Bani, of Motherwell – made his mark on MBCTFW at the Tlale show.
To sum up the event, the mood was playful but executed with modern, grown-up elegance. Of course there were trends, most notably monochrome but the importance of colour was a thread that ran throughout each of the collections, favouring strong colour blocks and geometric clashes. But the overall feature was wearability brightened up with bold colour pops and beautiful embellishment.