Best-loved fashion week looks, styled in the Superbalist studio
Words and styling: Mira Leibowitz | Photographs: Tereza Cervinkova
With each collection at AFI’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week comes individual style, personality and influence, yet this year’s designers showed one prevailing prospect: attention to detail. Whether it was in the form of intricate embellishments or impeccable construction, the designers’ creativity and hard work is admirable to say the least. As a stylist I was inspired by the standout commonalities I found in the shows when it came to tones, silhouettes and fabrics, bold and feminine. Here are the looks that we loved the most.
It’s summer somewhere in the world. With a background in high-fashion beachwear, Joanna brought us one bold and graphic piece after another. Each look was finished off with incredibly intricate headpieces that gave the whole a collection a festive, Peruvian atmosphere.
Mzukisi Mbane of Imprint captivated the crowd with his traditional and electrifying prints this season. One bold print after another, the collection was striking but also incredibly wearable – and true to his aesthetic.
Every look from Lara was unexpected and beautiful. It’s clear that each piece is carefully conceptualised, from complex construction and unfamiliar, asymmetrical drapery to the technicalities of her tailoring and re-fabrication, while remaining feminine and contemporary. With “how did she make that?” on my mind, I felt that it was that complexity that makes her work genius.
Hong Kong-based brand Viniga succeeds in balancing practicality with luxury while staying on-trend with her high-quality items. With an almost all-black collection, every look was textured, romantic and powerful.
Mozambican designer Taibo Bacar brought us a regal and extravagant collection – featuring looks that were all show-stoppers. On the whole, Taibo Bacar was rich in texture, bold in colour choices and faithful to their roots, making it a favourite show.
Rwandan atelier Mille Collines celebrates the successful, passionate and effortlessly stylish African woman. We saw an array of silhouettes and styles from oversized, billowing, printed shirt dresses to a slim jean with flared hems, mostly accessorised with enormous sun hats and fluttering floor-length scarves.
Staying true to her emphasis on high-quality, hand-printed fabrics, Shana’s collection portrayed classical silhouettes, solar and lunar illustrations, shimmering textiles and baroque-like lace: all ethereal and utterly romantic.
A huge, hand-painted red rose set the scene for the elaborate Spanish journey Stefania took us on with her flamenco-inspired collection. Every garment is meticulously, beautifully detailed – aligning with the designer’s firm belief in quality and functionality. This was an unforgettable collection for me.
Maxhosa by Laduma’s show always brings a full house. He is justifiably celebrated as one of the finest innovators when it comes to knitwear. His collection was familiar as we saw clean, modern ensembles, including his traditional patterned cardigans, pencil skirts and polo-necks.
Sustainable, ethical brand The Joinery, showcased their low-key luxurious, summery collection within the fashion conscience collective Fashion Revolution. I love that The Joinery makes it possible to look fabulous while supporting a carbon-reducing, recycling, locally produced brand.
Leigh Schubert creates pieces for the strong, sexy, and elegant women. Her collection included a variety of vibrant looks that are functional for everyday life but bold enough to make a statement. Her use of colour, print and texture took the already beautiful silhouettes to a new level of sophistication.
Cleo Droomer’s re-emergence blew us all away before the wind got a chance. One look after the next, we saw athletic but incredibly luxurious ensembles. Somewhere between streetwear and couture (every item was hand-sewn by Droomer himself!) his collection speaks to all ages and sizes, with his dramatically oversized silk puffers to his shimmering trench coats over flared-legged trousers. Every item was impeccably constructed and equally impactful. A standing O for the one-man-show.