Courtesy of SAMW street style
Words:Daniël Geldenhuys | Photographs: Half and Halve
Ever since the fall of Weinstein and the rise of toxic masculinity as we've named it and think about it today, there has been a collective questioning around the intent of menswear fashion weeks. As the male archetype undergoes an overdue reckoning, how will the clothes that dress it be affected? It's no surprise then that the traditional suit, the fashion equivalent of the toxic male, has undergone an appropriate revamp as women reclaim it and men remix it.
The rebirth of the suit is one of the major through lines of the street style at SA Menswear Week AW19. Viewed through this lens, the looks become about a distinctly modern sense of gender empowerment, shuffling the traditional codes of menswear and womenswear and using different aspects of them (as if choosing something from an on-demand menu) at a whim. Dressing against toxic masculinity is never one specific look: there are a plethora of options, all viable as long as the intent is pure and the overall effect is fire.
Zuhaa Isaacs plays with proportions (adds a touch of monochrome snakeskin) and wins!
A strong attitude and bold red lip are key ingredients in mastering the art of the oversize, as demonstrated by Tiffany Fredericks
Paige Martins is serving female CEO of the car dealership realness and we're already working out a suitable payment plan.
Chandré Matlala punctuates her modern minimalist jumpsuit with graphic white sunnies and boots – a sure way to keep an outfit feeling fresh and modern.
There's a subversive sweetness to Nuraan Mohamed's pink check dress that brings to mind the aesthetic of contemporary feminist design masters like Simone Rocha.
Turning the suit on its head, Sebastian Kidd softens it up with a strong streetwear sensibility.
The blazer dress, a not-too-distant relative of masculine shirting and boyfriend jeans, is best worn with a strong sense of conviction and confidence. Mbali Zwelinjani has plenty of both.
Andrew Murphy makes an alluring case for the future of the man bag, offset with a strong suit and Anna Wintour sunnies.
It's all in the contrast. Shaterrica Hyder's pretty pastel slip dress plays off her chunky white sneakers perfectly.
Nicola Kruger softens up the blazer in monotone pastel pink, punctuating the look with faux fur sleeves.
Echoing the optimistic colour palates seen on the runway, Micah Delport combines pops of neon with stark black and white.
Lumka Zantsi recontextualized the tuxedo jacket – has it ever looked this good?
Marching to the tune of pleated skirts and boyish tees, Gina Jeanz is a vision.
Sometimes all you need is a textured black ensemble with idiosyncratic gold earrings. The timeless chic factor is guaranteed, but Amber-Rose Hennings looks unmistakably of-the-moment.
Luke Ruiters stands at the intersection of sport and suit, slaying in monochrome.
Gemma Shepherd proves the hoodie and sweatpants combo can look premium with a cool colour palate and considered design.
There's a softer side to denim dungarees. As Damien Fredericks proves, it's all in the slouch.
Sometimes the ultimate antidote to toxic masculinity is an uncompromising dose of classic feminine beauty, embodied here by Abongwe Qokela.