How the multiple-day affairs are a visual feast of art and fashion.

Art fairs and fashion

Words by Lesego Ntsime | Images: Suppled

Who doesn’t love a contemporary art fair? Curated displays of art, free drinks and a congregation of only the best-styled looks. Over recent years, art fairs have evolved into spaces that garner the attention of diverse audiences of people. Upon arrival you are met, not by a heart-provoking work of art, but by throngs of people who in their own way are walking monuments of expression. 

Local street style has seen a significant shift over the last few years. Once a forest blooming with newly-sprouted Millenials and Gen Zs who sought expression and creativity through the domain of social media - a thriving sea of style from the streets of Braam to Woodstock - today the realm is a shadow of itself. Combine a pandemic, an increasing loyalty to social media and the dissolution of spaces that encourage community amongst young people and you have yourself the end of an era. 

art fairs

As more youth and creative-oriented environments wither away, social movements that are pivotal to a progressive street style culture lose their momentum and ultimately meet their end. Enter art fairs. By facilitating a rally of like-minded individuals, art fairs synthesise two factors that contribute significantly to our socio-cultural economy thus creating the time and place for people to feast on a festival of looks upon looks. Like a younger sibling who trails closely behind their older sibling by their parent’s decree, fashion finds itself cheek to cheek with its slightly taut kin during these grand galas. 

Art fairs, fashion

The evolving geometry of art fairs to include people who once fringed the borders of the art world sees a monumental shift in local street style culture. Here the bitter comparison between fashion and art dissolves in favour of a perfect convergence of expression and culture. 

Art fairs and fashion,

When attending an art fair, consider outfits that encapsulate the essence of your style. In an environment teeming with character and expression, the perfect outfit is something you. 

For a guaranteed hit, opt for a classic jeans and white top/shirt combo. Comfortable flats like loafers give the look of a polished base. 


Dress season is upon us. This long-sleeved wrap dress offers a subtle elegance while keeping the spring breeze at bay. Accompany the dress with chic court heels and a standout bag for sheer sophistication. 


You can’t go wrong with a maxi skirt. Opt for a relaxed pencil skirt fit and ultra-feminine blouse paired with platform sandals for a laidback weekend look.


Athleisure always wins. Throw on a simple yet reliable sportswear dress with sneakers that boast a classic cut and complete the look with a cup for effortless style.


Dad trousers are in. Pair them with colourful knitwear tops for spring and chic flip flops for a chilled Sunday look. 



This month sees FNB Art Joburg return to the Sandton Convention Center for its 16th edition. A highlight in Johannesburg’s culture calendar, the fair will take place from 8–10 September 2023 while The BMW Art Generation - a prelude to the much-anticipated event - will comprise a three-day, star-studded programme including (3 names) from 1-3 September 2023. 

Ahead of the fair, FNB announced the winner of this year’s FNB Art Prize : Lindokuhle Sobekwa. By winning the FNB Art Prize, Sobekwa becomes the first documentarian to join previous winners Dada Khanyisa, Wycliffe Mundopa, Lady Skollie, Bronwyn Katz, Haroon Gunn-Salie, Peju Alatise, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Turiya Magadlela, Portia Zvavahera, Nelisiwe Xaba, Mocke J van Veuren, and Kudzanai Chiurai. 

As the winner of the 2023 prize, Sobekwa will receive a cash prize as well as a solo exhibition at Johannesburg Art Gallery where the largest art collection, on the continent, resides. 

Tickets to the fair on from the 8th to the 10th of September 2023  at The Sandton Convention Centre are now available at https://artjoburg.com/tickets/.

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