SAFW AW18-Style lessons from the best designers



The South African fashion community had one of its busiest time of the year as Johannesburg; South Africa’s biggest city, welcomed designers, models, potential buyers and the media onto its shores for the AW18 South African Fashion Week, held at the beautiful. It was a tale of glitz, glamour and inspiring pieces, which we expected; but it was also in many ways, an experience that felt like a blast from the past, for both trends and one of the muse, who last walked the catwalk over 2 decades ago. The crowd went wild when the former beauty queen, Basetsana Kumalo, glided over the SAFW runway for Rubbicon after 23 years away. Rich Mnisi gave us every shade of the glorious 70s and Sindiso khumalo might have triggered an eclipse with the sombrero hats on her models. Here are some of the style lessons we picked up from the SAFW 2017

It ain’t steamy if it don’t shimmy

Basetsana Kumalo for rubbicon SAFW AW18

Dressing in body-con dresses is not the only way to accentuate the female figure. As shown at the show, incorporating fringes on the right piece of fabric helps to bring out the curves with that added shimmy effect. Don’t forget, it’s all about the shimmy. The master craftsmanship of Rubbicon with fringes on the lilac showstopper won by Basetsana Kumalo for the showcase epitomizes this trend. Hangwani Nengovhela’s mastery in layering and the intricate details were spot-on.


Colour enchanted

SAFW Factory SAFW AW18

Might be a good name for a movie right? Maybe 1 about the SAFW AW18…Africans are known for our love for brightly coloured fabrics; basically, we love bright colours. Using African wax and batik has transcended the use of corresponding palettes to the fast growing trend of asymmetrical detailing. I was awed by how Rina Chunga seamlessly fused African Wax with modern culture, birthing colourful asymmetrically detailed fashion forward pieces for Factory. They definitely won’t be spending too long on the racks.

Maxi your life?

Loayo SAFW AW18

Glossy satin batiks on maxi designs? Loubna Ayouche Combalat has called dibs on that idea. She showed off her artistic talents in her maxi skirt designs for Loayo Art. The House of Diva also served us maxi in print for that flowy look and added shimmy.

Sure, Palazzos are back at the SAFW

Rich Mnisi SAFW AW18

Palazzos are back in full throttle; on the runway, on the streets and now in our hearts. They are great for the season because of their bogus characteristic which allows for easy movement and ventilation.

Blast from the past

South African Fashion Week AW18

From Thebe Magugu’scapris, Rubicon’s maxis, Rich Mnisi’spalazzos to coloured leggings from EKTA, we were transported into a parallel universe where old became new and what we knew as right-now began to seem like an anachronism. It was a magical experience at the SAFW, especially for those of us who weren’t born in the years when the world enjoyed the first and second coming of these trends.


Photo Credit: South African Fashion Week official website





About Onche Inalegwu 84 Articles
Onche Inalegwu is the Editor of He is a fashion enthusiast and a certified Political Scientist who’d rather comment on fashion. He’s interested in bringing to the readers, fashion at all levels, from celebrity fashion trends to street fashion trends with ultimately, a Nigerian blend.

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