David Tlale shines as he mourns his mom

Local couturier David Tlale gave the most personal collection of his colourful fashion career at AFI Joburg Fashion Week. His spring/summer 2020 collection that debuted on Thursday night was inspired by his late mother Joyce, who died in August.

Speaking to Sowetan, Tlale called the show the "biggest" of his career having showcased everywhere in the world from New York to Paris.

While the mood in the air was sombre, the clothes were light as air. Models strutted down the ramp backed by a mix of sing-along gospel tunes and tribal beats.

In true Tlale style, there were dramatic red carpet-ready gowns all in black. The ready-to-wear was far more modern, youthful and relaxed coming in pastel hues of blue and yellow.

Gender fluidity also took centre stage with menswear giving a nod to the vibrant pleated Tsonga skirt xibelani.

"The most challenging thing was realising this is it and we had to make sure that we give her a beautiful send-off," Tlale said of his late mom.

"Seeing the collection come to life on the night was heavy - one of the heaviest I have ever done.

"The use of gospel music is what mom taught us, that in spite of all the hardships, God is there for us."

Another highlight came on Friday night, with Mozambican designer Taibo Bacar showcasing why he is the best Africa has to offer.

If Tlale offered drama and glamour, Bacar brought effortless fashion that is simple, chic, luxurious and wearable. The collection was dreamy and resort friendly, with every model that walked down the runway you could feel the sea breeze.

Other stands-out included a Spanish style collection by Paledi Segapo and electric African prints by Rich Factory.

Chef Nti, Miss SA Zozibini Tunzi, singer Vusi Nova, media personalities Thembisa Mdoda, K Naomi and Azania Mosaka, are just some of the stars spotted checking out the new collections.

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