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Trends from SAFW to look forward to in the new season

Gonintebe talks about her collection, inspiration behind her brand

Nombuso Kumalo Content Producer
Designer Oyama Gonintebe
Designer Oyama Gonintebe
Image: Eunice Driver

Mzansi avid fashion devotees and die-hearts strutted into Mall of Africa, Midrand, for their biannual trends report courtesy of SA Fashion Week (SAFW).

The three-day event is always a must on the fashion calendar, with an extravagant production featuring feet-tapping beats and well-timed lighting displays to set the mood for incredible design collections. The styles that debuted there will trickle down to retail trends that we will be rocking in months to come. 

Backstage, surrounded by exuberant models and show producers, I meet fashion designer Oyama Gonintebe. The 27-year-old Capetonian offers me a gracious smiles, before letting out a sigh of relief while zipping her final garment bag.  

A finalist for the 2023 Mr Price New Talent Search, Gonintebe has just showcased her second collection at SAFW.

“I was nervous as I didn't know how the audience was going to receive my work,” she admits.

“When it was time for runway, I was confident when I saw my looks before they went out. Inspiration behind the collection was my isiXhosa heritage which incorporated the print and textiles of traditional isiXhosa attire with a newness.

“I wanted to break boundaries of traditional attire by making it versatile and modern where you can wear it as an everyday piece instead of only wearing it at traditional events.”

A model wearing designs by Oyama Gonintebe
A model wearing designs by Oyama Gonintebe
Image: Eunice Driver

Hailing from Kwanokuthula, Plettenberg Bay, Gonintebe’s rite of passage into fashion was sewn into her future by her grandmothers who were dressmakers in their small town.

“One of my grandmothers sewed traditional dress imibhanco and I think the mixture of heritage, colours and prints comes from her side. My other grandmother worked with structured garments and tailored pieces and that’s where I got my fashion and business sense and how to work with clients,” she shares.

Gonintebe then moved to Cape Town undeterred to become a fashion designer. Working her way through internships, her only stipend sometimes came through odd custom garments jobs for clients on the side. It was during this period that she was taken under the wings of mentor Feroza Webster of Aelahn Collective.  

“Mentorship is the most important thing, especially when you are an up-and-coming designer,, you don’t know everything. Mentors guide you, save you from unnecessary mistakes and give emotional support. You always need a second eye and someone to tell you where you can improve,” she advices.

Style report

So, what to look forward to for the new season? Here is a roundup of the fashion trends and moments that blew us away.   

Jacques Bam of The Bam Collective's electrifying showcase opened with pop music and a model wearing only a polka dot blazer with slouching sock boots. Throughout the show, audiences ate their way through the rainbow of colourful garments with the signature Bam wavy pattern in the trousers and sleeves. Only to end the flavour adventure with latex bridal gown worn by model Connie More.  

The Bam Collective runway
The Bam Collective runway
Image: Eunice Driver

This season’s floral trend first seen on international runways, either in matchy-matchy signature earrings or match-dress ensemble, was seen in the Michael Ludwig collection and Bam as an embellishment on a colourful suitcase.  

Going against the patterns his brand is known for, menswear designer Ephriam Molingoana of Ephymol sent an all-black collection down the runway. A risk that paid off. At closer view; texture, technique and creativity were perfectly infused in each outfit. Models looked refreshed, stylish and modern.  

The Black Coffee by Jacques van der Walt show incorporated a muted palette of creams and blacks with pops of forest green, sherbet orange, lemon and multicoloured colour geometric blocking.  

Following the success of their recent collaboration with Mr Price menswear in September 2021 winners of New Talent, Refuse Clothing Brand, left an indelible mark. Fusing streetwear with a sporty modern sway, their collection featured muted checkered jackets and trouser co-ords; branded shorts and knee-length socks with sneakers pairing.  

New Talent 2022 winner Thando Ntuli of Munkus showcased a romantic collection is what resort dreams are made of. Models floated down the runway in lavender ombre trench coats, feminine floral blazer jumpsuits and photographic treatment tra-la-la skirts, ruffled power suits styled with acid yellow and pink accessories.

A wearing Black Coffee designs
A wearing Black Coffee designs
Image: Eunice Driver
A model in designs by Munkus
A model in designs by Munkus
Image: Eunice Driver
A model in designs by Ephymol
A model in designs by Ephymol
Image: Eunice Driver
Refuse Clothing Brand runway showcase
Refuse Clothing Brand runway showcase
Image: Eunice Driver
A model wearing Bam Collective designs
A model wearing Bam Collective designs
Image: Eunice Driver
Refuse Clothing Brand designs
Refuse Clothing Brand designs
Image: Eunice Driver
A model wearing designs by Munkus
A model wearing designs by Munkus
Image: Eunice Driver
Model wearing designs by Black Coffee
Model wearing designs by Black Coffee
Image: Eunice Driver
Model wearing designs by Ephymol
Model wearing designs by Ephymol
Image: Eunice Driver

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