Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg (MBFWJ) came to an end over the weekend and we were there to catch all the runway action. Held at Nelson Mandela Square with Tata’s statue gleefully hovering over the marquee, the event saw many fashion lovers swathed in their most fashionable garments. The only threads MS. ALUWANI RATSHIUNGO was interested in though, were on the runway.
The collection was seeped in sartorial versatility, styled with gingham and printed scarves, which added a layer of elegance to the looks. The clothes ranged from fine cotton and wool suits in different hues, to soft tailored denims and slim fit shirts paired with matching trousers. Though the collection was a bit predictable, it was satisfactory. I am, however, still struggling to figure out what those hideous afro wigs were doing on the black models.
There is absolutely nothing to hate about this show. The Khoi, Piccasso and sailor references translated into bold stripes and prints in fresh-earthy tones complimented by a strong hint of blue. The label kept to the resurgent theme of relaxed silhouettes, with baggy three quarter pants and loose shirts as opposed to the popular tailored trend. The berets and sneakers definitely complimented the outfits.
In true Augustine style, monochrome was a prominent element in the collection. The label played with the unisex theme featuring slightly high waisted pants, cropped tops and jackets made from blends of hyde and leather. Though it had a number of amazing individual pieces like the sky blue coat, the showcase was a bit underwhelming.
What began as a melodramatic production – with lights flickering over a dark scene of models piled on top of each other – was apparently inspired by the idea of transitioning from darkness to the light. Unfortunately, this did not translate to the clothes’ – tuxedo jackets, quilted jackets and sweaters – dominant dark colour palette.
Images by Mr Siyabonga Mkhasibe