Laduma Ngxokolo was the second of three designers who showed at London Fashion week in association with the Ubuntu International Project. His Xhosa-inspired knitwear was showcased at Vauxhall Fashion Scout in collaboration with jewelry-beadwork from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. As a person who has undergone the Xhosa initiation ritual Laduma felt that similar brands didn't seem to link the resemblance of the Xhosa traditions, which is why he designed his own knitwear for amakrwala with his experience in machine-knitting in South african and showcase it in London.
In it's second week, London Fashion Week got a taste of South africa, or more appropriately, Africa. Stiaan Louw represented with a sort of re-showing of his AFI Jhb 2011 collection but with noticeable tweaks, like the introduction of vibrant colour tones.
Louw joined two other local designers in London for Vauxhall Fashion Scout in association with the Ubuntu International Project (two of which were menswear shows) and it was a great success. This marks the start of a three year program which aims to showcase these designers to an international audience. And it's about time that we got some international airtime. Errol Hendrickse says that is "an aesthetic that is not geographically confined but can be African and Eurocentric at the same time". And how very appropriate considering Louw's updated collection of soft cotton drapery in earthy tones. I think this is a great launching off point for what has already been a good year for Stiaan.
I first noticed the reinvention of the camo print on Nickelson Wooster who shot to fame because of his outrageous and wonderful outfit choices outside of Fashion week. Camo as a tie and blazer? Okay! No longer is this common trance-party attire circa 1998. And those heavy pocketed pants, oi. Remember Joe Soap? Shoot through to 2011 and the fashion scene is starting to embrace it once more by including it in the detail. Not all people are as confident with this sort of trend as Nickelson Wooster but we can learn from the examples below shot outside fashion week this year.
Now with NYFW at a close it was surprising to see Tommy Hilfiger experiment with the camo print in the form of a colour soled boot and zip-up jacket. Notice the white jeans allow the overall look to calm down just a touch. One of my new favorite shoe brands Del Toro even released a brogue in this print which although surprising is pretty cool and would make a fine addition to my wardrobe. But leave it to Addict and C-law who collaborated on their own version-- a boat-boot hybrid that I'm certain will go down well with the boys.
What do you think of this trend? Would you bring the camouflage to the city?
GQ South Africa is on the prowl for their best-dressed reader. If you think that might be you or someone you know then listen up. The Best-Dressed Reader Competition will be comprised of and voted for by the great GQ readers of this country. The prize is a set of double tickets to the illustrious GQ Best-Dressed Men awards (won last year by Seth Rotherham of 2OceansVibe) held on the 17th October 2011.
Help get the word out by pointing your tweets towards @GQdotcoza or use the hashtag #GQbdr. To share your wealth of style email BDReader@condenast.co.za with a focused, portrait picture of yourself/friend and include your name and city.
GQ will select the 10 finalists and will open the voting for the top 3. This is where you come in again. Nominations close on the 23 September and voting for the top 3 finalists closes on October 4th. Keep your eyes peeled here and at GQ.co.za.