Things I underestimated about Fashion District

FKJohannesburg is a city of gold in many respects, from its early beginnings of being a mining town to now being South Africa’s economic hub.

Having not lived in Johannesburg for long, the fashion areas people seem to hold in high esteem in the city are usually Hyde Park in Sandton, Parkhurst with its long string of high-end boutiques, Rosebank Mall, Maboneng and the likes.

I have spent a lot of time in Braamfontein since my arrival in the city and slowly but surely I’ve been going through hoops to try get a taste of the Sandtons, the Parkhursts, the Rosebanks. Little did I know that I was over looking probably one of the richest fashion areas in Joburg – the Fashion District.

The CBD previously seen as run down and now being ‘refubished’ is not what you see on TV or at the various fashion weeks. What many haven’t yet realised is that this district is actually a gold mine.

I’ve recently received the opportunity to go explore the Fashion District, right at the heart of Jozi. What I appreciated most from the stores in this area is that, whether its food, clothes or jewellery, you will find items that are made in Africa by African people.

This area is the space of the original products. From authentic Ghanaian fabric,  to AmaXhosa jewellery, Ethiopian baskets and Basotho blankets – it can all be found here. A perfect hub of African trading and African retail in its truest form. The unfortunate part is that because of this very reason people don’t value the businesses in this area.

It’s a common trend in South Africa where people don’t value their own, we are always looking to America and Europe as the markers of what is fashionable and what is valuable. We often fail to appreciate what is often right noses and embrace that.

So I have made it my mission to marinate myself in the Fashion District of Jozi that is full of life, knowledge and African luxury.

Let me know in the comments if you know of any brilliant underrated fashion places in the comments. Also feel free to like and share this post 🙂

SAFW Runway Review

Yet another South African Fashion Week (SAFW) has come and gone. With the popularity of African prints in recent years, we have seen more creative use of African-inspired garments of the SAFW runways. More than that, the SAFW designers have certainly increased the quality of their designs since its inception in 2001. Here’s a list my favourite designs for AW17 collections. Read on to see why.

yadah-looks
Yadah Exclusive Designs AW17 collection – Screenshots via SAFW

Yadah Exclusive Designs has been working with African print designs in her previous work. Here’s what I liked this season:

– The ready-to-wear pieces like the midi skirts and cropped printed top are breathtaking.

– The daring yet sophisticates print works well with the corporate style.

– The A-line cuts work well, the skirts are neither puffy nor chunky.

greerkyle-looks
GreerKyle AW17 collection – Screenshots via SAFW

This season the GreerKyle plaid patterns work very well for me. Yet again the formal pieces stood out for me in this collection. Here’s what I liked:

– These monochrome colours paired with the plaid pattern make gorgeous ensembles.

– The culotte suit is an interesting twist to the traditional suit and it screams power.

– This school girl look (the first picture) is my favourite in this collection.

herritual-looks
herRitual AW17 collection – Screenshots via SAFW

What I liked in this herRitual collection:

– The shades of brown work well here, and as it is appropriate, gives a nice warm feel.

– I am really liking the high waist and the asymmetrical look.

mantsho-looks
Mantsho AW17 collection – Screenshots via SAFW

These  are my favourite looks from this Mantsho collection. What I liked:

– The best piece for me in this collection is the off the shoulder peplum top. The frill cut has also been trending this year.

– The African reference in the second look makes an interesting finish on the pockets.

sober-looks
Sober AW17 collection – Screenshots via SAFW

Again, I’m loving the different uses of shades of brown. What I liked:

– Here the skirt of the second look took my breath away. I absolutely love the cut and shape of this skirt.

– Here the skirt of the second look took my breath away. I absolutely love the cut and shape of this skirt.

– I am also intrigued the leather looking chest straps, it gives a ‘ready for action’ sense.

sungoddess-looks
Sun Goddess AW17 collection – Screenshot via SAFW

These are my favourite looks from this Sun Goddess collection. What I liked:

– I love the textured prints and fabrics from this collection.

– The second look here is my favourite from this collection. I love it when designers innovate when it comes to African inspired pieces. Sungoddess did a good job with that here.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.