AFI Fashion Week pulls out all the stops for African Fashion

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Renowed designer Gavin Rajah presented a special capsule collection titled "Where have all the flowers gone?" paying tribute to women who are victims violence and crime on the continent. Pictue by Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Two of our acclaimed fashion designers staged meaningful shows at the opening night of the spring and summer season of African Fashion International Fashion Week (AFIFashionWeek) . Gavin Rajah presented a special capsule collection titled "Where have all the flowers gone?" paying tribute to women who are victims violence and crime on the continent. Collaborating with floral couturier The Blom Boy, models walked down the runway in beautiful gowns paired with delicate and dramatic net flower headpieces that represented the fragility of life and how  many women often feel caged or trapped in situations they can’t get out of. 

191 JFW SDR 5 AfricanFashionUnites - AFI Fashion Week pulls out all the stops for African Fashion
Renowed designer Gavin Rajah presented a special capsule collection titled "Where have all the flowers gone?" in collaboration with The Blom Boy. Pictue by Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Rajah’s powerful show was part of AFIFashionWeek pan-African showcase on Thursday evening named ‘African Fashion Unites" that featured designers from around the continent such as Christie Brown (Ghana), Mai Atafo (Nigeria, Eric Raisina (Madagascar) and KLûK CGDT (SA). 
Models strutted the runway to the sound of live music acts by Nigerian artist Femi Kuti, Kwesta and The Ndlovu Youth Choir. The choir who recently participated in the reality music show America’s Got Talent is a joy to watch, their talent and energy is magnetic. 

191 JFW SDR 63 AfricanFashionUnites - AFI Fashion Week pulls out all the stops for African Fashion
A model wearing KLûK CGDT at the AFI African Fashion Unites fashion show. Pictue by Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

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Nigerian designer Mai Atafo during the AFI African Fashion Unites pan-African fashion show. Pictue by Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

191 JFW SDR 284 DavidTlale - AFI Fashion Week pulls out all the stops for African Fashion
The David Tlale finale received a standing ovation. Pictue by Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Flamboyant designer David Tlale payed homage to his biggest muse and late mother Joyce Tlale, naming his SS20 collection "Joyce" Tlale’s showcase received a standing ovation . 
His presentation began with fun and colourful pieces,  drawing inspiration from his Heritage Month collaboration with Tastic Rice, as well as the rich and vibrant cultures found in South Africa
I haven’t seen Tlale present a collection with so much colour since his iconic showcase at Bo-Kaap in 2012. 

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David Tlale did a quirky play on the multi-pleated Xibela skirt worn by Tsonga women. Pictue by Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

 Next was his trademark all-black collection which featured jaw-dropping ready-to-wear and red Red carpet dresses with beautiful  detailing and inserts. 
Tapping into the Tsonga culture, he did a quirky play on the multi-pleated Xibela skirt worn by Tsonga women. Male models wore the skirt draped as a cape, over pants  and other fashionable styles. 

Pic3NdlovuYouth - AFI Fashion Week pulls out all the stops for African Fashion
Models strutted the runway to the exhilarating music by The Ndlovu Youth Choir during the AFI African Fashion Unites pan-African show. Pictue by Simon Deiner / SDR Photo


Pic4MissSA - AFI Fashion Week pulls out all the stops for African Fashion
Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi walks during the AFI African Fashion Unite showcase in Joburg. Pictue by Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Held at the Sandton Convention Centre from Thursday until Saturday, overall, this season of AFIFashinWeek was well produced and organised. I loved the fact that they make promoting pan-African designers a priority and also unearthing young talent. 

* For the full gallery visit africanfashioninternational.com

Follow the conversation at hashtags #AFIFashionWeek and #IAMAFRICA 

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