Art Meets New Talent at SAFW

To my excitement, this years SA Fashion Week 2011 Winter Collections was held at the hub of Johannesburg’s creative community: Arts on Main. A completely uber cool place for uber cool people with their artisans- esque lives, Arts on Main and Main Street Life represent the new, the dynamic, the creative and the aesthetically cool. That whole area, in a nutshell is just plain cool.

Collaborating with Arts on Main to explore the contemporary crossover between fashion, art and other creative disciplines, a first for the South African fashion industry, SAFW’s four-day event was a feast for the eyes and the mind with some of the country’s foremost artists and sculptors collaborating with South Africa’s top fashion designers. For four days I frantically sped from suburbia to the interesting part of the Johannesburg to witness 12 runway shows including the always highly anticipated Elle New Talent Show.

My week of pure South African fashion and design began with the Elle New Talent Cocktail Party. Held in the foyer of the gorgeous and arty 12 Decades Hotel at Main Street Life, the event gave a lucky few of us the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the Elle New Talent finalists and like me place your bet for who you thought the winner would be…

The first day of SA Fashion week traditionally kicks off with the Elle New Talent Fashion Show. This time however SAFW was officially opened by a Monotype installation performance with fashion designer Lisa Jaffe of Guillotine in collaboration with David Krut Projects, Joao Orecchia, Eduardo Cachucho and Jill Ross. Models then hit the runway with the Elle New Talent Show where my favorite from the night before Cleo Droomer took home the coveted prize.

Elle New Talent Winner- Cleo Droomer

Elle New Talent Winner- Cleo Droomer

Mr Price’s Amber Jones’ first in house range for Mr Price / Image by Ivan Naude

Elle New Talent Finalist Oriel Barnard / Image by Ivan Naude

Elle New Talent finalist Kotloano Mokomane / Image by Ivan Naude

Other talented designers from the Elle New Talent Show included the funny and rockstar chic Oriel Barnard, the environmentally conscious Elme Bekker and the modern, sophisticated African work of Kotloano Mokomane. All the finalists gave me such hope for the future of South African fashion and it is true… the best is yet to come!

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