Words: Aluwani Ratshiungo | Images: SDR Photo | Video: Thato Maluleke

Fashion lovers gathered at The Park, Hyde Park Corner last night for the opening of South African Fashion Week (SAFW) SS17 in a showroom that desperately needed more room and air-conditioning.

The night kicked off with the launch of Woolworths’ 2017 StyleBySA campaign featuring an energetic capsule collection by Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu, AKJP, Pichulik, Maria McCloy, Sol-Sol, Selfi and Young & Lazy. Woolworths not only plans to sell the capsule collection in stores, they also implemented the See Now Buy Now model by making the collection available for sale online straight from the runway.

Thebe Magugu

Lisof Graduate Thebe  Magugu was one of the standout designers of the night with skirts and dresses in feminine silhoutes and ox blood red, olive green, orange, and blue shades.

Rich Mnisi

Rich Mnisi proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with with this collection that can be worn by any type of woman as it is both practical and sophisticated. The wrap dress can be taken from the office to social settings as seen worn by Lulama Wolf in the front row at SAFW.

Selfi

With prints similar to their 2016 Picasso inspired collection, Selfi didn’t disappoint. They also kept to their favourite theme of relaxed silhouettes with shift dresses in multi-colours.

Despite the high energy kick off of the show, the rest of the night was a slippery slope. The hospitality was horrible and some of the shows were a yawn-fest; Keys Fashion in particular with its badly constructed pieces which were ill-fitting and badly cut. It looked like they were made by a first year fashion design student. The resort collections almost revived the night but some of the collections were let down by atrocious styling – the kind that happens when people try too hard.

Alas, we have a dope recap video from the night which you can view below.