I’m a sucker for a well-dressed man (that sounds wrong on so many levels but that’s not what I meant you dirty-minded friend of mine). We’ve reached an era where men boldly embrace and break fashion boundaries set by society. In recent months we’ve seen Jaden Smith wearing dresses and skirts, paving a way for men, who’s not from Scottish descendants but would love to wear a skirt, to do just that. Am I a fan of it? Well my belief is that you should wear whatever you’re comfortable with because that’s what I do. Fashion is a way to express yourself and who doesn’t like a nice breeze up their legs on a hot summer day?
I’ve decided to attend the last day of Fashion week this year, which was a first for me as I was very interested to see the Summer/Spring ’16 men’s collections. I’ve always been a big fan of House of Ole and looked forward to see what they had in store.
The designer, Olé Ledimo was born in Bloemfontein and studied at the London University of Fashion before doing a course in Advanced Tailoring. The House of Olé brand came to life in 2000, and later opened his first studio in Johannesburg in 2006. Classic with flair has become the brand’s signature, focused on tailoring with a conceptual, fresh approach.
His collection this year combined street art (graffiti) and wearable art, it was a sight to behold and I fell in love instantly. I loved the women’s line with luxurious red velvet coats and the absolute show stopper red dress but it’s the men’s perfectly tailored suit with graffiti across that stole my heart. For the final runway walk, they “upped” the cuteness factor by bring out 3 adorable children (2 boys, 1 girl) that wore their designs as well. The full video of the their line can be viewed here.
Next up we have Naked Ape by designer Shaldon Kopman, fashion icon, designer and stylist, founded in 2005. From their studio in Johannesburg central, Naked Ape has designed and crafted luxury bespoke garments for discerning individuals. In the latter part of 2014 dawned the extension of the Naked Ape brand – a flagship store in the trendy and fashionable shopping district of Rosebank, The Firs. Naked Ape has extended its line-up to include ready-to-wear garments and accessories, bridging the gap between the individualised tailored items, with off-the-rack attire, resulting in immediate gratification.
Their line for this year sported masculine and feminine suiting with lines and prints inspired by the Moses Mabhida stadium. I loved the 3/4 pants, maybe because all the male models that wore them had really great legs. When paired with a blazer, as Naked Ape did on the runway, it looks amazing. Also spotted a local celebrity, Heino Schmitt, who plays the role of Altus in local soapie 7de Laan on the runway, which definitely sped up a few ladies’ heart rates. Their full runway can be viewed here.
Last but not least we have Ephymol by designer Ephraim Molingoana who started his career in modelling, before re-routing himself into fashion design. He worked extensively abroad, before returning to Johannesburg and opening the Ephymol studio. His diverse travel experience played an important role in influencing his bold and individualistic design philosophy. Ephraim has earned numerous Best Dressed awards, which have increased his clientele to include sports personalities, musicians, actors and many leaders in the fashion industry.
The first thing I’ve noticed was the 70’s theme with bold print, colours and of course the afros. It was very classic with tailored suits, shirts with a splash of colour and print but one of the biggest surprises from his line was the skorts (3/4 pants at the back and skirt in front). I loved the printed pants and lace shirts, very sexy. His full collection can be viewed here.
The music was provided by Warner Music South Africa and we all received a complimentary music streaming subscription voucher. This was my first post about menswear + my first menswear show I’ve attended so let me know what you think.