I want each of you to leave a comment below on an alternate introduction I could use for Chulaap at SS Menswear Week SS19 – or subsequent seasons for that matter. The reason I’m asking is that I’m constantly repeating myself. Designer Chu Suwannapha always brings a show to an absolute standstill – before it explodes into a rapture of absolute awe. I always sit there wondering how could such a quiet, charming, humble man pack so much punch. I couldn’t tell you, so do what I do. Enjoy!
Right, let’s talk about you lot at SA Menswear Week SS19 who put a c*ck in a frock to shock. And failed.
For the record, it’s encouraging to see gender neutrality getting the attention it deserves. We’re clearly moving in the right direction where men feel comfortable and safe enough to reveal who they are.
This brings me to the designers who attempted to add shock value by putting men in dresses and skirts. Sorry for you. It didn’t work because it’s not new. Priscilla did it, Marc Jacobs did it. And the Scots have been doing it for over 3000 years. HashtagOldNews. (Now do you get that feature image?)
Secondly, a runway is a fashion platform, not a pantomime. I want to see style, design, superbly crafted and beautifully finished garments, not a mock gay wedding in cheap tulle. I wasn’t dressed for a wedding and we all know the importance of being event appropriate. Friday night felt like theatrics were used to detract from badly produced clothes.
Now, about those dresses and skirts, the so-called fashion garments you produced for a runway show.
Those see-through fabrics; Jesus on the Starship Enterprise! A diaphanous fabric should reveal a liquid silhouette. We saw your hot mess. A baggy top scrunched into a waistband then peeping out underneath is messy. Fold it, pin it, tuck that shizz in somewhere.
And what’s with the skirt only going around 75% of your model’s waist. Did you run outta fabric? Did the model have McDonald’s sometime between casting and the show? Or is the reverse-mullet look a thing? No man! Finish it off!
I think any designer who wants to deviate from traditional menswear needs hours and days and months of crafting before showcasing on a platform as auspicious as SA Menswear Week. The target on your back is bigger because you’re making a powerful sociological statement. Your garments need to be flawless or you’ll keep getting reviews like this which detract from your cause.
Furthermore, there are incredibly brave and simultaneously afraid men who are sacrificing their comfort zones, their family life, even their lives to wear a dress in public. Dignify them with a piece they can be proud of not the poor executions you showed on Friday night.
The designers and the showgoers who had cheered for bad design let the side down. I was not happy.
Still a lotta love but not much light.
I have a naughty little secret. I did not see the Jason Porshe SA Menswear Week SS19 show. At the time, I was being interviewed on the black carpet by the very dapper Colin Schouw and Jimi Ojunlaja for Spice TV Africa. I’m bleak as his was one of my top three most anticipated shows on Friday night. Fortunately, the buzz created around this Nigerian designer and his first show on this platform should equip me for a little review. Let’s see how it goes.
Colour me bad for never having reviewed ALC Menswear. The brand established by renowned designer Amanda Laird Cherry describes itself as “ready-to-wear designed and styled for conscious individuals”. Their show on Friday night at SA Menswear Week SS19 had me lean forward, smile, scratch my head, breathe a sigh of relief and applaud, all in 20 minutes. You can’t get more conscious reactions than that.
SA Menswear Week SS19, Africa’s only menswear-focussed fashion platform, rolled out on Friday evening. Now celebrating its 8th season, the production fell nothing short of spectacular. The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town provided a picturesque backdrop on an unusually warm winter’s day in Cape Town; a day I decided to wear a full-length faux fur coat. *face palm* Yes people, I was back in the front row – don’t know how I wangled that – with my partner-in-style / fashion police buddy Duncan Pape.
I wore an exquisite pair of gold cigarette pants by fab, glam and crazy local designers Bridget Pickering and Ludwig Bauch of RuffTung. I paired this with my current favourite, the aforementioned weather-be-damned coat and a flat cap which I’d bought from The Kilo Shop in Paris earlier this year. My birdy print chiffon blouse by French label le Temps des Cerises, and my sunglasses are Ross and Brown from Langaro Lifestyle Centre in Camps Bay. They have a mother of a sale on which you can read about here. My bag is Michael Kors, a 2017 birthday gift to myself. Oh, my nude brogues are Woolies, a store I do not purchase fashion from but bought out of pure desperation earlier that day.