FROM WSJ: ARISE is the first global style and culture magazine to celebrate African achievement in fashion and arts. This season, they selected designers from South Africa, Nigeria, and Tanzania to present their collections to a packed house at the main tent at Bryant Park during Fashion Week. The runway show was titled “African Collective—Part III”!
South African label Black Coffee (Jacques van der Watt and Danica Lepen) featured oversized coats with wide collars in muted peach and tan colors. For the most part, the coats looked like they would keep a person very warm, especially those that looked reminiscent of comforters with quilted geometric designs. Underneath the coats each model wore the label’s concept dress, which can be worn in several different ways. Jacques van der Watt said the inspiration for the coats’ angular styles came from African masks.
The next collection, from Loin Cloth & Ashes (Anisa Mpungwe), frequently referenced origami figures. Tanzanian-born Ms. Mpungwe explained that origami is unpredictable, like her style: “You fold something up so simple into a beautiful piece of art,” she said.
One thing to note was her jewelry, featuring electric-blue geometric shapes, which Ms. Mpungwe said has a tribal look to it.
The clear favorite of the night, however, was the sexy, military chic collection from Nigeria’s own Deola Sagoe. Strong, structured shoulders on jackets, tassels, metallic fabrics and gold buttons were very prominent in her garments. “Ever since I was a child I was very fascinated by the military silhouette,” said Ms. Sagoe. “I like men in military uniform. They look together. I see the gold buttons, the cords. It’s very much attractive to me.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!