Bold and colourful designs at Khayelitsha Fashion Week

Designers from across the Cape Flats showed their creations at Artscape

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An outfit from the range “Art on clothing” by designer Dandie Candie. Photos: Mary-Anne Gontsana

Bold and colourful fashion was on display in a red carpet runway event for Khayelitsha Fashion Week at the Artscape Theatre Centre on the weekend.

The theme was Grounded in Nature. The Khayelitsha Fashion Week is now in its eighth year, and forms part of the Mother City Fashion Experience, founded by Zibonele FM breakfast show host Bongani Matenjwa.

The models and aspiring designers come mostly from the Cape Flats to showcase their skills and talent. Among the 11 designers showing their work were designers from Delft, Philippi, Langa, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Parklands and Manenberg. There were 45 models.

Speaking about the process of choosing the models and designers, Matenjwa said a public call had been made on social media for people to apply.

“Our models are not paid. Those that are ultimately selected then go through two months training every Saturday because some of them have no experience in runway. We use the same process when selecting the designers. They have to apply first.”

“Our event was sponsored by Artscape Theatre, City of Cape Town, Shezz Hair Salon, Okuhle Nails and Beauty, Brand Magazine and Zibonele FM,” said Matenjwa.

He said the event, which takes about four months to put together, was meant to be a two-day affair but due to unforeseen circumstances, they could only do one day.

In the lead-up to the fashion show, business training workshops are held for the selected designers.

A model showcases a sheer dress “focused on nature and body positivity” by designer Weentokazi.

One of the more daring designers, Avumile Majola, 34, from the Eastern Cape, but now based in Parklands, says she came to Cape Town full of dreams of making it in the fashion industry. A former content producer at Cape Town TV, she holds a public relations diploma.

Majola says she loves fashion and had also done runway modelling before diving into design and making garments for her brand, Weentokazi.

“My designs today are focused on nature and body positivity. The media has lied to us, because it told and showed us that if you want to be a model you need to be thin and have long straight hair. But we are changing that and showing that we, with our afros and curves can also be models.”

“I am currently doing fashion full time and I do all my designs from scratch, the whole process from first putting it on paper, to it coming to life.”

“I did a year and half on a fashion course at a creative hub in Observatory. After that YouTube has been my go-to wherever I want to learn something new.”

“The name Weentokazi was inspired by my grandfather who loved ladies and would refer to them by that term when approaching them. It basically means “Hey girl”. But I used this name to mean, ‘Here I am, I have arrived!’”

Weentokazi founder Avumile Majola was one of the 11 designers who showcased their work at the Khayelitsha Fashion Week event at the Artscape Theatre.

Majola said she was unemployed and running her fashion business from home. She said she advertises her garments on her social media pages, which is how clients find her. She is currently putting all profits back into her business.

“In terms of future prospects, I want to own my own Weentokazi clothing stores one day,” said Majola.

Other designers who participated were Dandie Candie, Philip Albert, Mzukwane, Mos, Jaye, Rissa, Mgxobane, Zee Manguni, Ligugu Craft and Sethu Wethu.

On of the “Art on clothing” range by designer Dandie Candie from Observatory.

TOPICS:  Arts and culture

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