Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Week united fashion elites and celebrities at Melrose Arch (24-28 October 2012) to view the latest offerings by the continents best designers. Although the rainy weather may have intruded, designers made no excuses by bringing their A game.

Amongst some of Style Tribe’s favorite designers are London based African designer Tina Lobondi who showcased a refreshing range consisting of bold African prints and light textiles, with an impressive attention to detail. Her modern interpretation of traditional textiles was well executed, with each garment fitting to the models like that of a second skin.

Jacob Kimmie’s designs had a sports wear influence, done differently through modern shapes and classic textiles that wouldn’t normally be combined. My favorite garment from the collection was the elegant black sequenced jumpsuit and a fun welding spectacles. Displayed within these designs was a combination of masculinity and femininity, a recurring runway trend that never gets tired.

Laurence Airline utilized bold traditional patterns, in a manner most appealing to the eye. The sportswear influenced garments combined with these prints formed an indomitable force on the runway that had the front row gasping for more. Three quarter trousers, short sleeve shirts and Givenchy influenced sandals were the order of the range. Most enjoyable.

Maki Oh showcased various elements of fringing and continuous slashing of fabrics in the form of patterns. Bold rouge’s and blues combined with classic traditional prints completed her luxurious collection.

Mimi Plange’s innovative range consisted of quilted pieces of leather throughout her designs. The floral print trend is well executed alongside pastel hues and phenomenal form of the garments.

The Africa Fashion International (AFI) Chairperson Dr Precious Moloi Motsepe delivered a speech thanking sponsors, and further announced some of the Fashion award winners. Performances by the likes of Chianosky, MiCasa, Nandi Mngoma, Lira, Zahara and the lovely Lindiwe Suttle provided a successful closing to the Fashion awards. Amongst the winners of the night were: Jackie Burger and Simon Diener (outstanding contribution to fashion), Mimi Plange (designer of the year), Thula Sindi (SA tourism designer of the year), Arthur Malan (fashion stylist of the year), Laurence Airline (emerging designer of the year) and Taibo Bacar (designer of the year). Congratulations to all the Fashion Award winners, as well as AFI and Mercedes Benz for hosting another fruitful Africa Fashion Week.

A special thank you to Sunday Times Lifestyle and AFI Allana Finley ( Marketing and Communications Manager) for the Fashion Week tickets.

- Bonolo Moeng

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