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Sustainability on-trend at SA Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2020

Now in its 36th season, SA Fashion Week recently upped the ante for the local industry by becoming the continent’s first platform to announce its commitment to a five-year plan spearheading the development of an ecologically-based and sustainable design culture by 2025. Have a look at some of the Runway videos from SAFW AW/20 (Competent Artistes Director: Paul Tilsley | Camera: Thabo Kekana | Official SAFW Videographer):

This year’s SA Fashion Week Autumn/Winter event saw 30 designers show collections, either on the ramp or as installations, with many, including the participants in the New Talent, Cape Wools & Mohair SA Designer Challenge, as well as the SA Fashion Week Student competitions, already incorporating a strong sustainability ethos in their design philosophy.
     House of Lucent by Laura Ferreira walked away with the  2019 New Talent Search award, a coveted prize which has been given annually to top emerging designers for the past 26 years. The brand’s designer and owner, Laura Ferreira, has a remarkable chapter ahead as she is set to receive mentorship and business support courtesy of SAFW.  
     House of Lucent showed a ‘modern classics’ collection that features lined suits, wrap dresses and jumpsuits – among other pieces – accessorised with straw and raffia hats from the collections. The models walked the collection with cork-finished accompaniments such as gloves, boots and crossbody moon bags.
     ‘The collection was a mix of strong versus feminine silhouettes and cuts,’ says Ferreira. ‘All the fabrics and trims I used in the collection are natural… everything is 100% natural.  
     ‘It’s really important for me to go with the whole sustainable feel and it’s just supposed to be something that a modern, young working lady can wear and she can feel the best version of herself – that’s really what I want to achieve,’ she adds. 

Amanda Laird Cherry debuted the Re-Style collection, which aims to change the manner in which modern-day consumers view fashion, in collaboration with Gumtree. Their campaign is all about consciously engaging and interacting with sustainable slow fashion that seeks to revive the value and meaning of clothing. Twelve of the one-off pieces that debuted at SA Fashion Week are currently on sale on Gumtree. The proceeds will be donated to The Clothing Bank – an organisation that empowers unemployed people.
     Nicola Luther of Lunar for ladieswear and Coenraad De Mol of De Mil for menswear were awarded the Cape Wools & Mohair SA Designer Challenge prize. The prize includes a showcase of their collections for two seasons at SA Fashion Week, presenting a Winter and Summer collection respectively, and they had the opportunity to attend the Making It In Textiles Conference in Bradford in the UK, during October, with flights and accommodation fully paid for.
     Lunar is a South African eco-fashion and lifestyle brand that has firmly established itself as one of the country’s top design labels over the past two decades. Drawing inspiration from nature and the African landscape, Lunar crafts clothing to be as natural as possible, both in fabrication and in design.
     Understated and sophisticated styles are meticulously created using only the finest quality natural fibres – fabrics from the earth, with little human interference. While the aesthetic and ethos of Lunar will always endure, we are thrilled to announce a new chapter in this loved and well-respected brand’s life.
     New owner and creative director, Nicola Luther, has been part of the Lunar team since 2012. She has teamed up with Sonja Stanislaus-Kaw Di-Aping, part of the original ground-breaking and multi-award-winning Stoned Cherrie design team, who joins Luther after spending the past nine years in New York and Nairobi. Together they are poised to lead the brand we all know and love into the future.
     De Mil was established by Coenraad De Mol in 1997 and moved into male-inspired gender-neutral clothing in 2007. Although a master patternmaker and a true constructionist, De Mil takes a new-world approach to clothing. De Mol doesn’t regard gender neutrality as just a theme. ‘It’s what I do,’ he says. He caters to those who don’t have a place as well as those who choose not to be boxed-in by societal norms or conventions.

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