By Ntombi Khulu
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 9 of VARSITY.
Flashing lights. The music blares as each model takes to the runway in what is known as Memorial Hall, but has now been transformed into a runway to showcase the garments made by designers from around the city. Believe it or not, all the designers are students. On Saturday, the 22nd of September, UCT hosted the Wear South African Fashion Festival, which included a number of musical performances and seventeen different collections that were fiercely modelled.
The A WearSA Fashion Festival was an initiative that UCT became a part of in order to provide a platform for young, talented South African designers to express their art as well as teach various skills to students who are a part of the backstage crew. UCT’s Director of Student Development in the Department of Student Affairs, Edwina Books, welcomed the event. She highlighted how all of the proceeds from the ticket sales of the fashion show will go to the SRC assistance fund which is “a fund for students who are facing financial exclusions”, a cause which has been called for by various student movements across campus. In collaboration with UCT, the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) also sponsored the event. SACTWU’s secretary general, Andre Kriel, explained its mission “to create a sustainable clothing and textile sector that creates jobs and contributes greatly to the South African economy”, which also includes combatting against unsafe working environments and illicit trading.
Image by Johan Samuels
Designers: Walter Buchholz (co-ordinator of student collaboration), Tinomia Coveney-Winter, Aninka
Stander, Kayla De Abreu, Meagan Davids, Kanyisa Magqabi, Olivia Rodseth, Andries Kotze, and
The fashion show had the audience blown away with beautifully crafted garments and accessories. The designers included Adourning Africa, Manguer de Coton, Zabantu, Afrocentrix Africa, Hoop: A Local Story, Her Majesty Boutique, Estelle K, Mine Stitched, ELLIN, Magents, Fave, Zenath, The Modern Boesman, Democracy of Denim, Blue Collar White Collar, and other talented students from UCT, CPUT, and UWC. As the fashion show occurred in heritage month, many of the designs the models were clad in were an array of multi-coloured, traditional prints, as well as some unique and innovative designs for both men and women. Fave’s plus-size swimwear collection was one for the books as it gave important representation for plus-size women on the runway. Standing ovations erupted throughout Memorial Hall at the close of almost every designer’s collection; a worthy reaction to the work put into an event that only had four weeks of preparation behind it. While the show is over, the designs are certainly not forgotten. It certainly won’t be long until we’re graced with more works from these student designers.