Showing posts with label Elle New Talent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elle New Talent. Show all posts

Monday, September 26, 2011

Elle New Talent 2011

Thank the heavens the young ones are the future of how we'll look!

This year's Elle New Talent was by far the best! With the bar set higher than (New Talent entrant) Samantha Constable's Grace Jones-inspired triple-layered shoulder pads. Kid you not (on both the talent and the shoulder pads):

Knocking my socks off was Kutloano Molokomme's ideas of integrating Asian influences with grande Western (and yes, don't disregard the cowboy imagery you got from that too) appeal. This collection should've been called globalisation (and pardon my lack of a mistress-of-words approach to naming this collection). It was smart, awkward, strange, uneasy and yet so delicious! Imagine this: a sari in hard and structured material...

Post show, I had a quick chat with him to determine his direction because, let's face facts, couture does not do well in the SA-market - and he was quick to point out that for every ramp-piece he creates, there's a retail-store-ready version (a "model" which I've also come to understand is how the likes of Suzaan Heyns also operate). While batting my eyelashes at his remark, he also noted that his vision includes selling his couture pieces as part of an art exhibition (say wha?) - sounds romantic doesn't? Conquer young man!

Hot on Kutloano's impress-Maque heels (let's pretend that that was their sole purpose) was Danielle Hartman's Heroine collection. The entire collection was riddled with hand-painted prints with a few beautifully strange silhouettes and the amaze-balls pleats.

Samantha Constable reworked old trends to give a show that also appealed to me (the one who refuses to let go and move on from certain trends). Her high-fashion looks, complete with exaggerated shoulder proportions might be a "done" look, but they were made in such a sophisticated, soft and feminine manner that made her collection spring to life and scream:
why are we looking for the next fix when what we had worked?

Taking the title of Elle New Talent 2011 was Kelly Esterhuyzen with her human x-ray-inspired knit collection. Congrats Kelly!

The youngins set the bar so high, even their more experienced counterparts failed to erase the memory of Day 1's show. Sad but true and exciting! In short; the future's bright! Well done to ALL of you!

Images from Ifashion by Ivan Naude and Emma Jane

Friday, October 1, 2010

Elle New Talent Winner

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Cleo Droomer walked away with the covetable title of the 2010 New Talent search winner, which will, no doubt, launch an a exciting career.
His entire collection was made up of leotards, leggings and skin-tight jumpsuits all in soft, pale hues and pastel colours - all very tastefully done. I did however, get a throwback at LaQuan Smith's collection at Africa Fashion Week with an Indashio Inspires' ss2009 collection (from New York Fashion Week), especially the mixing of colours and the "freakum dress" - which always see our dear models struggling - and the leotards - but it's his finishes that set him a head above many! But I reiterate, THAT PVC jacket, how I adore you!!! (just out of curiousity - how on earth did he manage to manipulate PVC to do that? and i hear this collection was done on a domestic machine - vs. industrial - and the entire collection was finished off in his garage? OMG...)
Cleo Droomer after accepting his award - well done!

Kutloano Molokomme is another one that deserves much praise. Of all the collections from the New Talents, his was the most coherent, well structured and showed knowledge far beyond his 21 years of age (if I say so myself). I particularly loved the versatile woven cups that one can wear from head to upper arms via shoulders giving interesting silhouettes (and easy on the pocket: frugalistas like moi were stunned by that). He mixes print and tartan in surprising ways and recreates the entire fabric to give a dramatic and DeGorge overall aesthetics... great stuff!
I also need to acknowledge these pants (below)... DRAMA! LURV'EM!
pics by Simon Deiner (SDR)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Elle New Talent

I love New Talent, more especially when a reputable magazine and a well-established retailer take the initiative to garner these young designers - this is the case with Elle New Talent, in collaboration with Mr Price.

After getting horribly lost downtown looking for the venue, I found myself at the doorstep of hope when I finally entered Arts on Main to acquaint myself with the young talents. I, unfortunately, did not get the chance to engage with them (call it stage fright if you will) but I had hours to analyze the mannequins adorning the garbs the young talents made.

Although I only got a glimpse of their work, tonight I will get the opportunity to fully understand their collections and what direction they hope to take in their budding careers - but I can safely say I have my money on two designers who presented DeGorge pieces which I can see working in every girls wardrobe:
Meet Este van der Merwe! This super chic mini skirt with an asymmetric pattern to break the monotony of stripes has winning qualities. The fabric choice was brilliant - the mixing of colours dilutes the notion that "horizontal stripes make you fat" which I adore (given how Benetton stripes are all the rage this season but many are too scared to attempt it for that reason, Este offers a clever solution). The finishing? Marvellous (although more attention could be given to the zip area - looked like the zip was hanging on for dear-life, or was the mannequin fat?)
Meet Cleo Droomer! His futuristic retro-vibe (yes, an oxymoron) take is very impressive. Modern silhouettes with quirky retro material and detail makes this guy a winner. Under the DeGorge jacket was a stunning tulip dress with a raised hemline in front which was such an interesting touch to the early 2000s trend.
What I was particularly impressed by were the finishes and detail of the jacket ( with a lining that matched the dress was). Cleo used hard material which he somehow manipulated to get convolutions, ballooned-upper arms with a biker-jacket collar (similar to a Chinese collar but more, ummm, rough - for lack of a better word) and a retro-clasp belt to cinch the waist in a rather 60/80s way... ALL in one beautifully finished jacket. It's not the design that impressed but rather the techniques that were displayed (it was like he was boasting about his talents when he created this piece - and I like that, LURV'T in fact!)

Well, while I was busy tickling my taste buds to the Cap Classique (Krone, as once recommended by Dion Chang as one of the best sparkling wines) and delicacies and enjoying the cocktail reception, I happen to drop a tweet that said: "I love new talents. So promising! the direction Mr Price is taking these days (sponsoring and mentoring) should be mimicked by ALL retailers" and after pondering over this simple statement, I found myself quite bothered! Allow me to vent a little:

I have shopped at many retail chain stores and only a handful have taken time to reinvest the millions they are STEALING (yes, if you make it in China and mark it up by 200%, you are stealing!) back into the industry. Look, I support the Robin Hood approach to business and I sincerely wish that more retailers would nurture young designers, teach them retail business skills, Quality control skills/checks and develop them to create a sustainable vertical growth of the industry.
It's high-time people started making noise about the lack of opportunities for young designers! Not all fashion graduates have the business skills to run their own retailer/fashion house AND not all of them should be absorbed by these big retailers to be buyers (where their creativity is suppressed to meet the monetary targets of this corporations).

Hence I like what Mr Price is doing. Hence I like what "Elle New Talent" stands for. Now can others follow suite?
aaaaand, exhale