The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Tradition Meets Modernity At First Ever Namibia Fashion Show

As far as exclusive events in Namibia go, the first ever Namibia Fashion show was one of the biggest events of the year, attracting the c cre?me de la cre?me of Namibia’s fashion connoisseurs.

From high flying business personalities, sports stars, entertainers and socialites to ordinary Namibians with a taste for fashion – everyone came out looking their absolute best, to witness what was billed to be the ‘mother’ of all fashion shows.

Held at the luxurious four star safari Hotel, the venue was perfect – with a ramp that seemed to go on forever. Lighting and sound were perfect and large screens were strategically placed around the venue to ensure no one missed single second of the action.

After an opening performance by the teenaged Nameya, who is virtually unknown on the music scene, Maria Caley’s amakeya collection was first to line the catwalk. The young designer, a University of Namibia (Unam) graduate, lecturer and a member of Pambili Young Designers, is a shining example of how traditional and modern aspects can be carefully intertwined to create complete marvels.

The colour palettes she used were a collection of browns, deep reds and tan shades reflective of the dunes found in the Namib and Kalahari Deserts. the adorable beading features, sheer frocks, wide flannelled pants and wide hems provided movement and flow of the garments.

The designer who is currently exploring possible sustainable fashion and textile products to be produced locally,prides herself on using traditional knowledge in her work as a designer. Her collection was truly world class and could easily be featured in top international fashion weeks around the world, granted that she receives exposure.

McBright Kavari proved once again why he is the top designer of the iconic Herero dress. taking a concoction of most of the cultural dresses in the country and creating a marvellous collection, Kavari took the concept of tribal unity to a whole new level by making the Victorian inspired dress representative of Namibia’s diverse cultures. the rich-red Herero- Himba dress with an animal skin loin cloth worn as an apron was a crowd favourite, and not forgetting the shimmery black creation with angelic wings spreading out.

A wonderful 30s themed line courtesy of Nikola Konradie was in a class of its own, featuring classic monochrome and masculine silhouettes reminiscent of the post- depression conservative fashion of that era.

Standing out amongst the international designers who also headlined the show were angolan designer allex Kangala and south africans designers suzaan Heyns and the David tlale. The classic, refined and sophisticated tailored suits by allex Kangala from his brand Dianthus Dkangala where a sight to behold. tlale did not disappoint with two collections of which one was the Van der tlale ready-to-wear range for his 2012 collaboration with retail giant Legit. His latest VDt is infused with all the hottest trends for summer 2012 including denims, metallics, spikes and stripes.Suzaan Heyns kept to her luxurious and feminine garments while drawing parallels between modern fashion and vintage design elements.

Ramp disasters

Although the designs showcased at the event where phenomenal to say the least, the models disappointed. In what appeared to be a lack of practice or perhaps incompetence, the models where seen tripping and stumbling

on the ramp. A moment of complete shock and disbelief gripped the crowd when one of the models had to remove her heels after all attempts to complete her walk in the seemingly tedious platforms failed.

Contacted for comment, Chakirra Claasen said some designers provided the models with their own shoes which they required to be worn with their designs. The shoes where hence not always of the right size so that caused the discomfort which led to the slip ups.

“The stage was also very slippery,” Claasen said, adding that one must realise that these things happen even at big international fashion shows around the world.

Despite the miss–haps however, one can only commend the organisers of the event for hosting an otherwise fabulous shindig. With this being the first year in which the event was hosted, things will only get better and lessons are hopefully to be learnt from the mistakes. Models, designers, guests and the media where treated to a rocking after party at the Hilton Hotel sky Bar.

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