ZFW Highlights — Breaking barriers

HARARE - Despite the closed clothing factories and the erratic electricity supply or the influx of cheep gaudy Chinese garments, Zimbabwe needs not be a fashion wasteland.  

The local fashion scene was last week reignited by an extravaganza of fashion shows during the Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2012.

The fashion week is a platform to showcase the best of local and regional fashion. Its main purpose is to create a platform for Zimbabwean Designers to showcase their creations as well as to help rekindle what was once a thriving textile and fashion industry.

The thrust of this year’s theme “Breaking Barriers” focused on technology and its progression and effect, not only in the fashion world but in all fields of specialty.

Here, it was time to scrutinise our most talented designers, our most ravishing models and the most compelling trends that Zimbabwe offers. It was also an opportunity to learn how to translate our fashion styles to different age groups and appropriate occasions.

Over the years, style has become less about what, or which designer you wear, and more about how you wear it and coordinate taste with one’s physique, culture and occupation.  

This season of fashion enthralled the audiences with vivacious prints in an African kaleidoscope of colour.

The three-day showcase at the VW Showroom on Samora Machel Avenue featured some of the leading fashion trends and introduced South African diva Toya Delaz, who opened the extravaganza with a performance piece.

This was followed by a showcase of a series of collections from Intisar Mukadam (Zimbabwe), Sheldon Kopman (South Africa) and Yvonne Watadza’s House of Alpha Rose (Zimbabwe).  

The evening also featured exclusive collections by Colin Ratisai who brought the curtain down.

The catalog of designers included Sibongile Chimanikire, Selfi by Celeste Ardense (South Africa), Black Trash (Botswana) and Sabina Mutsvati (Zimbabwe) and others who featured their creations the following day.

Designs presented by five young Zimbabwean designers were chosen from a selection of 22 local designers.

Rumbidzai Ngwarai, Sandra Matamisa, The Tribe Called Quest by Terrence Chipembere, Faith Wear, Melusi Nhengu, and Countess K by Alice Knuth, B’zma by Bisma Ahmed, Maita Marimo and David Tlale showed their latest fashion trends on the final day of the extravaganza.

Some of this year’s highlights included works in which personal style brimmed with vitality and duality, bringing together Euro-centrism and African-inspired clothes for work, play and formal evening wear with artistic versatility.  

The young at heart indulged in a myriad of colours and textures that married African flair with internationalism.  

The escapism of southern African feminine flourishes and colour were captured in the designs and models that graced the runway at the VW Showroom on Samora Machel Avenue.

The organiser Priscilla Chigariro said, “The focus of this year’s theme “Breaking Barriers” is based on technology and its’ progression. As we all know, the creative mind has no limits. The smartest computers and gadgets are no smarter than man’s brain”.

The non-profit organisation Zimbabwe Fashion Week Trust, aims to create and to develop the growing fashion industries in Zimbabwe. Its main purpose is to create a platform for Zimbabwean designers to showcase their creations as well as to help rekindle what was once a thriving textile and fashion industry.

The curtain descended with a presentation of awards, honouring people who have made immense contributions to the Zimbabwean fashion industry.

The confidence and creativity displayed by the designers showed their liberal and lateral thinking in the face of cultural and economic adversary. For fashion conscious Zimbabweans it was time to mix creativity, elegance, business, glamour and iconoclastic fun at Zimbabwe’s Fashion Week-2012.  

It can be described as a homogenisation of many fashion worlds with a distinctly southern African flavour. - Tonderayi Zvimba

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