SAFW Attendance Report

November 2019

The South Africa Mohair Cluster has the privilege of attending the AW/20 South African Fashion Week Showcase, which was home to a number of innovative designers who had incorporated mohair within their collections.

One such designer was from Erre, a design powerhouse aimed at providing flexible, inclusively-sized ranges that effortlessly meet the needs of women who lead multi-faceted lifestyles. Through an innovative take on the traditional runway “showcase”, Erre’s interpretation saw the design house seamlessly execute a runway installation whereby stationary models showcased exquisite pieces that sung the virtues of mohair –demonstrating the diamond fibre’s versatility in a number of applications, and further highlighting the fibre’s ability to sit comfortably within the space of high fashion.

The installation was not only aimed at showcasing the pieces themselves, but also at educating the broader public on the virtues of mohair by providing a first-hand demonstration as to how the fibre may be used innovatively and creatively, transcending the applications it is stereotypically understood to be seen in.

Erre’s installation was just the beginning of a two-day mohair fashion apogee – With the South Africa Mohair Cluster and Mohair South Africa attending the official Cape Wools and Mohair SA Competition Showcase on the Friday night following Erre’s installation.

The Competition Showcase saw a panel of international fashion specialists selecting two designers who were awarded the privilege of showcasing at South African Fashion Week free of charge. The South African designers awarded the Cape Wools and Mohair SA Designer Challenge prize for 2019 are Nicola Luther of Lunar (for ladieswear), and Coenraad De Mol of De Mil (for menswear).

Lunar, a South African eco-fashion and lifestyle brand, has firmly established itself as one of the country’s top design labels over the past two decades. Lunar’s emphasis is on crafting clothing to be as natural as possible, both in fabrication as well as design, drawing inspiration from nature and the African landscape. Lunar exhibited a timeless collection, incorporating both mohair and wool, and highlighting the truly miraculous potential these fibres have within the space of fashion.

Following Lunar’s showcase was the contemporary and cutting-edge approach of De Mil. The designer’s emphasis on male-inspired gender-neutral clothing has entrenched De Mil as a respected master patternmaker and true constructionist. Nominated as a “Black Sheep” on Not Just A Label 2019, De Mil’s work is recognised as particularly innovative, pioneering and striking. In his AW/20 Collection, De Mil has made use of both mohair and wool to emphasis this unique and trailblazing approach.

The key take-outs from the South African Fashion Week AW/20 have highlighted that there is no doubt about mohair’s ability to not only sit comfortably within the space of high fashion, but to shine within it. The South Africa Mohair Cluster and Mohair South Africa look forward to developing a relationship with South African Fashion Week, as the pinnacle institution showcasing fashion in South Africa, to further entrench mohair as a diverse, respected and fashionable fibre – one that has the potential to excel within this space in the future.