It is fashion season across fashion cities around the globe. From New York to Milan, fashion designers are showcasing what will possibly be the biggest fashion trends in the coming year. We had our own fashion week edition here in Kampala last week from September 28 to 30.
The show kicked off with the Seed Show, an initiative organised by fashion designer Ras Kasozi and the American Embassy in Uganda. This year’s winner, Joanita Nakigudde, had a show-stopping masterpiece on the runway, which was made from scratch. The sack dress may not exactly be wearable, but the shoulder neck piece that was added to the dress was quite a catch.
Day Two had Ras Kasozi, Say Manda, Cirra sue, Bayimba Capsule, Cedric250, Halisi, and NFKA showcasing their latest creations.
The Ugandan clothing and accessories fashion house is all about embracing African-inspired clothing, so it was no wonder that all the pieces they had on the runway were in fun Ankara (kitenge) prints. The pieces featured mixed prints, puffed sleeves that we have seen a lot of in this past fashion season, exaggerated necklines, and the high low. It was great seeing how well the different prints were mixed and worked together, and still not over shadowing the different cuts and detailing added to the pieces. This collection was one of my favourites from day two.
The proprietor of the fashion brand, Olivia, was one of the breakthrough designers from 2016. After winning the 2015 edition of the Seed Show, she went on to launch her fashion brand. Her collection at Kampala Fashion Week was different from what we always see from the fashion house. Her monotone collection was a huge contrast to the colourful and fun pieces we have seen Olivia Nanfuka make in the past. The bottoms featured wraps, for both the men and women’s pieces. The classic LWD (Little White Dress) was detailed with strategic cut outs, making it fun to wear. The designer also played with deconstructed sleeves, and we can all agree that structured sleeves have been one of the biggest trends of this year.
Ras Kasozi’s Kas wear closed the showcase for day two, with his “Masai fabric” inspired collection. The designer has been inclined towards this beautiful fabric in most of his customised pieces throughout the year, so it was no surprise that it was the fabric of choice for his latest collection.
Most of the men and woman’s pieces had one distinctive similarity; the lower turn up. This was on most of the dress shirts, which also had hoods and were paired with denim short shorts, even for the guys. Other styling tricks employed for these looks included the fringe detailing, draping necklines and off-shoulder. The collection did well on the checkered African-inspired print. And when it came to the accessories, we had shawls turned into tops, and the horn-detailed belt. Denim was the perfect match for the print.
Known for their “Sophisticated & street” style, their collection was channeled towards very casual and wearable pieces for both men and women. While the men’s pieces were edged towards the matching two pieces, the women’s pieces featured sheer printed fabrics, enhanced with strategic detailing such as off-shoulders, split sleeves, uneven edges, and thigh splits. Some of the pieces had a lighter version to the perspex trend, seen on some of the tops and added to some of the skirts. There are definitely some wearable off-the-runway pieces here, especially for the men.
The beauty about runway fashion is that anything goes. And it will be fashionable, until fashion critics determine that the particular trend can or cannot be taken off the runway and applied in the real world. So while the floral pout seen on most of the models here may not seem practical, you could choose to break the norms and show up one of these days to the red carpet with a rose pout ready to slay!
The Kenyan brand that is channeled towards contemporised trends showcased its neutral pieces that featured extended shirts, and layered pieces as seen on both the men and women. Possible trends to pick from the collection would definitely be the extended shirts for the men, and the slip dress for the ladies. Add a denim jacket or printed kaftan to this and you are good to go.
Eguana Kampala X Thandi
Talk of a power collaboration and this is it! Eguana Kampala is an Afro centric brand synonymous with great execution of the African print. And their latest collection was no exception. Have you been struggling to find a bomber jacket that suits your style? Wonder no more, because this collection featured beautiful and vibrant jackets, you could get lost for choice. It was all about the matching two pieces, a trend I believe is here to stay. The mixed print was another element we loved. In terms of the accessories, the large fringe earrings and layered neck piece are highly recommended.
What others say
KFW 2017 was a unique experience. Forest Resort offered a very particular feeling with a two level runway and a more natural setting. It was remarkable to see the improvement of the previous Seed Show winners. All the collections showed a high degree of research on the fabric cut and details.
Giulio Molfese, photographer
Fashion week this year was a whole new level of amazing. I loved the concept and outdoor settings. All the Day 3 designers were fabulous, and based on my personal style, I fell in love with the embroidery from Gloria Wavamunno and the clean lines from Nadrey Laurent.
Alexander Tushabe, Photographer
The designs were not breathtaking for me. However, my favourite collection was from Ras Kasozi. The time factor is also something the organisers may want to look into next year, as the shows always started past scheduled time.
Bhavya Kalsi, Fashion Designer
When I saw Eguana’s first look, I knew this was going to be a wonderful collection. Indeed, it was. Feminism was represented in a very creative way with Gloria Wavamunno’s collection. During her presentation, we heard the voice of Nina Simone reminding us not to compromise our values as women. NFKA was a bit minimalist but overall, the collection had a good colour scheme and the use of asymmetric lines were exceptional.
Sheila Lukwanzi, Fashion Designer
The highlights for me were Katungulu Mwendwa, whose aesthetic is very suited to Western Europe, which is the region I source for, and Gloria Wavamunno’s style is also very contemporary. The big surprise for me was Naudey Laurent from Ghana – excellent concept, and manufactured to a very high standard. Her designs were fashion forward yet very wearable.
Claire Lynch, Proudly Made In Africa