Conceptual fashion at Design Indaba 2007

Fashion takes a front seat at the Design Indaba Expo 2007, with a sexy smorgasbord of style to get creative juices flowing.

Fashion takes a front seat at the Design Indaba Expo 2007, with a sexy smorgasbord of style to get creative juices flowing.

Fashion at Design Indaba Expo is bigger, badder and bolder than ever this year. The diverse range of designers fulfils Design Indaba’s mandate to remain cutting-edge, with the freedom to challenge the industry’s status quo.

The dazzling line-up combines theatre, performance art and design in a spectacle of texture and light. A highlight of the event is the Strangelove piece, featuring well-known dancer and performer, Neli Xaba. Based on the life of Saartjie Baartman, the provocative piece delves into the transformation of an African woman into a representation of savage sexuality and racial inferiority. In a contemporary context, it asks how black women are fighting the pressure to mould their bodies into a Western aesthetic.

The three-day fashion orgy continues with the Maya Prass show, where her innovative designs come to life in a theatrical library, featuring poems from the designer herself. African Dust by Zinhle Nkosi is an African musical with dancers imitating wind and sand, telling the true African Dust story.

Witness the story of the seven deadly sins in Sandhya Lalloo’s show entitled Sin. And for something completely different, Johani du Pisanie’s Swierig features an Afrikaans Karaoke in the platteland with Afrikaans hits.

In Pambili by Melanie Harteveld Becker, the 100% natural, Namibian woman, takes on the corporate world – with a twist! The classic style of Hip Hop gets an Afro re-vamp in their show entitled Afro Diva. In this larger-than-life production the Afro Diva gets caught up in a kaleidoscope of colour. And Esme Viviers’ Stuffit puts the concept back into conceptual art, by painting under a fluorescent light in a soundbox.

Nkhensani Nkosi’s Stoned Cherrie show features dancers with attitude and energy, expressing their African roots – township style. And in Superella by Ella Buter, women dance with each other, portraying the story of love and the turmoil of the heart.

A contortionist takes centre stage in Clarisa Nel’s Upakile, while Lisa Jaffe illustrates an idealised beauty by draping coloured fabrics on a model in her show entitled Minx. Just Nje features amper couture by Athi-Para Ruga. This blaxploitation-style soap opera sets the mood for a beautiful woman bathing in an iron bath filled with canola oil.

Other conceptual fashion performances from Sun Goddess, Pierre du Pisanie, Karen Monk Klijnstre and Story by Sanche Frollich will be showcased, setting the new trend at the Design Indaba.

In addition to this exciting line-up, another highlight of the weekend is the official launch of the Cape Town Fashion Council at the Design Indaba Expo.

The Cape Town Fashion Council is the first established fashion council in South Africa to represent the fashion industry. It will promote the sector and establish Cape Town as a globally recognised fashion centre.

The council aims to play a key role in being the representative mouthpiece and common platform for the industry. Its functions include representing the diverse views of the fashion design industry, marketing its capacity on a global scale and ensuring that key interventions are made to promote and grow this industry. Furthermore, the council will establish strong links with other regions to establish a national platform.

This prestigious council has chosen the Expo for its launch as it believes the Design Indaba delivers an ideal and highly professional platform, internationally and nationally recognised as “the” design event in South Africa.

Over 150 industry players and members of the media are invited to witness this first Fashion Industry initiative in South Africa. The launch will be held on 24th February, at a glamorous evening affair.

Design Indaba Expo runs at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 23 to 25 February 2007.


Watch the Talk with Sandhya Lalloo