Herewith some pictures for your information.
There's always a bit of South Africa in Machere shows, here it's the fabric. A vibrant green cotton with black elephants printed on it formed pretty skirts and dresses. A purple cotton with coloured dots had a row of faces in big yellow circles down one edge, which was cut so the faces made finishing details for skirt hems or jacket cuffs.
Clean silhouettes prevailed; pencil skirts, tuxedo style jackets and slim trousers in black stretch satin included minimal detailing but were offset by brightly coloured heels. Skirts, dresses and jackets had purple lining which was glimpsed occasionally. Small tulle headpieces, held gathered with beads, were colour matched for each ensemble and clipped into the hair - producing a stylish finish to the look.
Chiffon blouses in lilac florals, leopard print or high-shine satins were paired with matte black trousers or bubble skirts. Pale gold satins and tulle, silver embossing and ruching featured in fancier garments. Gold beading covered the front of a shift dress as well as a waist belt for a velvet gown. Organza appeared briefly in rosette details and in a large pleated collar for a low cut dress. An oversized, purple faux-fur jacket with a huge collar was a hit; along with a T-shirt saying "Kwaito saves lives".
A true vintage feel welled up in this collection, from 70's folk hippies to small town runaway bad girls, it made excellent use of simple, casual fits, common fabrics and time worn colours.
Light, cotton voile kaftan dresses skimmed knees and hung off shoulders. Multiple pintucks, tasselled drawstrings on loose neck lines and cuffs, and rough elbow turn ups combined into similar yet varied garments in white, dirty lilac and black. Natural motifs or crafty patterns were embroidered in rich, contrasting colours around necks, down backs or following along side seams. Leggings of velvet or fine mesh in muted colours and plain black tights went with everything.
The cheekiest look showcased no bottoms other than black garters and stockings. So oversize men's style shirts in grey or indigo checks were buttoned casually, leaving garters, tiny bows and sheer stockings on display. It worked with the strong attitude of the collection, many garments projected a 'been around the block' look. A faux-fur bolero hinting at glamour was shown with raw, layered cotton/Lycra t-shirts and tiny denim shorts. A vintage wash denim shirt, half unbuttoned and half tucked in, was followed by a silk chiffon animal print dress with an ornate leather belt. It was these contrasts, somehow still hanging together, that made the range both interesting and totally wearable.
Imagining an Alice in Wonderland in her thirties was the starting point for Doreen Southwood's collection and while this could inspire a range that borders on costume, the result was a very wearable collection that carefully mixed everyday basics with softly sculptured pieces.
Two tone shirts, typically sported by banker types, worn under tiered dresses trimmed with sateen brought together the two opposing ideas of innocence and reality. A selection of woollen mini dresses and coats in midnight blue, purple and black were softened with the addition of large hoods, shirring details and frills.
A more structured high-waisted tiered skirt, worn with a striped cotton lycra long sleeve fitted top, introduced a lighter palette of grey, white and navy. The shirts reappeared under empire line, pleated pinafore dresses, but this time with exaggerated collars following the pleated lines.
Southwood ended her collection with two concept pieces: the first one a skirt and the second a dress. Both were constructed by attaching larger and larger cut out hearts framed by a frill on top of each other until the form of a skirt and dress emerged.
After two years of working with private clients, Abigail Keats presented a range that was far more sophisticated and just a little bit older than her previous collections, without loosing the Keats signature tailoring and fitted silhouette. Inspired by the elegance and dynamism of black and white this collection was filled with classic pieces equally comfortable at work or a day at the races.
A sleeveless white dress with black lace over the centre front and back panels opened the show. This was followed by a pair of high-waisted black slacks and a tailored shirt with puff sleeves and pleated bib. Panelled mini-dress coats in jacquard with contrasting piping and rose patterned damask dresses added texture to the graphic palette.
She did not forget to include suits: pants cut at three quarter lengths with contrasting collars and buttons. The show ended with a white empire line cocktail dress with black appliqué roses and black tulle underskirt, and a white damask flared coat dress with slits on the princess line. All ensembles were accessorised with veiled hats and strings of pearls.