The Durban Fashion Fair, created as part of the Durban Business fair has in six years invested 9 million rand into a series of exhibitions and fashion shows to enable emerging designers of Durban descent find an audience. Kathrin Kidger is part of this year’s delegation to the Fashion Fair’s runway launch, done in partnership with Mercedes Benz.
Kidger’s eponymous label started in Kwa Zulu Nataal and has grown into one of South Africa’s more inclusive independent womenswear brands. This was our first proper interaction with a cohesive Kidger collection so we were truly excited to see what she would bring.
What Kidger does bring to the table is an almost genius understanding of how to work seasonal trends into a collection that touches all the right notches but stays true to the label’s aesthetic and identity. This is no mean feat, considering the huge trend this season has been a return to the English countryside as evinced by soft fabric with lots of draping and floral motifs that comprise mostly of wild flowers. Kathrin Kidger takes these ideas and creates a contrast, splitting the collection into two halves, a soft demure woman and glittery vixen.
She emphasizes her country rose with dresses with bell sleeves, huge cuffs and full circle skirts, split all the way up the middle. Draw string necklines, contrast underskirting and lace paneling are all employed to sell this whimsical dream. Exposed sleeves are covered with sheer dresses, edged with sequins and a single kaftan breaks the near monotony of light flirty saccharine dresses. Then the collection veers sharply into evening glamour with full length halter neck dresses sequinned with geometric patterns, a spaghetti strap maxi with scallop detailing on the neckline and a one shoulder, black ruched jersey dresses, hemmed with sequins.
Kidger’s main failing this season is that there aren’t more clothes, and thus more variety, we could have watched a hundred of those gorgeous dresses flit down any runway.
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner/Sdr Photo