A summary Google search will tell you that Durban based Zarth Designs and Bridals prides itself on being ‘The Best designer in South Africa,’ a strong claim to a title in a country that has produced the likes of Gert-Johan Coetzee, Rich Mnisi, Marianne Fassler and David Tlale. But as a design label, especially from a town not as fashion famous as Capetown or Johannesburg, the label has held its own. And the Durban Fashion Fair finally bringing a runway showcase to the city, consolidates and celebrates the work of the label, giving it a platform to show its latest collection.
The Zarth spring 16 collection is almost exclusively evening wear, most likely as a nod to the label’s long history as a bridal and bespoke evening wear label. The label polishes all the touches stones of classic evening wear with this collection’; gossamer, layered over darker, less opaque material, differing length, circle cut skirts and sweeping trains.
The label also incorporates some of the season’s hottest trends; vintage style ruffling, that blush butter cream that every evening wear label has managed to sneak into its collections this season, even the bell sleeves and high cuff that instantly remind of Victorian times.
What differentiates the collection from the archives of any large label is the risks chosen during embellishment. The label heavily favours three dimensional embroidery, a trend we also saw at Quitera and George and Johan Coetzee. It also works in a lot of three dimensional applique work as a way to give some edge.
This isn’t the most fashion forward collection we’ve seen, but for the kind of image Zarth has crafted for itself, this fits right into their catalogue.
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner/Sdr Photo