As far as it concerns fashion in Durban, no one better illustrates the city’s spirit than designer Terrence Bray. Born and raised in the city and a graduate of the Durban University of Technology’s Fashion Department, class of 95, Bray has parlayed his knowledge in fashion and his love for the city into a career in its second decade, garnering multiple awards and an international client list along the way. The Durban Fashion Fair, an offshoot of the Durban Business Fair is therefore, something of a homecoming for the designer, a chance to show his latest work on home turf and Bray did not hold back.
Bray takes on many of the tropes of summer fashion; florals, bright prints, light fabrics, volume, and washes them out until only the barest hint remains. He offers us water colour paintings of floral motifs, on satins and silks and light woven cotton, and cuts them into abstract silhouettes that recall budding flowers. But Bray, ever designing for the practical woman, ensures that a good number of staples are thrown in.
Ever a pragmatist, Bray has always designed concurrent menswear and women’s wear collections, and his decision to show both on the Durban Fashion Fair Runway seems a nod to the recent upheavals in international fashion and the melding of womenswear and menswear collections. It is to his credit also, that the mens’ and womens ear are complementary to each other and work easily as a cohesive whole. We are intrigued by Terrence Bray’s pragmatic design and his twist on conventional tropes. It is a pretty neat trump to have at the ready.
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner/Sdr Photo