South Africa Fashion Week has built its identity on the potential of young designers and how their tangential ideas can change fashion in Africa. So far this tactic has paid off, with high profile names like Gert-Johan Coetzee and Coleen Eitzeen forming part of the alumni. Labels like Erre (pronounced “air”) were aso introduced to a larger audience via the SA fashion week.
As a label, Erre is concerned with advancing femininity and equating it with power. It does so, not by camouflaging menswear elements like ‘shoulder pads’ and masculine tailoring, but by creating clothes that are flattering, beautiful and most importantly inclusive. The label’s spring 16 collection debuts it’s Curve range, a range of body suits, leotards and dresses designed to flatter. In it’s show notes, the label describes its inspiration for the collection as thus:
Combining Carina Louw’s passion for structure and Natasha Jaume’s love of drape and fluidity, the focus is on beautifully made investment pieces that can be worn both on and off duty. The new ERRE Curve range has been developed because of the brand’s commitment to providing flattering garments in a variety of shapes and sizes. It caters for full figured women with some styles going up to size 48.
With such a lofty mission statement, Erre drew more scrutiny than most. Fashion is notorious for excluding plus size people and some designers will only stock three or four sizes. It was somewhat disappointing then that Erre did not capitalize on the opportunity to put a plus size model on their runway and show us practically the message they’re preaching.
The clothes however are genius. The label played up classic and contemporary bodysuit styles, put its spin on the culottes and the one-shoulder blouse (a huge trend at the showcase). But it was it’s leather jackets and blouses that were the real marvels. Using boning to give an exaggerated silhouette, Erre uses beading and complex lacing techniques to create jackets that were visually arresting and technically superior pieces.
Erre has our admiration and respect.
Photo Credit: safashionweek.co.za