The most fashionable bag lady you ever saw debuted on the Marianne Fassler runway at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg show case. One of the labels tapped to open the showcase, Fassler has been one of South Africa’s strongest exports, already clearly distinguished for her choice of vibrant colours and her androgynous silhouettes. Fassler has never been interested in conventional beauty, but with this collection, she shows us that she isn’t afraid to tackle traditional silhouettes.
The label carries over the pleated chiffon pieces that defined it’s Spring 16 collection and expands on the idea of colour blocking the pieces for a high textural effect. They replicate this colour blocking in a variety of fabrics, achieving the most synchrony with crushed velvet in earth tones on a cropped jacket.
The Fassler woman this year is one who creates a look by layering mismatched pieces that would otherwise never be paired to startling effect. Even the singular pieces are often mismatched, as Fassler sent puffed capri pants with mixed fabric down the runway, one leg a muted black and the other a glossy jacquard weave. She pairs soft victorian-esque floral print blouses with crushed velvet dresses, puts a structured crocodile print vest over a mauve turtleneck sweater.
Even when the tail end of the collection starts to lean towards formal wear with cocktail gowns and evening dresses, Fassler keeps things interesting by going all out with animal print cut-outs, sheer bodices and skirts, unfinished weaves and slashed leather zip up vests.
Many might argue that with a collection so heavy on the texture, there is a real risk of doing too much, and occasionally Fassler goes off on a bend that leads nowhere with some of the layered skirts and the mini flared cuffs at the hems of some of the blouses but those are minor missteps in a collection that speaks so strongly to the brand’s design aesthetic.
Even Fassler’s suede boots and fancy necklaces and hats, being the final detail that sells the bag lady chic aesthetic that these clothes suggest to us.
Raid your closet, Fassler suggests to us, nothing should ever stay forgotten with it’s depths.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa.