If the Africa Fashion International Fast Track showcase at the MBFWJ16 can be used as a litmus test for the things that interest emerging South African designers then one of the recurrent themes would be the pursuit of a ‘mature’ aesthetic. We’ve seen it on runways from Chesney Day Williams where elaborate crotcheted knits were worked into pleather pieces and again at Neo Victoria Rangaka’s showcase that tried to inject a sense of maturity into the anarchist youth subculture, Lena Elena Possemiers’ work also attests to this introspective approach to design.
Possemiers takes classic pieces associated with the elderly and reworks them for contemporary audiences. She uses knits, another big trend on the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburgy AW16 runway, as well as crushed velvet and corduroy. The Possemier man this season isn’t afraid of making a statement with his knits; she drapes a massive scarf around a model’s neck and subsumes another in an apple shaped sleeves cave sweater, pairing each looks with easy cargo pants with extensive detailing.
Even when she does contemporary, in the women’s wear offerings, she keeps things very simple, letting the slight off-kilter proportions of the pieces provide the much needed quirk to sell the looks. Her chartreuse crushed velvet skirt and complementary satin halter turtleneck blouse on a model with vitiligo best illustrate the quirkiness of Lena Elena Possemiers’ collection. It doesn’t necessarily reclaim octogenarian fashion, it’s more like a very subtle homage.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa.