In it’s show notes, Mille Collines the South African contemporary women’s wear label notes that its new collection is dedicated to Aamito Lagum and her ‘African’ lips. This comes in the wake of the scandal that followed racist remarks aimed at the model after her lips were posted on Instagram by Mac Cosmetics. With South Africa’s long history of racism, this dedication meant much more than it would from an European brand.
This celebration of contemporary African beauty is evident the moment the first model mounts the runway in an oversized wrap turban. The models are fresh faced, their hair au-naturel. The clothes are minimalist, there are no vibrant prints or in-your-face colours. Instead the label takes elements considered African and updates them, showing they can be just as contemporary.
Beading and geometry are big trends on the Mille Colline runway this year, best illustrated by the small three dimensional beaded pyramids that adorn the label’s taken on wrap dresses. They adorn the label’s menswear inspired sleeveless blazers, and add detail to it’s velvet maxi dresses, the label’s only nod to this year’s fashion trends. The rest of the collection is much subtler, allowing one element shine in each piece, perhaps the drape of a tulip hemmed skirt, or the boxy pleats that add volume to cropped dress pants.
Paired with the label’s sunglasses, and with beaded straps and plimsolls, Mille Colline creates a new signature look for African women. A look that is practical and beautiful and excellently tailored. This is a collection that we really hope will catch on.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa.
Navy blue with 3d beaded pyramid detailing on wrap dresses with tulip hems, volume, harem pants, slouchy jackets, layered sweaters, ankara jewellery and layered necklaces.