With a tongue in cheek name like Name TBC, there is the temptation to underestimate the emerging South African label’s potential as a major player in the coming years in African fashion. That would be a huge mistake. Name TBC’s capsule collection presented as a requirement for the Africa Fashion International’s Fast Track showcase at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg Fall showing was a masterful exploration of the possibilities of athleisure and high concept fashion.
Working with a muted palette of sorbet colours (cream, peach and washed out lilac) the label takes conventional silhouettes and adapts them to fit its idea of what the South African woman wants to wear, an edgy sports woman who values androgyny as much as she values sensuality. The clothes are roomy without being boxy, and detailed with collars and asymmetric zip-up closures and ribbon sashes.
To tie in the collection, the designer creates a loose basket of weave cut outs, layered over in some cases with transparent plastic. He might have made too much of this because he uses it indiscriminately, tacking it onto the ends of his sleeved dresses and trouser hems. It appears as paneling on a tennis inspired cropped blouse, and delineates the midriff of a sack dress with a thigh high slit.
There is subtlety lacking with his use of this technique that throws off the rest of the collection and leaves you wondering how much better the clothes would have been if he had exercised more restraint.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa.