Neo Victoria Rangaka’s collection for the African Fashion International Fast Track showcase at the 2016 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg was easily the most colourful of the lot, standing out from a group of designers that chose pastels and neutral to project maturity in their work. As far as distinguishing her goes, it works quite well.
Showing a collection that is split between menswear and women’s wear looks, Rangaka tries to marry the psychedelia of the love generation with the skater subculture to interesting results. Working with a day-glo colour palette, she creates expressive graffiti style prints. The prints serve as the unifying theme, bridging looks that go from sporty chic to grungy skater park.
Rangaka is most at ease with women’s wear and it shows in her choice of cuts and styling. She creates a sheer single sleeved bomber jacket and button bulb skirt combination, layered over a more visceral bralet and slit skort combo. Even when she goes high end with a structured jump suit with exaggerated hips, she tries to keep things cohesive, throwing on a white balaclava and a questionable floor length sheer cape.
The Menswear pieces are a lot less deft. Adding pleather panels to her graffit print pants prove an unnecessary distraction, as does the asymmetric lapels of her short sleeved menswear jacket. But her sheer jacket fares even worse, and sits awkwardly on her models. Rangaka’s mastery of outerwear comes off as amateurish, which is sad considering the rest of the collection is truly interesting.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa.