South Africa is Africa’s true melting pot and it’s fashion industry has grown in the last decade to reflect this multiplicity of cultures and religions. The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg showcase is also adapting to express this, by inviting modest design label Bulbulia Threads to show at this year’s Spring 17 showcase. Tasleema Bulbulia, the creative director behind the brand is proud of her muslim heritage and has found ways to provide stylish options for muslim women of colour.
The label’s newest collection is far more whimsical than we would normally expect of a modest collection. Bulbulia threads incorporates a lot of colour and floral prints as a nod to the summer aesthetic. The collection is also quite jaunty and modern, geared towards a much younger buyer demographic. There are embroidered bomber jackets which speak to the influence of Alessandro Michele’s turn at Gucci and drop crotch jodphur-esque capri pants that remind us of Gaultier. But the collection is mostly flirty and feminine featuring dresses with layered tulled skirting, floaty chiffon jackets, puff sleeved blouses with bow detailing and sequinned crop jackets. The best piece of the lot (in our opinion) is a bit of a wild card; a gypsy style floral dresses with ruched panels and pinafore style detailing that should have been made the centre piece of the collection.
While Tasleema teases a bit of skin on one outfit with a formal croptop, the bulbulia Threads collection is ultimately true to the creative director’s ideas, there are no uncovered heads, no exposed arms, no concessions to myopic ideals of modernity. And from what we see, she makes a strong case for why there shouldn’t be.
Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo