As part of Africa Fashion International’s contributions to the growth of fashion in South Africa, it hosts the A.F.I. Fast Track showcase, featuring emerging designers giving a platform to show to the myriad of buyers that come to see the fashion at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg. This year there was a little twist in proceedings, the showcasing designers were paired up with a South African celebrity and tasked to create collection that melds the personal brands of the celebrities in question with their label’s House aesthetics. A hurdle for any label but Tayla Nguskos surprises.
Presenter and socialite Millie Dlamini was Nguskos celebrity au pair and she has crafted a distinct image for herself a classic beauty unafraid to experiment every now and then. Her partnerships with design legend Gert-Johann Coetzee cemented her status as one of South Africa’s new elite so having her name behind a collection by an emerging label is a powerful tool draw curiousity and eventually patronage.
The collection they work on together is very minimalist. Many argue that the age of the all-white ensemble is dead and gone but Nguskos does a great job of proving them wrong. The label employs deconstruction and minimalist techniques to encapsulates Dlamini’s personal aesthetic. Our favorite piece in the collection is a deconstructed jumper, worn over a skater skirt. The technique creates a chicken wire see through bodice, paired over a peplumed skater skirt. Silk shirts, pencil pants with silver strip inserts, sheer baby doll dresses, Nguskos creates a wearable collection.
Our only argument perhaps would be that there is too much Dlamini and nowhere near enough of the label itself.
Simon Deiner/SDR Photo