The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg’s Spring 17 showcase began in earnest yesterday, and it took us a whole day to go through all the images of the gorgeous clothing that has been shown so far and choose our favorites to review first. By and large, Wake by Pieter Berger came top of the crop. There was simply a freshness to the collection that couldn’t be ignored, that begged to be taken apart and reveled in.
There is always the temptation to overreach with collections, take on lofty design ideas that require near astronomical levels of craftsmanship and construction but Burger doesn’t do that, he chose instead to focus on the woman he wants to dress. She is stylish, unafraid of risks or fashion faux pas. But she is also very demure and unwilling to experiment in fashion for it’s own sake. It must somehow fit into her life, and work on many levels. To do that, the palette at Wake this season is very muted. Monochromatic check prints are the predominant fabric this season, crafted into sleek cap sleeved shifts with contrast sleeves and flirty sleeveless shirt dresses cinched at the waist with a tie.
This is balanced out with the more adventurous pieces in the collection, sheer fabric, jazzed up with olive green three-dimensional floral appliques cut into shifts, kaftans and blouses with contrast piping. This olive green pops up as extra skirting, or patches on other pieces, tying them all in. But the foundation on which all of this thrives is a gun metal grey fabric, anti-antithetical to summer in theory, but worked with such skill that we barely notice. Paired with the collection accessories; wide brimmed straw hats, dressy headbands and houndstooth ties laced over the model’s bodies.
We get a collection that is functional but fun. And isn’t that what summer is all about anyway?
Simon Deiner/SDR Photo