South African label Non European was one of the few labels at the 2016 South Africa Fashion Week that showed two collections, one womens and menswear collection each. Being allowed this rare opportunity is indicative of the very unique perspective the label has and the approach it takes to design and its distinctive aesthetics.
Inspired heavily by South Africa’s nature, history and politics, the label continues to parse it’s place in South Africa’s future through it’s clothes.
This season though, Non European is clearly inspired by the arid veldts of the Northern Cape, offering a collection that encapsulates and celebrates the nomadic life. This is expressed through the clothes themselves, but more importantly through the accessories and styling.
The models are barefoot, fringed bracelets adorning their ankles. They wear leather belt harnesses, used to hold water bottles and pouches and whatever else is needed when foraging through the brush land. Fringed scarves obscure a model’s neck, cross body satchels split another’s torso.
The collection boasts embroidered linen tunics, a beautiful print layered sarong, a beaded poncho with an embroidered hem. There is even a structured midi-length kaftan. What sells the idea though is the muted colour palette or burnished maroons, sallow browns, muted blues. It reminds of the power of the relentless desert sun, and how eventually everything under it’s purview is bleached pale.