It is hard to believe that this is Zamaswazi’s first showcase. The eponymous label started by Zamaswazi Mathole began in his mother’s bedroom in 2013, making matric dresses for graduating SA high school students, and progressed from there to a slot at the Menswear day at the South African Fashion Week 16 showcase. Entirely self taught, Mathole’s approach to design is devoid of any of the limitations of a formal education in design and it shows in his new collection.
The nine look collection throws all the conventional rules of suit making out of the window, and forges its own path. The man that Zamaswazi intends to dress is unafraid to be set apart by his sartorial choices, but is adamant about excellent tailoring.
Mathole combines both, creating blazers that ditch conventional sleeves for a cuffed shawl. He dissects the blazer, splitting it at the midriff and threading the unequal halves together with plugs and lace. This is a staple women’s wear trick and seeing it used this way, in a way that is merely aesthetic and not ‘sexy’ excites us. Fur inserts and contrast blocks of colour break up the brightly coloured suits, providing visual points of interest, sometimes on the very same suit. Mathole even experiments with pleating, creating a jacket that is half blazer, half kilt.
How Zamaswazi manages to incorporate all these discordant elements and ensure that they all work in unison is the label’s inherent genius. We cannot wait to see what Zamaswazi Mathole does next.
Photo Credit: Safashionweek.co.za