As the premier menswear showcase on the continent, South Africa Menswear Week attracts all sorts of designers, some bent on preserving the classics, others avantgarde risk takers, others detailed perfectionists. Then there is South African design label Augustine. One of the few success labels on the continent helmed by a female creative directors (the others are Jenevieve Lyons and U-Mi.1) Augustine brings with it to menswear what is literally par the norm in womenswear; the freedom to do strip down.
Augustine ignores all the heavy trends that were on the SA Mens’ runway and turns her gaze to the aftermath of the shows and the glorious after parties. She is literally inspired by the morning after. Lounge wear doesn’t quite describe the new Augustine collection because it is much more complicated than that, yet still simpler than athleisure. She captures the true essence of the walk of shame, the morning after.
Boxer shorts are slung over jeans, smoking jackets and nightgown-esque midi shirts are draped over the shoulders of the models. There is nary a pair of trousers in sight, or even a dress shirt. And the few that make it into the collection are either slit at the fore exposing a bit of leg, or have very obvious inserts that remind not so subtly of bedrooms. Every look is carefully curated to look thrown on, as though the models rolled out of bed and dragged the very first thing they saw. We must admit the styling is excellent because, the cohesion of the looks is what truly sells this risky idea, straw hats to shield bleary eyes from the sun and skinny belts (obviously ‘borrowed’ from a woman’s wardrobe) hold up trousers and cinch blousy shirts. The Augustine man this season has had one hell of a night, and is about to have a hell of a morning.
This might be the new standard, the boudoir look, but updated for menswear. It might look simple but only the most stylish may apply.
Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo