South Africa Fashion Week 16: T’Niche roughs up the ultrafemininity

For its first time showing at the South Africa Fashion Week, emerging label T’Niche chose to explore a purely conceptual standpoint for its collection. A calculated gamble in a time where the commercial viability of design labels are pushed nearly as aggressively as  creative integrity. T’Niche has always been primarily interested in the place of whimsy in design and the silhouette construction through draping.

With draping as the preferred form of construction, T’Niche’s fabric choices for the collection are as important as the clothes themselves. Using chiffon, tulle and gauze, silk and jersey, the label takes on classic ‘feminine silhouettes and subverts them, using layering and deconstruction techniques to rework them into grittier versions of themselves. She takes the classic fit and flare silhouettes, drops the neckline and ruffles the hem, and adds asymmetric pleating to the skirt.  She melds the classic evening slip and the Grecian toga, creating a hybrid dress that is as sexy as it demure. Layers fan out from a models hips, and a single layer of transparent mesh adds a tinge of mystery to a classic jersey shift.

T’Niche’s draping techniques are ultimately a double edged sword. The collection’s succinct draping and layering can only be truly appreciated in motion. At rest the collection is somewhat.

Perhaps this is a function of the neutral palette that the label employs or the light fabric that are cut in ways only animated by motion. Sometimes clothes need to look just as intriguing at rest, as they do on a runway.

Photo Credit: safashionweek.co.za

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