Looking into the future seems to be a big trend in South African fashion. It has always driven conversations around the country’s personal style, permeated its slums and cities, creating subcultures that rebel and protest and self identify through fashion. This grassroots embrace is slowly climbing its way up into the upper echelons and the hallowed runways of South Africa Fashion Week’s Autumn 17 showcase.
Clive Rundle for the uninitiated, is one of the more adventurous of South African designers. With education from Antwerp, Belgium’s prestigious fashion capital and nearly 30 years of experience on both the design and retail ends of fashion, there are few with the mettle and the network that Rundle has. Also there are are few with the balls to try the things that he has attempted. This season Rundle takes it all the way out there, leaving behind culture and country to look far into the future that has been recorded in dystopian novels.
The dark and foreboding worlds of Soylent Green and 1984 appear in startling monochromatic glory in the new collection from the label. Texture is a big part of the story this season, a mismatched assortment of replicated scales and skins in bright technicolour and muted browns; snake skins, fish scales and bright foliage are replicated onto chiffon and cotton and leather. The cuts are amorphous and androgynous and surprisingly demure. Cowl necked dresses, stiff collared jackets and asymmetric capes are some of the looks that Rundle offers. He also experiments grand asymmetric ruffles and faux fur in vary degrees, sometimes thin slivers used to pipe an overlong blouse, othertimes a full body coat with exaggerated collar.
With slicked hair and silver highlights, the women of Clive Rundle’s dystopian future embrace volume as a symbol of wealth, layers as a statement of power, androgyny as a vocal challenge. They care not for conventions or external gazes, they care only for themselves.
Photo Credits: safashionweek.co.za