The Vogue Talents scouting for Africa competition is finally over and we have a winner. South African knitwear brand MaXhosa by Laduma’s knit wear was able to push him above fan favorites Ghanaian accessories brand A.A.K.S and Nigerian menswear label Orange Culture.
MaXhosa, a second generation knitwear designer’s (his mother was a successful knitwear designer in the 80’s) work is truly revolutionary for African fashion as knitwear is generally shunned in favour of less time consuming creation outlets. MaXhosa’s clothes draw inspiration from the centuries old Xhosa tradition of decorative beading and tries to reinterpret beading motifs representing funereal and celebratory rituals into pieces that bridge the divide between traditional and urban.
The Vogue Talents Africa Showcase will be MaXhosa’s second international win, his first being the opportunity to showcase at the Labo Ethnik Fashion Initiative in Paris in 2013 for his collection ‘My Heritage, My Inheritance’ dedicated to his mother. His latest collection, debuting both looks for men and women used mixed fabric to create urban, high pigment clothing for an upwardly mobile crowd. These are my best looks from MaXhosa 2014.
1.This shawl is EVERYTHING. An homage to the Xhosa and Maasai traditions of swirling shawls used to pass the brutal winters, MaXhosa updates the look, adding his unique blend of colours to a revered tradition.
2. The colours, how can you not love the colours. I think MaXhosa’s eye for colour is one of his biggest strengths and it shows in how he plays up earth tones against pastels to great delight.
3. The black sleeves are what drew me to this one and the square motif at the centre of the sweater vest. It’s also one of the few sweaters that has a round neck as opposed to the exaggerated ‘V’s of the other sweaters. And it’s orange done right. What’s not to love?
4. The blue and white cape blouse is everything. The cut of the blouse, the angular hems on the sleeves, the fact that it’s a loose fit. Contrasted with that skirt that subtly introduces orange into the mix, it’s a perfect look.
5. If you took the look above and turned inside out, you’d get this. Demure or vibrant this cut and motif works, and keeps on giving.
6. This dress is something I want to see on every Fashion week street style best dressed list. It’s high street knitwear done for the discerning, forward fashionista. Very few people will pull it off, but the people who do will create magic.