David Tlale, arguably South Africa’s biggest black fashion export has consistently brought out collections that were grand and avant-garde. Finally making the leap from continental to global.
Tlale only recently had his sixth international showcase at the NYFW Fall 2015. The new collection builds on the heavy burnished gold and bronze abstract motifs of his glorious SS14 collection, softened into greys and charcoals and copper done in soft edged brush strokes reminiscent of watercolours. But this is only one of the three pronged approach Tlale takes into sculpting this fall collection.
There is also heavy infusions of texture. Lace, silk, chiffon and leather are all interchangeably used to complement the primary color palette of the collection, hardening and softening ensemble pieces as needed. It is also a unisex collection (a trend that might soon end with the introduction of an NY men’s fashion week) with the mens wear sporting androgynous elements reminiscent of Tlale’s own controversial style. In all, it’s a sleek collection that suffers because too many ideas are being pursued all at the same time. But when he gets it right, Tlale produces magic. These are my best looks of the Tlale collection.
1. This is the best use of the primary signature David Tlale fabric for this season. The pearl coloured satin draped blouse sits pretty inside the signature jacket and pants. It’s simple allowing the fabric announce itself and it’s complexities. This is the David Tlale I like, not overwhelmed by detailing.
2. I like the black menswear ensemble pieces, especially this one. The fact that it’s a formal suit worn with edge and the chiffon skirt gives it a little softness, like an assassin ballerina. I’d wear this as separates but together it works.
3. The accessories of this look is what I love. The studded gloves, the sheer shirt, the sheer skirt with attached straps. All strong highlights on a look that is already edgy. That jacket is something I hope all the buyers pick because Tlale really did a number on that one. The quality of the fabric and it’s texture and finish are world class.
4. The Tlale lace jumpsuit. A staple I have started to look for in his collections. This one doesn’t disappoint. Midnight black with a sequinned pant and completely sheer, ruched blouse, this is look has enough edge to set the wearer apart from a room of the most dogged fashionistas. The colour of the model helps sell this otherness so well, I’m floored.