30 May 2012 by Dianne Tipping-Woods

A sartorial sea

A fashion wave is about to hit Durban’s beachfront: come along and see some of South Africa’s top designers displaying their collections at the stunning Moyo Ushaka Pier.

Hunrie Lues. Image courtesy Andrew McGibbon, Photographer

This weekend (31 May to 2 June) you’ll be forgiven for thinking that the ocean has delivered wondrous and beautiful creatures to Durban’s shores. But it’s not the ocean that’s responsible – it’s 16 of South Africa’s top fashion designers, including David Tlale (who has just launched his Legit collection), Gavin Rajah, Amanda Laird Cherry and Craig Native, who are all taking part in 'Fashion by the Sea'.

Sixteen of South Africa’s top fashion designers, including David Tlale, Gavin Rajah, Amanda Laird Cherry and Craig Native, are taking part in ‘Fashion by the Sea’.

Life by Andre Martin. Image courtesy Andrew McGibbon, Photographer

The designers will be displaying their collections in 6 shows. These will take place at the Moyo Ushaka Pier, a stunning venue that will be transformed into a 140m-long runway for the event (probably the longest runway in South Africa since David Tlale's Nelson Mandela bridge show last year). The opening show debuts fashion by the KZN Young Designer Collective – always fresh and funky. This will followed by Naked Ape, Leigh Schubert and Csquared, with David Tlale rounding off day 1.

The line-up on day 2 features Colleen Eitzen, Life by Andre Martin and Zarth by Zama, followed by the much-anticipated Homecoming Show with Craig Port & Miss Port, Amanda Laird Cherry and Craig Native (showing, I gather, his contribution to the 46664 Collection). This part of the event really highlights Durban’s fashion credentials – a number of top designers, fashionistas and models having either come from the city or studied their craft in Durban. It’s also just about the warmest spot in the country at this time of year – which, I’m sure, makes it popular with the models too!

Zarth by Zama. Image courtesy Andrew McGibbon, Photographer

Gavin Rajah’s show is the final 1 for the event, which marks the official countdown to the Vodacom Durban July, the next big fashion event on the calendar. It's as famous for the horseracing as it is for its sartorial splendour. In anticipation of 2012’s event, designers from across the country have been competing to be among the 10 finalists for the annual event’s fashion challenge, with this year’s theme, ‘A Material World’, promising to inspire some interesting ideas.

Zarth by Zama. Image courtesy Andrew McGibbon, Photographer

Of course bloggers are now an important part of the fashion industry, and if you’re interested in fashion in South Africa, there are a couple you have to follow (they are invited to the events, along with journalists and trend-spotters). My favourites are written by people who love clothes and fashion, and it’s their passion that keeps their content fresh, critical and fun. The Frock Report never disappoints; Style Guide Cape Town is known for championing the fashion industry, especially in Africa; and Skattie, what are you wearing? won the Marie Claire Prix de la Mode for best South African fashion blog.

Sifiso Sabelo and Life by Andre Martin, Image courtesy Andrew McGibbon, Photographer

Also check out Miss Molly, written by a Durban-based “fashion merchandiser by day, fashion designer by night and fashion blogger everywhere in between”. And, while it’s not strictly a blog, iFashion is an important online space where members of the fashion industry, both new and old, can create networks and get up-to-date information on what is happening locally and abroad.

For more event information and ticket bookings, call 083 950 4935, email admin@blackincevents.co.za or visit https://www.facebook.com/lifestyleOasis. There will be tickets available at the door.

Feel free to share some of your own favourites, and if you make it to Fashion by the Sea, I'd love to know your thoughts!

Category: Arts & Entertainment

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