In a heady mix of prints, patterns, colors and knits unmatched on the South African Menswear week runway, the latest FW ’18 Chulaap collection showcase sent electrifying ‘wakanda-type’ waves into the Cape Town City hall look after look.
Chu Suwannapha, founder and creative director, continues to cultivate a brand inspired by a vibrant hybrid of fashion and culture celebrating Africa.
Also, published on Vogue Italia..HERE.
Initially influenced by the flamboyant fashion sense of South African pantsula dancers of the mid 80’s, who used nifty footwork and scintillating dance moves to create a dance form that developed into a youth street culture of the time, the collection intuitively evolved into a louder, bolder ‘Afro-boho-dapper’ concept.
Taking on a more streetwear feel, masked models inspired by Phyllis Galembo’s book ‘Maske’, confidently strutted the runway in a different type of polka dot pattern inspired by ‘iziqhaza’-traditional Zulu earrings, giving it an Afro-twist; and the traditional argyle pattern revivified into a more contemporary, rather unique dapper-dandy Afro style. Plenty plaid is evident but almost always artfully clashing to create the perfect contrast.
The fact that the designing and styling process occur simultaneously plays itself out in the overall creative and aesthetic feel. The effect of which is a less restrictive, more playful, not so tailored mood; a loosening up of the traditional preppy dressing form with bold styling and added layering for a more oversized silhouette. Not forgetting the optical 3D effect created with prints upon prints upon prints.
Ifele is a brand of leather sandals for urban nomads with traditional African Zulu craft influence as its main inspiration. In true complementary form, the most recognisable naturally occurring pattern in the African natural world, the zebra pattern, is used for the sandals, and the Zebra hide finished with colourful studs and metal eyelet embellishment as inspired by traditional Zulu handcrafting.
Simon and Mary are headgear manufacturers, who produced the 100% wool-felt mini-peak hats adding a dapper touch and together with the ‘Afrik’ briefcases a hint of African dandy vibes.
Rings and Things an online fashion and fine jewelry store created custom accessories like the African beaded and crochet pins, tie neckpieces and origami textile collar neckpiece to add another layer of even more detail to an already inspiring and thoroughly thought out concept.
For the Chulaap brand Made in AFRICA will always be front and center.
All the images by SDR Photo in the gallery below.