The first weekend of February saw the SA Menswear Week hosted by Lexus take place in Cape Town. Lexus is a brand which in itself was created from a functional vehicle (Toyota) to rival other luxury cars. In staying true to this vision, Kaffein Magazine sought to identify brands which best reflect the relationship between functionality and luxury.
What stuck out most was the “high end” street look and feel of a handful of designers, who ultimately got us excited to see what could possibly be on our shelves come Autumn/winter.
SOL SOL- “Officially” street
The brand maintains a loose fit in all their clothing which mimics the casual comfort of sweats but brings a “ready for the office” element in the fabrics. The untraditional use of denim in creating formal wear definitely gives a refreshing meaning to the term smart casual and gives street cats a new place in the office environment.
Jenevieve Lyons – Swing it that way
The trick to creating functional menswear is remembering the influence that sport has in men’s fashion. Jenevieve’s pairing of slim fitting formal pants with the sports inspired sweaters and jackets marries the two environments beautifully. The use of abstract prints on some of the sweaters adds an artistic element and brings out the androgyny in her garments.
Tsepo Knives – Loose ties
Tshepo flipped the script on his approach as he managed to take high fashion to the street. The traditionally formal menswear has been given a new fit, and it is less restricting to movement. The button up shirt has been replaced with a sporty zip up or turtle neck sweater.
Tokyo James – Brave to wear leather
Commonly associated with rebellious rock stars and bikers, leather is a bold statement for the brave. Tokyo James has certainly done justice to this timeless fabric by maintaining the hardcore element of leather that we all love while creating a functional collection of classic formal pieces. Tokyo James displays a touch of controversy by including designs that are reminiscent of the German SS WII black uniform. The iron cross detail on some garments brings out a classic militant prestige. This is definitely a collection for the brave who are intent on taking over the streets and the corporate world.
Unknown Union- The role you play inspires change
We were inspired by the idea that Unknown Union had for showcasing their clothes; They had a “role Model” theme and played it out using real life role models as their runway models. They moved away from the traditional idea of a model and put their clothes on role models who better reflect the people that are making moves in our societies. In addition, the individual items that they chose to put on the role models, further reflects what that individual is all about.
The colourful collection lends its hues from autumn leaves and enforces the idea that winter doesn’t have to be all gloom. Their style plays very much on the attention to detail on familiar pieces of clothing that are paired together stylishly.
Words: Nokwazi Phangela
Photo Cred: SDR Photography