The theme for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg 2012 (MBFWJ 2012) was Glamour in Motion, a theme that the participating designers definitely took to heart. While 2011's Johannesburg Fashion Week was a celebration of the bohemian, with quirky lines and dressed down chic in edgy and rough styles, the tone of this year's collections has undoubtedly been stepped up to a sleeker and more glamorous focus.
The colour palette alone was a good indication of the style of many of this year's lines. Glowing scarlet and burnished gold appeared in almost every line that hit the catwalk and opulent shades of indigo, rose, white and black formed the mainstay of this year's collections. Colour was much more prevalent at this year's fashion week, with a glossier finish preferred by most designers.
Unlike the mostly fitted and figure hugging lines viewed at this year's New York Fashion Week (NYFW), the silhouettes at MBFWJ were more varied, with flowing long skirts blending in with fitted military style jackets and prim, feminine dresses. The theme of most collections did the 'motion' part of this year's theme justice with lots of draping, pleats and soft, moving fabrics for a more delicate silhouette to soften the harsh, regimented shape of some of this season's on-trend pieces.
Prints were scarcer at this year's fashion week, much as they were at their New York counterpart, but a small scattered selection of geometric prints made their way onto the Jozi runway this year, taking over from the animal and tropical style prints from last year's selection.
One collection that straddled the line between prints and solids was that of Anisa Mpungwe from fashion house Loincloth and Ashes. This eccentric collection was bright with jewelled, tropical tones and used prints to subtle effect, as a complement to the ready-to-wear pieces that made up this line.
Another signature collection on this year's runway was Thula Sindi's luxurious white collection, sprinkled with colour pieces in deep tones like red and cerulean. This line with its cut-out pieces and daring drapes was one of the jewels of the weekend's fashion festivities and one that accented simple, sleek lines by using colour and textured accessories and just a dash of symmetrical print.
It lasted just three days, but MBFWJ was jam-packed with style and while it was a melting pot of fashion, there were some stand-out statements from the cumulative lines. Sleek is back and the colour blocking trend that exploded in 2011 has given way to a much more classic colour combination. Military inspiration, which was ubiquitous at the New York Fashion Week, cemented its place as a full on trend this season and one to look out for as it filters from runway to street.
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Image credit: Simon Deiner Photography/SDR Photo/Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg 2012