The year in fash­ion

We saw the rise of a fab­u­lous young crop of fash­ion tal­ent in 2015, but Rich Mnisi was #Trend­ing’s bright­est new star. He spoke to Gugulethu Mh­lungu

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Rich Mnisi has had a re­ally good cou­ple of years. In 2013, he won best ready-to-wear col­lec­tion at the Lisof grad­u­ate fash­ion show, and an award for best fash­ion me­dia stu­dent. Last year, he was one of the win­ners at MercedesBenz Fash­ion Week Joburg AFI Fas­track, and was also awarded the AFI Young De­signer of the Year award at Mercedes-Benz Fash­ion Week Africa.

“It has in­deed been a great year to learn, ex­per­i­ment and progress si­mul­ta­ne­ously,” he tells me.

“That’s what we had set out to do with 2015. Some of the high­lights from this year in­clude the op­por­tu­nity to ex­hibit at Labo In­ter­na­tional in Paris, two suc­cess­ful shows at SA Menswear Week, par­tic­i­pat­ing in De­sign Ind­aba’s Young Creatives of 2015 show­case, de­sign­ing a col­lec­tion for Skip’s Fash­ion Ex­change, and work­ing with Kristin-Lee Mool­man and Gabrielle Kan­nemeyer on a project for the brand that got amaz­ing in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion.

“We also changed the brand’s name from Oath Stu­dio to Rich Mnisi, and this marks the be­gin­ning all over again for us.”

Mnisi’s gar­ments are fresh, and have a heavy and funky sports luxe in­flu­ence.

About his plans for next year, he says: “We’re ex­cited to show at SA Menswear Week in the first week of Fe­bru­ary – that will be the first time that we show­case the brand un­der the Rich Mnisi name, so it ought to be in­ter­est­ing.”

Other no­table young fash­ion tal­ents from this year in­clude Lukhanyo Mdingi, whose look­book for his col­lec­tion Taint­less was lovely. He is mak­ing head­lines as a new fash­ion tal­ent.

Elle Ris­ing Star win­ner for 2014 Ta­mara Cherie Dyson’s cap­sule col­lec­tion for Mr Price was fresh, and will be wear­able into the next sea­son. The old guard shin­ing in 2015

Mar­i­anne Fassler re­mains one of the top de­sign­ers in the coun­try. Her run­way shows were some of the best we saw this year, and she con­tin­ues to push the bound­aries with African prints and colour. Her lat­est re­sort col­lec­tion (with a look­book styled by Mnisi) is a must-have.

Thula Sindi qui­etly slayed 2015 with the open­ing of the first stand­alone Thula Sindi store in The Zone @ Rose­bank, as well as with his de­li­cious 2015 ready-to-wear col­lec­tion shown at the Dur­ban Fash­ion Fair.

The TS brand has been in the ul­tra­ex­clu­sive Hyde Park Lu­mi­nance store for more than seven months and has re­cently been added to the Sand­ton Lu­mi­nance store. The sec­ond stand-alone TS store in Klerks­dorp is open­ing next month.

Gert-Jo­han Coet­zee’s best work this year was with his bridal cou­ture col­lec­tion, and he dressed South Africa’s big­gest stars, in­clud­ing Bo­nang Matheba and Min­nie Dlamini.

His work was also recog­nised when he was named an SA Style Icon at this year’s SA Style Awards, where the un­of­fi­cial face of his la­bel (be­cause they work so well to­gether), Bo­nang, also scooped an SA Style Icon award in an­other nod to his work.

FAB­RIC FIRST Creations by (from left) Rich Mnisi, Ta­mara Cherie Dyson, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Thula Sindi

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