RE­LAX­ING INTO AN EASY SENSE OF FASH­ION

The Star Early Edition - - VERVE -

HAV­ING been a part of the 2015 class of De­sign Ind­aba’s emerg­ing cre­atives pro­gramme and shown col­lec­tions at SA Menswear Week among oth­ers, Lukhanyo Mdingi is a ris­ing star in the fash­ion in­dus­try. The de­signer who is in his early 20s pushes the en­ve­lope so much that his epony­mous brand pre­sented el­e­ments of sleep­wear in his Pur­ga­tion col­lec­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post, sleep­wear as streetwear is a big no. “Py­ja­mas, how­ever, are in­ti­mate with­out the sex ap­peal. They are all com­fort with­out even the pre­tence of func­tion,” the pub­li­ca­tion ex­presses.

“There was a pe­riod when re­bel­lious teenagers or over­taxed par­ents wore their jer­sey or flan­nel sleep­wear out to cof­fee shops or the dog park. This it­er­a­tion of py­ja­mas ex­uded lazi­ness. Fash­ion py­ja­mas are more com­pli­cated. They re­quire a cer­tain level of fash­ion savvy – to make clear that the look was in­ten­tional, not hap­pen­stance.”

The East Lon­don-raised Mdingi, who grad­u­ated from Cape Penin­sula Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy with a na­tional di­ploma in 2013 and a BTech De­gree in 2014, is all for this trend. We caught up with the Cape Town-based de­signer to find out why. Even though you own a lux­ury brand, you thrive on cre­at­ing ev­ery­day wear. Why is that? It’s su­per im­por­tant for the la­bel to have a bal­ance be­tween the two be­cause not ev­ery­body can af­ford the price points of lux­ury. It’s also with re­gard to the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of ev­ery­day wear. I just need to find a bal­ance. It boils down to – be­sides the vi­a­bil­ity – it makes brand sense. We don’t want to be for one de­mo­graphic. We want to slowly branch into things that are more high-end go­ing into more ready-towear. In the fu­ture, we want to go into things like sports and home and mainly think­ing of life­style more than any­thing else. We’re just tak­ing it a step at a time. What are your thoughts on the sleep­wear (out­side the bed­room) trend? I think it has to do with the easy wear of the pajama look. My most re­cent col­lec­tion has a lot of flu­id­like, drape sil­hou­ettes that look like sleep­wear but, to be hon­est, when I was cre­at­ing the col­lec­tion, sleep­wear was the last thing I was think­ing about. I think if you’re choos­ing par­tic­u­lar fab­rics that are quite silky or lighter, they will al­ways have that dis­tinct ref­er­ence to sleep­wear even though you might not nec­es­sar­ily in­tend it. I think it’s great that clothes can have that sense of trans­lat­ing them­selves into one par­tic­u­lar thing from day­wear to nightwear. There’s an abun­dance of in­spi­ra­tion com­ing through. It’s pretty rad that sleep­wear can now be seen as day wear. Do you think your con­fi­dence has to be on 1000 to wear pa­ja­mas out­side or can any­one jump on to the trend? If you’re aware of your body shape and what colours suit you, then wear it. I think any­one can wear a beau­ti­ful, open-col­lar, 1970s style shirt that is silk and that will al­ready look like sleep­wear. I don’t think that it’s a cer­tain type of woman or man who can pull it off. is al­ways a pe­riod where there is one par­tic­u­lar thing that is “on trend” and then it will go “out of trend” but it will al­ways evolve it­self into a cur­rent or con­tem­po­rary way.

I think this will al­ways be ref­er­enced be­cause, in fash­ion, we are al­ways look­ing at the past and how to make it con­tem­po­rary. The pajama look is ac­tu­ally pretty time­less be­cause it’s some­thing you wear ev­ery­day. The cut of the shirt is some­thing you can see in lots of peo­ple’s clos­ets – even when it’s not nec­es­sar­ily in a pajama fab­ric. The sil­hou­ette of it is some­thing that’s ev­i­dent in many peo­ple’s clos­ets. I don’t be­lieve this is a fad but there will al­ways be some­thing to which peo­ple will pay more at­ten­tion.

What’s in store for the Lukhanyo Mdingi brand in 2017?

I’m go­ing to be fo­cus­ing on time­less pieces and clas­sics. I’ve been look­ing into a lot of vin­tagein­spired clothes which goes hand in hand with the ethos of the brand of look­ing at slow fash­ion and also the qual­ity of prod­uct. I’ve been re­search­ing and col­lect­ing a lot of clothes that were made in the 1970s, 1980s and even 1960s to get an idea of con­struc­tion and sil­hou­ette be­cause those are the pieces that are time­less. Lukhanyo Mdingi’s Es­sen­tials Col­lec­tion will be avail­able on Spree from March 2017.

Keep up with the fash­ion trends – the lat­est be­ing pa­ja­mas worn as day­wear. Cyn­thia Gwebu

Pa­ja­mas made trendy.

Fash­ion de­signer Lukhanyo Mdingi.

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