Should pa­ja­mas be left in the bed­room? South African de­signer Lukhanyo Mdingi doesn’t want you to sleep on this day­time trend, says HELEN HERIMBI

The Star Late Edition - - LIFESTYLE VERVE - Lukhanyo Mdingi’s Es­sen­tials Col­lec­tion will be avail­able on Spree ( from March 2017. HELEN HERIMBI See

AVING 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. I can see my mom, my gran, my cousins wear­ing dif­fer­ent parts of it. I’m not think­ing of a full pa­jama look. They could just wear a shirt with a pair of jeans or a skirt. I think it’s adapt­able to many peo­ple. Is it more fash­ion-for­ward to wear silky or vel­vet sleep­wear in public as op­posed to flan­nel, for ex­am­ple? I wouldn’t think of it as more fash­ion-for­ward. When I think of flan­nel, I think of lum­ber­jack! When I think of cot­ton, I think of nor­mal, ev­ery­day wear. I think it’s got to do with when peo­ple see a two-piece of silk pa­ja­mas they im­me­di­ately think it’s some­thing that’s got to do with lux­ury. And when I say silk, I’m not mean­ing 100 per­cent silk, I just mean a shiny fab­ric. It’s not real silk be­cause real silk will cost you like R5 000. It’s how the world chooses to see it at the end of the day. There’s been this per­cep­tion that silk pa­ja­mas are lux­ury but I don’t think it’s that dif­fer­ent from any other pa­ja­mas. What was the au­di­ence’s re­ac­tion to Pur­ga­tion when you showed your col­lec­tion? I think the au­di­ence was re­ally sat­is­fied and the re­sponse has been re­ally over­whelm­ing. I’m happy about it be­cause I cre­ate col­lec­tions purely for my­self be­cause I’m an artist and, when I cre­ate, I’m not nec­es­sar­ily think­ing “I hope the au­di­ence likes it”. It’s just for me and my ex­pres­sion. I think peo­ple lik­ing it is an added bonus. Who are some of your favourite fa­mous faces who wear sleep­wear dur­ing the day? I’d say Solange. She seems to be wear­ing quite a lot of sleep­wearin­spired pieces. I’d also say Harry Styles from One Di­rec­tion.

says the sleep­wear trend is a fad, do you agree? I think trends come and go. I per­son­ally don’t think of it as a fad. I think in the cy­cle of fash­ion there 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. WITH over 7400 sub­scribers to her YouTube vlog chan­nel, Cyn­thia Gwebu is def­i­nitely one to watch in the on­line space. This full-time beauty blog­ger uses her web­site to con­duct prod­uct re­views, at­tend events, school beauty en­thu­si­asts about the lat­est trends and present tu­to­ri­als.

Gwebu’s logo is a nod to the fa­mous Chanel logo but she is in­tent on carv­ing her own lane in the busi­ness. She is the first to ad­mit it’s not all roses and Revlon when it comes to blog­ging, but she is en­joy­ing the jour­ney – which she also broad­casts to over 6200 fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram. How and when did you dis­cover your love for beauty?

Pos­si­bly from read­ing glossy mags. I knew I al­ways loved it but the ob­ses­sion prob­a­bly came about when I pur­chased my first lip­stick. When did you start your blog?

Around the age of 18. But back then it was merely a hobby and a con­coc­tion of dra­matic teenage ram­blings. How easy or dif­fi­cult has the blog­ging jour­ney been?

Since ac­tu­ally com­mit­ting to it fully (this year), it’s been an in­ter­est­ing jour­ney. I faced some re­jec­tion in the be­gin­ning but since then it has picked up phe­nom­e­nal mo­men­tum so I can’t com­plain. What are some of the high­lights of be­ing in charge of your own blog?

Ex­actly that. Be­ing in con­trol of the cre­ative process has been very ex­cit­ing. It’s my ideas that get put for­ward, my vi­sion and my story. No one can take that cre­ative voice away from me, which is thrilling. What are some down­sides/bad mo­ments that you have ex­pe­ri­enced on this jour­ney?

My jour­ney has been a very blessed one but, as I men­tioned ear­lier, it def­i­nitely had to be the re­jec­tion from po­ten­tial clients in the be­gin­ning. They came around since so I’m happy about that. What were the big­gest trends for 2016?

For lips, it has been the tex­tured glit­ter lips à la Pat McGrath. Glossy lids was the trend for eyes. For skin, su­per­food skin­care – kale, açaí, goji berries, quinoa, spir­ulina, chia seeds are ben­e­fi­cial when eaten and now also in the skin­care prod­ucts we use. Lastly, the wob – the wavy long bob – was the trend for hair. What are your plans/goals for 2017?

I def­i­nitely want to travel more, out­side of the coun­try, if my work and sched­ule al­lows me!

Pa­ja­mas made trendy.

Fash­ion de­signer Lukhanyo Mdingi.

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