As fashion is an enchanting force to be reckoned with as our ever-delirious yet necessary remedy in this world; it was only fitting that we end our final edition of the year with angel numbers – 11 of 22, in 2022. Invoking the power of 1’s and 2’s, the alignment of union, relationship and wholeness; Interlude ends aptly, if you ask me, for a year that has seen Africa firmly take its place as the original sartorial source and Motherland; as She should. To further this, Interlude finds an exciting new way of expressing; collaboration, and I am so excited to welcome one of South Africa’s most exciting, emerging voices in fashion: Tanatswa Amisi, AKA @iobservefashion on Tiktok and Instagram. I have been following her TikTok discourse for a while as her content is fast becoming a source for the world to see fashion through the voice of an African woman; her critical, digital archive grows, with followers tempered across Europe, USA and more. So, Chapter 11 is the outcome of an hour-long digital conversation and geek-out retrospective of the year – with Tanatswa’s top 11, and my top 11; a journey through the year across the world, with the strongest emphasis on the continent and South Africa.
Disclaimer: the lists shown are in NO particular order – each a gem in the crown of the proverbial pash for fash.
Tanatswa’s 11 of 22 in 2022:
1 /// Thebe & Pierpaolo Unite Their Houses With Exceptional Results
When Thebe Magugu and Valentino collaborated, I was surprised – there’s usually quite a disconnect when different brands from different cultures collaborate, and especially in light of fashion’s history with cultural appropriation. After watching their conversation, and seeing the final results; I could tell there was a real mutual respect and appreciation for each other. Boldly, I would say this is the first true cultural exchange that I have seen executed in fashion, that I’ve seen. Pierpaolo said that he sees Thebe’s work as Haute Couture; that there is this direct cultural expression through a cultural viewpoint, was beautiful to hear.
Images Courtesy of Vogue.com
2 /// Riri Alters The Timeline of Motherhood Forever with Her Pregnancy Reveal Look
That piece from Chanel F/W 1996 was incredible – with her bare tummy, casually strolling through New York. Yes, it was clearly staged – but it was so fabulous, it really made me understand that pregnancy is not a inhibitor to style! I think it was a new way of making the ‘pregnancy reveal’ casual yet fashionable; and not this high editorial moment that we have seen before with other celebrities. It was refreshing.
Photographed by Miles Diggs
3 /// Wanda Lephoto X Dakotas Preserves Cultural and Sartorial Consciousness in Real Time
This was a very new perspective on South African fashion. Designers here are really showing their mastery of story-telling. I remember Wanda posting an image a month or so before announcing this collab, and it was an image of a man in apartheid South Africa, dressed in this crisp, smart-casual way as a lot of Black men dressed in townships. This collaboration was paying homage to a very specific sartorial coding within South African culture and history. I struggle to find the words to describe it – but it’s the way my grandfather dresses, the way our father’s dressed back in the day. The loafer is the central symbol to this, and it’s significant – I know my dad and grandfather polished and cleaned their loafers with great pride. Wanda and Dakotas coming together to really honour this, was so meaningful. I think it should have gotten a lot more attention than it did. The coming together of a South African, heritage footwear brand and a contemporary designer is something I hope that we continue to see happen.
Photographed by Luke Ncube
4 /// Michaela Coel’s American Vogue Cover is a Ghanaian Dreamscape
I first talked about this cover on TikTok, because it was the first American Vogue to be shot in Africa – it was shot in Ghana, in Michaela’s hometown in Accra. Afterwards, I learned that the actual cover itself wasn’t shot in Ghana, but all the other images were. People were quite critical, and I had to take a step back and interrogate what does this really mean to me? It’s something I’ve asked my audience before on TT, do we as Africans need Vogue to recognise us, whether in the form of a Vogue Africa or a cover shot here? My perspective is that Africa is luxury – we have it within ourselves – do we need the validation of the rest of the prestigious spaces in the west? The images themselves though, styled by Ib Kamara, were incredible – and I love Michaeala, apparently she demanded it was shot in Ghana. I think seeing Black artists asserting this agency in fashion is so important.
Photographed by Malick Bodia
5 /// Kenneth Ize Takes A Break And Reminds Us All That Rest is Powerful
When Kenneth Ize announced that he is going to take a break from fashion, I was intrigued. It hit really hard, because it was indicative of the pressure and demand that we put on designers in the industry. There’s this expectation for them to be creative messiahs – to create and constantly amaze us – and then we sit back and pull apart their work. There is a powerful statement to be made when a designer chooses to step back, and almost set a boundary that allows them to reflect. Kenneth didn’t go into specifics, but I’m speculating that it comes from immense pressure. When you are designing for a social media age, you are having to feed people’s desire for constant newness – with little understanding of anything other than the final image or garment.
Collection images courtesy of Maison Karl Lagerfeld and Image of Kenneth photographed by John-Paul Pietrus
6 /// Maximillian Davis Debuts at Ferragamo – And Milan Is Already Better For It
Ferragamo is a very traditional, heritage brand in Italy – and their customers for their garments, not just accessories, are wealthy, European aristocratic types. I’m very interested to see how Maximillian as this British, Black and queer designer – at such a young age of 27 years – is going to make clothing that speaks to a broader demographic, too. I think the house wants a broader, more diverse customer; it’s strategic, and Maximillian is highly suited to this task. Even at his debut show, the front row was full of his younger, Black friends – and it felt very reminiscent of when Lee Mcqueen took over Givenchy. There are these two worlds colliding, of traditional brands with very specific coding, and then a young maverick who ruffles feathers – so I am very excited to see the Ferragamo culture shift under Davis’ tenure. It’s a sign of a healthy industry, when we see big change like this happen and then succeed.
Photographed by Cris Fragkou
7 /// Thebe Magugu’s Heritage Dress Collection Is The Deepest Love Letter to South Africa
Each dress was a homage to each indigenous culture in South Africa – and the silhouette itself referenced a continental silhouette, that long, flowing dress that we see in central, west, east and southern Africa. Thebe’s constant push to be so authentically South African, and succeed in being totally himself, it’s a very deep lesson that I think will forever be referenced by designers who come after him in South Africa. Thebe is uncompromising himself, and so is the label and everything it showcases. This collection was one of those moments where I just sat back, sighed and thought, ‘this is why I love fashion.’
Photographed by Aart Verrips
8 /// Africa Is Now Magazine Editorial Says it All with Muses Yannick Konan and Pivot Aurel
This was my first time doing a video on African fashion editorials – I had only spoken about designers previously. This was a South African all-star team, with a powerful interview with Nao Serati, and the models Yannick Konan and Pivot Aurel – we don’t often hear from the models themselves, and their Ivorian and Burundian perspectives on fashion – and I think all around, this editorial demonstrates our culture of fashion showcase in editorials.
Photographed by Kitso Kgori
9 /// Raf Simons Knows When It’s Curtain Call, Even When It Aches
I haven’t really dissected Raf’s work that much, but I respect his impact – when I was first getting into fashion, he was the first ‘niche’ designer that I heard about. I learned about the Antwerp 6 through his work, and I think we are all quite shocked. None of us saw him giving up his label before his tenure at Prada. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s the end of an era – and I can’t help but feel that it’s this eerie feeling of an independent designer being absorbed by the machine. Having said that, it’s also great when someone knows that it’s a curtain-call; it’s what Margiela did, and maybe it’s not the last we’ve seen of Raf in an independent sense. Raf’s impact on streetwear – his relationship with rappers, with Black culture – his discretion, and I think he’s done more than we can say as a bridge. We also need to brace ourselves for the inflation of his pieces – where his legacy will be fully commodified under the capitalist function that emerges when a brand closes.
Backstage images by Jamie Stoker
Image of Raf by Getty Images
10 /// Burna Boy IS The African Giant For Dazed’s Autumn 2022 Cover
Dazed is a magazine that I think is most reflective of our times. Burna Boy is so relentlessly confident, and he backs himself so much – oftentimes there is this perspective that African people on the global stage are grateful to be occupying these spaces. With Burna Boy, he screams he’s the “African Giant” – he knows his impact, and his worth. Seeing Dazed recognise Burna Boy and them coming together for this very earnest, beautiful feature was amazing. It also speaks further to Ib Kamara’s continued influence, and perhaps the most important fashion director of our time, and the thread of African collaborators running through fashion across varying publications, brands and personalities – it’s huge.
Photographed by Kristen-Lee Moolman
11 /// The Intellectual Lens of Thebe Magugu Remains with ‘Discard Theory’
I really tried not to make this all about Thebe, but he has had an incredible year. The ‘Discard Theory’ speaks to such a variety and layers of fashion. Internationally, the sustainability conversation appears very surface level – but Thebe going into Braam and shopping, with the documentary by Franasonic, was so transformative. It looks at the idea of luxury, the idea of consumption, and specifically in Johannesburg. There is this tension in the city between opposite sides of the socio-economic spectrum. There is one moment in the film where they show this Dolce Gabbana dress that is amongst this huge pile of clothing, and it shows that a piece of clothing is just a piece of clothing – it ends up the same, in a landfill, no matter the price tag or context in which it was made. I loved how Thebe subverted the trickle down effect in fashion of runway to rail, and made it ‘trickle up’ – saying that clothes coming from here can become luxury. The collection itself did this, and I think it’s genius. It’s demystifying and deconstructing luxury itself, and I think this makes Thebe one of the most precise and intelligent designers in the world, right now.
Collection images by Aart Verrips
Documentary and stills by Francesco “Franasonic” Mbele
Holly’s 11 of 22 in 2022:
12 /// Lukhanyo Mdingi Brings A New Format of Sartorial Showcase to Cape Town With ‘Provenance’
Lukhanyo Mdingi has had an incredible year – showcasing in Paris, and stocking their label from Saks Fifth Avenue to Selfridges, and then some. As an ode to Cape Town, and South Africa overall, the label saw a month-long residency at THEFOURTH Gallery, courtesy of Lemkus, and co-curated with Morné Visagie; detailing the label’s process from sketchbooks, to photographs – to calico mock-ups and more. Lukhanyo himself was available at the space every Saturday for four hours, doing direct walk-throughs with visitors – and this included many fashion school students in the city. To see fashion expressed in an exhibition format is usually what we know from large, archival showcases from bygone eras; Provenance set a new tone, and a direct dialogue for anyone aspiring towards design, or inspired by it. I’m told that there will be a Part II…
Images courtesy of THEFOURTH
13 /// Tywg’s Fourth Edition of The Sustainability Awards Is a Triumphant Dose of Hope
It was my first time attending Twyg’s annual Sustainability Awards, and I was left utterly amazed and energised by the evening’s celebration of changemakers and creatives – from winners, to finalists and attendees. Founder Jack May is a fashion industry veteran, and in this new era of her decade-spanning career – she and her team are spearheading sustainability in South African fashion, as an NPO, media space and incubator of circular and ethical frontiers. This is the most important award show in South Africa, in my humble opinion.
Photographed by Tash Singh
14 /// ‘The Law of Desire’ sees Desire Marea Styled By Nao Serati and Shot By Tatenda Chidora in Dazed Magazine
Everytime I’m at an Exclusive Books, you will find me surveying the magazine section – because you know when our shipment of Dazed, i-D or AnOther Magazine will arrive. Particularly with the pandemic’s shipping crises, it has been sparse and inconsistent to say the least. Imagine my surprise then, when 2022, Issue V ‘Chop Life, of Dazed Magazine turns up on the shelf – and then later when I am immersed in it at home, only to see DESIRE MAREA and their multiple page spread? With unbelievable images shot by Tatenda Chidora, and styled by long-time friend Nao Serati, this editorial is one to be forever archived, remembered and celebrated. The interview detailed Desire’s career, their initiation as sangoma – and beautiful epitaphs of what it means to be Africa, to be Black, and to be unstoppable.
Photographed by Tatenda Chidora
15 /// Sindiso Khumalo’s isiZulu Ode with VAULT by VANS and Sarah Andelman
Legendary Collette founder Sarah Andelman selected four women from around the world to participate in a VAULT by VANS collaboration; and Sindiso Khumalo was one of the designers chosen. In a press release via Vans United Kingdom, Sindiso’s process for this series was described as ‘’Using her mother who was an activist as inspiration, Sindiso incorporated illustrations on the quarter panels of the OG Style 24 NTC LX for adults and the Classic Slip-On for kids. The illustration shows the artist’s mother on her daughter’s wedding day seen in traditional Zulu attire. Below it is an array of traditional Zulu homesteads to depict the traditional Zulu life on a modern, contemporary sneaker. This celebration of old and new continues with the Sindiso Khumalo Tee that uses water-based ink to screen print the powerful illustration of the artist’s mother at the front and at the back neck of the oversized tee.’’ This is the magic of design and of culture, in real time.
Images courtesy of VANS
16 /// Broke’s Runway Showcase Powered By Lemkus Is A Taste of The Future
Broke’s Runway Showcase at Lemkus’ Exchange Building was one of the most special things I saw this year. With creative director Andile Dlamini taking his first designer’s walk at the end, to the hype and energy of Cape Town’s best dressed, to the garments themselves – streetwear is here, on the runway, and in our city’s. Up and up, onwards – it’s only just begun.
Photographed by Gidion Felix
17 /// Perennial It-Girl Chloë Sevigny marries in archival Jean-Paul Gaultier by Glenn Martens, custom Loewe + Cadwallader’s Mugler
Chloë Sevigny is fashion’s perennial It-Girl – and has been the ‘90s. Now, at 48 years old, it wouldn’t be remiss to place her in the same camp as young style icons such as Bella Hadid. Age is literally just a number; chicness is forever. When marrying her husband Siniša Mačković for the second time (also so chic), post-pandemic, the looks were sensational; and yet another collaboration between she and long-time stylist Haley Wollens (one the best fashion minds right now). The celebration began with ‘Look 8’ from Gaultier Couture by Glenn Martens – all sheer, ruffled and sculptural. For the second look, Chloë tapped into her friendship with JW Anderson to create a custom Loewe dress with billowy sleeves, reminiscent of a ‘60s shift dress. Finally, her third look of the night was the part look – an ivory, lace catsuit by Casey Cadwallder’s Mugler; uggggh. Perfection.
Images Courtesy of Chloë Sevigny’s IG
18 /// Copenhagen Fashion Week Set The New Standard With Their Stringent Sustainability Requirements for 2023
For Chapter 08, I wrote about the potential parallels between Copenhagen Fashion Week and ours here in South Africa; as the cooler, younger siblings of the older trinity of Paris, Milan and London. I argued that central to this is CPHFW’s intense commitment to sustainability, writing:
“Underpinning all of this in a philosophical sense, is CPHFW’s unwavering commitment to sustainability; with many of the designers on show already having social and ecological awareness woven into the very fibre of their creative practices. Swedish label Main Nué had their entire collection made from vintage and deadstock fabrics – with others doing similarly – and with their position as a micro-brand – to exhibit that it’s not who you are, but rather what you are doing that is of interest to CPHFW and the vision ahead. To further this, CPHFW have released their sustainability report with a specific mandate for 2023; in which every label must meet 18 minimum sustainability requirements to qualify for a slot on their schedule. There are as follows, found here.”
Photographed by Adam Katz Sinding
19 /// Ib Kamara Receives The Baton As Off-White’s new Creative Director
In our conversation, Tanatswa and I touched on how we both thought Virgil had passed this year – only it was this time last year, and yet the wound still feels fresh. With many, many things uncertain about Virgil’s passing – one thing was always certain – he left behind a network of exceptional visionaries as family and friends in fashion and design. So, when Ib Kamara was appointed the new CD at Off-White; we were all relieved. If there is anyone up to the task, it was always going to be Ib – who styled many of Virgil’s shows, and was close confidant and co-creator. The resulting debut? Phenomenal.
Images courtesy of Off-White
20 /// Spearheaded by Ky Bxshxff, Twyg Magazine Showcase South African Luxury Design in ‘Confections X Collections’ at The Mount Nelson Belmond Hotel
In a beautiful marriage between taste and sight, Tywg hosted a five day extravaganza at The Mount Nelson Belmond Hotel – delighting audiences with showcases by some of the most important designers in South Africa alongside custom-designed high tea. As Stella Hartenyo wrote, “From the 16th to the 20th of November 2022, The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, will host a five-day fashion homecoming celebration like no other with 5 of South Africa’s most renowned designers – Thebe Magugu, Sindiso Khumalo, Lezanne Viviers of VIVIERS Studio, Laduma Ngxokolo of MAXHOSA AFRICA, and Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane of MMUSOMAXWELL. The Mount Nelson Presents CONFECTIONS x COLLECTIONS curated by Twyg: A fashion-infused celebration of creativity, culture – and cake.” I hope this won’t be the last we see of this event! imagine an annual one?
Photography by Frances Marais
21 /// Stylist Rachael Rodgers Cuts Her Wedding Cake In A Floral Bikini
Maybe it’s because I’m getting married, or that I’ve always just been a sucker for a wedding – but featuring two weddings on this list tells me one thing is true. Weddings are a fashion event, and Rachael Rodger’s cutting her cake in a custom floral bikini begs the question as to whether we will continue being discreet – due to family etc. – about showing skin at our nuptials? So cool, so original – more of this, please.
Photographed by Maxime Ballesteros
22 /// LVMH announce 2022 Winners : Winnie New York, S.S Daley and ERL
I had to put this year’s winners, as I truly believe the LVMH Prize is a one-of-a-kind lesson in supporting rising fashion talent from around the globe. I urge you to keep an eye out each year not only for winners, but for finalists too; as it gives a breadth of understanding of the current fashion zeitgeist, and rising stars.
Images Courtesy of LVMH
Written by: Holly Bell Beaton
Published: 30 November 2022
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