Exploring the aw16 collection, a little reflection and consideration of Rich Mnisi`s DNA, as in that of the brand, is hard to bypass.
We’ve been observing Rich Mnisi, how he better channels what moves society and how he creatively works on stories through impactful visuals. And every flex that the designer’s namesake brand makes is bound to gain traction.
The artistic direction of the garments right through to its communication is that of a highbrow. He draws you with richness for autumn/winter 2016 with the ‘Zulu Lounge’ collection, and leaves a strong crave of burgundy corduroys, navy velvets and grey wool.
There’s a clear retro, and the consciousness of now – which is fluid fashion and the breaking down or unlearning of what we have associated with each gender, and sights of what will soon arrive. One can assume he’s lived way in the past, is entrenched in the now and has a power to see what will soon appear. Male models wear bowed blouses, others with frilled sleeves, waists are high and jeans are bootlegged. This is where the idea of what is soon coming comes in, and will in time be embraced by men. In essence, it’s accommodative clothing, thriving in width to work for just about any body shape. See that’s a win, and is certainly a global approach. Turtle necks are recurring in dresses and jerseys as well as a line of sweaters, boldly typo-graphed with the brand’s name. That there is the bold branding of circa 80s and 90s fashion.
While going through a note sent with the lookbook, the reminder that the brand launched in 2014 struck and shows Rich Mnisi has made admirable leaps. And this collection stands firmly as evidence.
"The A/W 16 collection is inspired by one of the most celebrated and notable tribes in South Africa, the Zulu Tribe. Known for their strong aesthetic, the Zulu tribe is also very ornate in their traditional apparel – a very autonomous approach to colour usage, proportion and texture. It’s an acknowledgement and celebration of a modern African self," the note also said.
And there was also collaboration for the men’s shoes with Maria McCloy and bags with Navarre Marchand for this collection.
What is a sight for sore eyes is how tradition is worked to fit not just Africans but the world and that the Zulu nuances as we know them are not even predictable.