Saturday, September 17, 2011

NYFW Spring 2012 - Tsemaye Binitie Made in Africa RTW Runway Review

Total looks: 17

For Tsemaye Binitie's Spring 2012 collection, clean lines may touch on a minimalist sensibility, but what also emerges is a strong eye for detail (sheer insets in white pants and a pink jacket, for instance) and a mixed bag of pieces that lend themselves to multiple uses. What Binitie lacks (by no means an adverse 'lack') in pomp, he makes up for in practicality rooted in a quiet but increasingly confident creativity.

There was a gradual build-up from more simple (requisite maxi skirts, pants and simple dresses) to more visually engaging pieces - one standout layered pink dress broke through the pack, as did a red carpet ready white lace dress with organza sleeves and an elaborate feather hem - a luxurious blend of elements expertly tackled. Pieces were at once covered up and revealing with the use of sheer overlays and lace, but it was details like a floaty train on a floor length gray dress, and the use of billowy vents on seemingly plain pieces that gave the collection movement and charm. Unfortunately, little of this is captured in the runway photographs - great emphasis is placed on frontal shots while the real action happened behind. Exposed zips were prevalent, as were thigh high slits that amped up the sultriness. Custom Tsemaye Binitie leather belts adorned with crystals kept the focus on the waistline.

Colours graduated from white to pink and gold, with black and grey detours (as seen in jersey on the back of a prim belted white leotard - again, a missing detail in runway shots), with pieces showing a remarkable range from a pink embellished blouse, to a knockout floor length dress in pink and red jewel tones, and a short and sweet little white dress. Admittedly, some pieces were not strong or Tsemaye enough (a short gold dress comes to mind), but the majority of pieces were re-assuring enough that Tsemanye is a strong rising star  - easily the breakout star of the evening.

From choice of fabric to construction, execution and a stunning point of view (seen here and in previous collections), there's hardly any doubt in our minds that this two-year old brand has much to contribute to the future of luxury in Africa and beyond.

- SLiq

Photos: Getty Images via Bella Naija

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