Saturday, October 22, 2011

Africa Fashion Week 2011: Day - 1 Marianne Fassler [Street Juju]

Marianne Fassler is bound by an underlying commitment to showcasing and promoting Africa, and is something of a local legend in South Africa where she has consistently offered a divergent point of view for over two decades. In a budding industry where 'African Fashion' has undergone many makeovers and shorned strict definitions, Marianne Fassler, in her words, 'understands the strength of contemporary South Africa with its mixed cultures and mixed messages and her work exudes an exuberant Africanism that never descends into cliche'. This intimate understanding is reflected in the spirit of her Street Juju collection at Africa Fashion Week - a streak of irreverent, timeless spunk (reminiscent of Vivienne Westwood), with street charm and distinctly African sensibilities.

From markings echoing a long heritage of scarification, to ombre and bright polka dot jersey dresses, and wax print mixed with leopard, a varied pot of print was offered in Marianne's signature way - shredded, criss-crossed with tulle, deconstructed and re-combined. Usually soft and romantic tulle and lace brought additional edge in the form of ruffled, free layered skirts, taking a cue from patterned bodices - a carefree, unscripted celebration of independence. For all the fun dresses and separates - one look combined polka dots with a multi-coloured underlay and a gorgeous lace bodice - there was also room for some grown-up seriousness. A dark tie-dye dress (seen on the timeless Ajuma) suitable for red carpet sass, a black leather dress straight from the set of the Matrix, and a silk floor-length leopard print stunner easily come to mind.

Clearly, Marianne is a master of craft, and while not every single look struck a cord, the diversity of her offerings - from the practical jerseys to the fantastical tulles, all joyful and unrestrained -, the homage to the colour and verve of street style, and the nods to Africa point to why she's an enduring talent, firmly in a league of her own.

- SLiq

Photos: SDR Photos

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