Friday, October 21, 2011

Africa Fashion Week 2011: KLuK CGDT [The African Cinderella]

[Image courtesy of JenaDova]

You may be forgiven for being a little breathless after seeing KLuK CGDT's unprecedented production - one Twitter fan was confessed to being positively weepy (@StyleGuideCT), another said 'I do believe in love - but I'd rather wear Kluk or CGDT' (@IsobelStellar). Superlative, gushy, emotional - call their cult-like profession of admiration what you want; it's all too easily justified. From the sheer breadth of it (we counted about 60 looks), to the alarmingly - yes, alarmingly - brilliant depth of it (everything from embroidered lace to belted paper bag shorts found a place), KLuK CGDT put on a delightfully crammed show that has earned them one of the few prime spots in our hearts.

Lace (African and French) and lightness set the tone for fantastically crafted dresses combining sheer net with embroidered lace cutouts. When lace wasn't acting as an embellishment on the hems and bodices of many-a-dress, it was standing alone as high-waisted ivory trousers and a glamorous buttoned-up blouse - a welcome re-invention of a textile usually reserved for traditional use. A sheer mood pervaded several pieces - sometimes as tunic-like tulle overlays on simple slips, as see-through poet sleeves, and even as a zig-zag motif running through two floor-length frocks. A mostly muted palette of lilac and off-white allowed the craftsmanship to shine through, but a brilliant burst of yellow and print were welcome intrusions in this compelling ode to romance, Africa-style. For all the pieces on display, an interconnectedness held them together where a less seasoned hand may have offered schizophrenia - a well-deserved nod especially in that regard.

From the evening frocks to the day dresses and the ultra chic separated held together by bows and ribbon, KLuK CGDT is clearly gunning for relevance in virtually every aspect of our summer wardrobes, from cocktail parties, to all-night soirees, and afternoon ladies-who-brunch meetings. A collaboration with Cape Cobra on exquisite high-end leather accessories could point to the makings of a KLuK CGDT lifestyle experience. No easy feat to be relevant in many different ways, but perhaps undaunting for a brand that's strong across the board, from ready-to-wear, to bridal, and couture. An extraordinary accomplishment and a pointer to the boundless possibilities Africa holds, and a timely reminder that brilliance abounds in every corner of the continent in ways one cannot always predict. 

- SLiq

Photos: SDR Photos

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