MBFWJ Review: Loin Cloth & Ashes

You know how there is an international trend for using African print fabrics in fashion? Suno does it most successfully. Gwen Stefani for L.A.M.B. has done it. Burberry did it last year. Marni just did it for H&M. And it is all rather lovely. Well, folks, this is how you do it with authenticity. This collection from Anisa Mpungwe of Loin Cloth & Ashes is the definition of how to incorporate African print fabrications into your fashion collection, for a reason, from a point of vision, as a statement of who she is and what her label is about. Without drawing anything away from the trend or fashion of it all. I mean, those print collars were hands-down voted the most desirable piece from the whole of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg by the fashion editors in attendance. And that is quite an accolade.
I was particularly impressed by how the balance was achieved between the prints and the solids, the flow and the heft, the drape and the tuck. This takes maturity and the understanding of subtlety and balance in achieving a fashion garment. One that is equally wearable and fashion tuned. Anisa achieved this in spades and this collection was a real highlight for me from the shows this season.
And then there was the fun. Radio DJ and TV host, Anele Mdoda, was announced as the face of the brand. And what a face - and body - she has. The sass and swagger with which Anele walked that ramp leaves many a model in the shade and with some lessons to learn. The bold statement of confidence and attitude that Anele brought to the brand lent it some 'street' as well. Making this collection the one that I vote the most likely to be worn by the Jozi women that stood and cheered for it at the end of the show. Excellent. Good stuff. Now where is my collar?
All photos courtesy of SDR Photo

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