South African Menswear Week Recap: The Designers Breaking Boundaries

The South African Menswear Week Spring / Summer season was a big, fat #PANSY party. The designers impressed with shows splattered in lace, florals, tassels, pink crocodiles and much more. Needless to say it was a week that broke boundaries and presented a fresh approach to men's fashion. Take a look at the designers who flipped the script by challenging normalized masculinity through the power of their garments.

Images Courtesy of: Neil Roberts

NICHOLAS COUTTS (Below) The event launched with a bang thanks to Nicholas Coutts' opening show. The jumpsuits, embellishments, hoops-and-loops and bright print pants were some noteworthy #Pansy moments.

TERRENCE BRAY (Below) Everyone stop and gag for a moment at the flowy, beige, Geisha wet dream that was the Terrence Bray show. We were taken on a trip to the pansy side of the Japanese moon and it was delightful. We'll take one of each thank you!

NAO SERATI (Below) Nao Serati's collection held nothing back. Starting with the sassiest group walk to grace the SAMW runway yet - to Beyoncé no less! This collection was crossing and crushing gender binaries from all angles and showed an impressive shift away from traditional menswear. It was a parade of florals, ribbons, sparkles and skin, leaving us very satisfied.

JENEVIEVE LYONS (Below) This collection showed an intricate balance between the masculine and feminine attributes of structure and flow, creating a harmonious union of these characteristics and incorporating delightful little pink tassels for good measure!

RICH MNISI X THEBE MAGUGU (Below) These guys brought it HARD. The collection screamed #PANSY from head to toe. We're talking frills, fish-nets, tea cups, boys-with-big-golden-earrings and metallic purple denim-esque looks which had us all gagging. This collection masterfully played with gender binaries through the mixing of traditional masculine tailoring with low cuts, flares and open necks, along with the inclusion of female models to stir the pot. Shantay you stay!

LUKHANYO MDINGI (Below) We were treated to a silky, pleated day dream with this airy spring collection. The garments and models effortlessly drifted down the runway, presenting an alternative approach to the tedious structure which surrounds the idea of men's fashion. Mdingi must also be commended for the meaningful message sent by his collection, urging African designers to keep-it-local with their choices of materials to encourage our growing textile and fashion industry. This was also carried through the collaboration with Crystal Birch, the Cape Town-based milliner who created the exquisite hats to top off the collection.

TOKYO JAMES (Below) It may have said "No One Cares," but we seriously care about getting our hands on one of these beautifully tailored and textured pieces! The S&M-reminiscent accessories reminded us just how much chains and whips excite us (cc Rihanna).

ORANGE CULTURE (Below) Orange Culture served us a dish of bright pink, chiffon-drenched, handy delights and we ate it up. The bold prints, hot pants, delightful colour palette and silks had us full and satisfied.

MERWE MODE (Below) All hail Merwe Mode. The corset-wearing, bare-chested and whimsically subversive androgyny presented by this collection gave a massive finger to the masculinity we are being fed by department stores around the world - and we approve this Merwe message 100%.

DICKER (Below) Who would have thought that an animal fur, hot pant dungaree was the one dire piece missing from our collection? DICKER made us realize just how much we need it. Add crop tops, exaggerated sleeves and all-white-everything to that equation and you've got the perfect recipe for a #SadPansyBoy.