Chu Suwannapha’s label, Chulaap stole the limelight during the opening of South African Menswear Week (SAMW) Spring Summer 16/17 in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The audience was ushered upstairs to the upper level of the Cape Town Stadium in Greenpoint to a concrete arena overlooking the pitch. And Suwannapha did not disappoint fashionistas after his showstopping knits range earlier this year.


Models, dabbed with white tribal paint and wearing a variety of headdresses, strode in the arena showcasing his bold, summery print collection.

The collection spoke to African prints and incorporated elements of tribalism and tradition. Print pants and shorts, teamed with Suwannapha’s trademark knits made for a colourful collection.

Keegan Basil who runs the Keegan Basil show said he was impressed by Suwannapha’s collection. Speaking to African News Agency (ANA), he said: "It was very inspiring and is a signature for what Africa is about. The African aesthetics in his collection captured the essence of what the African nations are about through unifying global fashion with African aesthetics."

Unisex outfits featured throughout the ranges the designers showcased as a few female models appeared on the runway, which made the ranges appealing to both women and men.

Deep plums, glittery beaded motifs, a juxtaposed pattern of blues and a mix of greens featured in Nicholas Coutts’ collection.

Terence Bray’s collection, "My Succulent Garden" had brown hues, soft pastels and structured, flowing lines inspired by a friend’s garden.

"I like to work with people in my immediate environment, and I was inspired by these beautiful plants," he told ANA. Bray added that he was also inspired by the traditional South Korean hanbok dress.

One would have been forgiven if they had 1970s flashbacks when three models opened Nao Serati’s collection wearing gold lace and glittering outfits à la pantsuits and flared pants. Serati’s collection was an elegant mix of glittery magic and practicality.

Young designer Tsepo Tsotetsi showed his first menswear collection, which garnered admiration. His label, Knives, made quick work of the traditional suited look for men. His collection was ‘slashed’ with creative cuts, lines and ribbons, and consisted of a palette of greys and whites. One could have easily thought they were inspired by films on psychiatric patients, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Tsotesti told ANA it was a last-minute decision to enter menswear as he is used to designing women’s wear. He shared how he had had a "mental block" designing women’s wear, decided to take a break, and ventured into designing menswear when he started to make clothes for himself.

"I am more of a winter designer. My design architecture is very structured so I wondered how to make my collection more suited for the summer," he said as he explained his inspiration for the slashes and lines in his collection.

Jenevieve Lyons closed the first day of SAMW with her interesting mauve tartan and denim collection. Models strutted down a green grass carpet, which worked with the soft colours she chose which would work for the brave, discerning man.Read more at:long evening dresses australia