The Windhoek Fashion Week brought together a fresh crop of designers from the College of the Arts who served up their final year collections. Showcasing under the theme ‘A Style for Every Story,’ the students stepped up to the plate with their vibrant and playful, yet wearable collections.
This was the first time that the COTA students got to show their work alongside the big names in the local industry on the run way. A total of seven (7) talented student designers showcased three pieces each and the garments didn’t cease to highlight the versatility of the students.
A student at COTA, Mostert Gian Franco said that it was an eye opening experience that allowed him to experience what designers in the fashion industry go through on a daily basis. “It allowed me to broaden my horizons in terms of what the fashion world out there holds.
There are so many unique and creative people that we share an industry with and that I was never aware of. It was quite interesting to be able to network and socialize with this people and to see the level of commitment that was being shown through their garments. It was really an eye opening experience for me. It allowed me to humble myself as well and to also be inspired and motivated,” exclaimed Mostert.
Mostert who only showcased three pieces from his collection of eight pieces says that it was an opportunity for them as students to create a preview of their fashion show. The inspiration of his collection stems from his Chinese heritage. I grew up in the presence of my grandmother who created wedding dresses and I grew up trying to emulate her in a way,” he said.
Mostert showed a variety of trends, from an apron inspired dress with a minimal design to a trench coat that is opulent and outrageous in a sense. He also showed a dramatic dress proving how extravagant he went with the length and the flow of the garment. The dress is versatile giving you an option of wearing it as a skirt or a top.
Another student designer Ignasho Hanyanya describes the experience as very educative and interactive. His designs were a reflection of an ocean tide with a mid-night moonlight.
“I wanted to reflect on my experience of a high tide in an ocean interacting with the midnight moon, basically the reflection of the moon into the ocean. That’s why I used fabric that is dark blue in colour with a shiny material and the ruffles on top to create the ocean tide,” he described.
Ignasho fused different material such as sequence fabric and mesh to make worlds collide. His first piece was a mermaid, low flow dress with an open back and a V-shape in front. The dress is made from sequence fabric, stitched from the outside part with a binding on the edge. His collection also includes a male suit jacket that has a deep cut that goes through the chest to the armpit and ruffles at the back. The suit also has buttons lined up on the side making it unique.
His last piece was a dress made from a combination of mesh, sequence fabric and ruffles at the same time. It has a ruffle right from the shoulder until the boob area and a sequence and mesh fabric from the waist to the knees.
Emily Hoveka is also one of the designer students who showcased their collections during the Windhoek Fashion Week. Emily’s designs were inspired by the Herero and Scottish cultures. The whole idea is to transform the Herero garments from the splits and the Victorian cuts to something modern.
From a collection of eight pieces, Emily showcased six of her pieces at the Windhoek Fashion Week. Four garments were Herero inspired with a touch Scot and a male kilt which was a complete scot look to complement with the Herero culture.
Wilhelm Iyambo brought a different mood to the slot with a Levi and Diesel inspired street wear collection. Iyambo used denim, mesh and leather on his garments. “I do not see a lot of students using denim on their designs, so I really just wanted to play around and experiment with it. I tried to move away from the common designs of night gowns because I thought it would be a great market,” he said.
Other student designers who showcased their collections are Almas Nina who embraced the masquerade phenomenon and Likando Emily who proved how beads add detail to garments. Tulunga Paulus was also one of the designers who embraced the leather phenomenon.