David Tlale, in his first showing back from New York Fashion Week, presents a collection that indicates a turning point in his already celebrated career.
Gone was the often over-the-top pageantry and extravagant couture his shows had become associated with, and instead, he treated the audience to a comparatively restrained and ernest collection that was neither patronising, nor contrived, but instead felt authentic and truly accessible.
With references to the heyday of Sophiatown, the cultural and political epicentre of Johannesburg during the 1940's and 1950's Tlale intimated an nod to a particular African aesthetic. He fittingly showsed houndstooth dip-dyed in canary yellow and offset by indigo colourfields for jackets, skirts and suits.
A-line, tunic and the obligatory this-season pelmut all featured alongside mutton-leg sleeves – as well as belted Empire-line maxi's in printed sheer fabrics.
Trending wrap and fringe Navajo-styles were contextualised in native buckskin and rawhide for suits and coats, worn with camel and sand colored wraparounds.
The collection showcase culminated in a harrowing gospel choir assembly on the runway, galvanising the designer's back to basics message