#MBFWJ17 | Day 3 – Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg – Spring/Summer ’17 Collection Reviews

By: Tshego ‘Red’ Mosiane

Image Credits: AFI Official Gallery 


The Mulatto French-African designer from the island of Gorée presented an all white collection perfect for a summer vacation to any place on the globe. Every item can be easily incorporated into anyone’s style, versatile and breezy. The only reservation would be the fact that most pieces don’t have lining, hopefully that’s in order for the use of eyelet lace to be clearer.

The highlights were the variety of short and long short-sleeved shirt dresses, the lace insets in the shirts and just the general beach side at a 5 star island resort feel.



The South African traditional cloth-inspired brand showed a collection designed for what has become local fashion media’s stereotypical “modern African woman“. Yes, the designer is using African prints but not in any original or inspired way. The market is over-saturated with brands like these showing almost identical designs. There needs to be more variation other than peplum tops and circular skirt dresses. 

The best part of the collection was the high quality execution. The highlight pieces came when the designer ventured slightly out of the typical and created colorful, sophisticated pieces which are still modest and traditional-inspired.


The Kimberly-born designer showed a dramatically glamorous collection titled “Queen of the Forest”. The theme was more visible in the barely-there set design than in the collection. But still, overall it did not give much differentiation on what we’ve seen from him in previous collections. A designer must have a signature but should always remain weary of feeling repetitive to the onlooker. It’s all a bit *too* familiar. Albeit a short collection, there is an issue of cohesion as well. Then, when you look closer there is also an issue of fabric choice. The duchess satin was often not the best option for that design, a silk crepe could have been better option – in that it is still luxurious but matte – but seems like Orapeleng is one of many designers who always turn to the same fabric regardless.

A highlights of this collection was the red off-the-shoulder exaggerated sleeve top as it shows that he can be more than just a special occasion designer. But of-course he showed off his true bridal couture roots with gowns, gowns and gowns for more red carpet sightings.




Seeing Plus Size fashion brands showcasing at any fashion week is rare, too rare, so seeing this social media famous line on the schedule was a welcomed change at first. The collection itself left a lot more to be desired. The models’ beauty and attitude distracted from how there was no real direction. It was not cohesive, very short and did not make sense as a collection being showcased at a fashion week but reads as haphazardly as when scrolling down a popular ootd  type instagram page.

The best part of the collection was undoubtedly the quality standard. The fit was just right, which is vital for these types of brands. 


The contemporary streetwear brand showed a collection which showed a balance between global minimalistic streetwear trends and the real street fashion of a majority of South Africans. Where most local brands try to change the authentic South African youth aesthetic, this designer instead appreciated it. The result is a collection that simultaneously ties in with international view of this kind of streetwear whilst still accurately representing what is really seen in the country.

The collection was made up of high quality well made pieces. Each garment can easily incorporated into any wardrobe. The use of denim and stripes gave us a few top looks to choose from.



A collection for the woman with a sophisticated yet delicate sense of style. The designer had a clear vision and customer clearly communicated as each look came down the runway. A look or 2 could have been scrapped just because compared to the rest they did not quite measure up. Also, the exposed boning trick did not need to be used as often.

Overall, the collection was absolutely beautiful. The highlights came with the variety of cocktail dresses that could be worn from the boardroom to a wedding reception.



There was only one look in the that should have been scrapped, the rest was an undeniable success. Tuelo Nguyuza is another designer who knows exactly who his customer is and how to communicate it. The TN woman is elegant yet playful when selecting a look for a special collection and he has more than enough options for them to choose from.

There were plenty of highlights. Firstly, the pieces with (what looks like) printed chiffon or tulle layered with fabrics of rich colour tones underneath still felt African-inspired but not using the now overdone cultural-inspired prints. Secondly, is the beading done on a few looks – not too much or too little.


This collection drew inspiration from images of slavery to explore a more historically rooted image of freedom through fashion. This was most evident in the nude colour palette of white and shades of brown and the use of relaxed silhouettes, puff sleeves and subtle tiered ruffles.

Unlike some of the other brands showcasing for the first time, this was cohesive and direct. It was well thought out with a specific customer in mind and executed with high quality standards. The highlights were looks that stood out because they drew on gender fluidity.


More has always been more for this veteran designer and this season is no different as he showcased a very long collection (by South African standards) with a lot going on for both men’s and women’s lines. Now, usually his “more” is streamlined but this time it felt a bit unhinged. In each sub-section of the collection, the men’s looks came out considerably better than the women’s due to less than desirably executed techniques or fabric choice. The evening gowns could raise an eyebrow in that they’re not necessarily on trend but when considering the DT clientele they make more sense – even that one golden disappointment.

Highlight looks for both men’s and women’s came in the bright pink digitally printed looks of relaxed silhouettes which looked luxurious, comfortable and vacation ready. The men’s striped suiting were also clear standouts.