T M . A W 2 0 2 3

“Whether carved on stone or retold orally from generation to generation, Africans have always had poignant, urgent stories to tell and preserve. This season, I wanted to profile some of those stories we was brought up on - from mermaids steering ships to wreck to a cunning poltergeist of whom one should never call by name - and translating it into a key collection for everywoman”Working with generous proportions that form a base for the many print motifs apparent in this AW23 collection, the most prevalent is an 1800s drawing depiction of a ship mid-crash, the tumultuous scene alluding to ‘Mami Wata’ - a creature half woman half fish that is known to have caused devastation in its path through seduction, using its voluptuous and long-line figure to lure fishermen astray with its melodic voice and compelling beauty.
"This figure, teetering between striking fear and instilling lust, is reminiscent of the Femme Fatale archetype. When women became unapologetically independent, intellectual and sexually autonomous, they became a concern; raising the anxieties of a patriarchal society”.This archetype lead to the general silhouette the collection is based off, which is generous, feminine and fluid - they let their presence be known, which forms a perfect base for the myriad of savoir-faire techniques explored this season. To continue the ship-reference, women in Madagascar created a special smocking technique on a lemon crepe caftan. By hand, they - through a series of small tucks and pleats - created a bust panel which looks like a perfectly folded fishing net, beautifully encasing the bust as a focal point. We also continue our exploration of pleats, working with Italy’s best crafters to create the collection's key styles - from pleats that have hidden African proverbs printed between each fold to permanently crushed pleats which open to reveal a bouquet of roses.The femme body, which is a focus of many folklore stories, is referenced literally through body-hugging knitwear in a variety of cotton, wool and mohair. One knit in particular - in bone and cobalt - shows illustrations of the female erogenous zones: a suggestion of the hip bone, a suggestion of the under-bust, and a suggestion of shoulder blades, an illusion on knit created by dotting shadows on those very body parts.The lookbook, shot by art photographer Pieter Hugo and styled by Chloe Andrea Welgemoed, is shot against rocks, sand, concrete, water - elements that, when enabled, can build entire societies and bring a community together; which is the point of shared folkloric stores.

PHOTOGRAPHER Pieter Hugo @pieter.hugo.official STYLIST & ART DIRECTOR Chloe Andrea Welgemoed @chloeandreawelgemoed STYLIST ASSISTANT Mikhailia Peterson @mikhailiapetersen PHOTOGRAPHER ASSISTANT Lungelo Mlati @theblvr_za PHOTOGRAPHER ASSISTANT John Second @johnalexsecond DIGITAL TECH Paul Hunt @paulhunt.jpeg MAKE-UP ARTIST & HAIR [Marianne] Claudine Nemeth @claudinethequeen HAIR STYLIST [Faith, Noelle & Mitchell] Mimi Duma @urban_mimz CREATIVE STUDIO SpaanSpeck @spaanspeck MODELS: Faith Johnson @faith__johnson Marizanne Visser @marizannevisser Mitchell Akat @mitchellakatofficial Noelle Graobe @graobe_noelle