Stiaan Louw presented one of the most talked about collections of Cape Town Fashion Week on Thursday night. Not a hint of Capetonian resort wear in this starkly monochrome post-apocalyptic collection. Alot of thought had obviously gone into making the collection work as a single entity with the looks evolving subtly. Tribalism was the key theme running through the collection with the models (selected from Cape Town’s creative community) looking like a sharper dressed version of some Mad Max gang. Although personally i’m a bit worried about all the ubiquitous skinny legged trousers (being tall and thin really would really help) they were spot on with Cape Town’s cooler club kids that had invaded the CTICC for the show. Whether intentionally or not I think the collection is tapping into a reaction to the new rave riot of colour that pervaded global youth culture last year: with dayglo optimism being morphed into something more brooding and dark. Although a million miles away in terms of audience and looks there was in a way a parallel with the darker atmosphere of some of the Joburg designers (Suzaan Heyns , Black Coffee and weirdly even David Tlale). Stiaan offers a real alternative voice to alot of the same old Cape Town styles and this collection was an interesting progression for his new menswear focus. It should be mentioned that he had a number of collaborators on this collection notably Chloe Townsend, the designer from Missibaba, who provide accessories for more visit his blog at Stiaanlouw.blogspot.com.

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