Students from the University of Namibia and the College of the Arts held fashion shows to showcase work produced by their students in 2014. Bobby Kanjoosa takes us through the highlights of what was on offer.
The University of Namibia first-year fashion design students wowed their audience with a collection made from recycled products. Using materials such as plastic bags, CDs, newspapers, broken bottles and every type of rubbish, they sought to find ways to transform waste into art. It was equally impressive to see how the students managed to complete complex garments with the toughest material.
Third year students brought on their game with a ‘Hunger Games’ inspired line. Some pieces were a brilliant portrayal of the exquisite fashions worn by the characters, while others fell terribly short. As the show went on, creativity seemed to be dipping lower and lower with some second and third year students presenting poorly constructed garments which seemed to be made with the imagination of pre-schoolers and did not fit the models with visibly loose threads.
Fourth year students seemed better prepared. Those who stood out were the likes of Helena Hangula, whose experience shone in each of her works. Innocentia Gaoses’ Victorian-styled collection was beautiful, with strong hints of inspiration from Nama-Damara and Otjiherero dresses. Marcellinus Swartbooi, a men’s collection designer, was the perfect example of a passionate student who knows what he is doing and strives for more. His collection was inspired by Nama patchwork (!nãba-rokhõedi) that were streamlined into men’s urban wear.
The College of the Art’s fashion show resembled that of a prestigious runway, as designer garments draped perfectly over tiny shoulders of confidence and attitude; professional in every way. Like UNAM, the first-years also worked with recycled material to create “body adornment”. The shwe shwe body adornment by fashion model and first-year fashion student Mailia Kalipi’s is what stood out here. In turn the second year’s were each asked to create a suit and a pair of shorts and I must say they did justice to this theme. In particular Abisia Iieka, Roberto Scholtz and Rose Nicanor stood out as their suits were elegant and creative.
The third years, a group of only women, are self-directed and had more freedom to design their creations. Using whatever materials they wished they each had to conceptualize and create a collection of four or five garments and name them. The third years had a strong female fashion line and had only one male garment amongst them. Tuyakula Shikomba went for a more winter inspired collection that still managed to be summer friendly. My best for the night was a collection by Nadia that made leather sexy. As the model paraded the runway the crowed couldn’t stop cheering for this collection.
Bobby Kanjoosa is the fashion content co-ordinator for Artwolfe