By: Chloe Felopulos, Fashion Director at SOUL
To walk into Lukhanyo Mdingi’s Fall/Winter 2019 presentation was like closing your eyes and walking into a dream. To enter the show, you walked through the large doors of Pier 59 Studios and entered a very dark room. The room was large, with every wall painted matte black and in the corner of your right eye, you saw a bright light.
Found in the light , were 11 dewey-faced, powerful, glowing models. They stood and they sat, some draped in scarves, while others wore beaded headpieces, dazzling in the light. They were gathered in one corner of the room, placed in front of exquisitely chosen fabrics and textiles, draped in simulation to the scarves on the models. The fabrics hung on stands as well as stools, and varied in a neutral tie-dye print, crimson sparkle, and a camel-crushed velvet. They were an effortless touch while simultaneously creating the perfect environment for which Mdingi was able to manipulate and invite many into.
Lukhanyo Mdingi was able to create the most enriched variety of texture and fabric within a neurally luxurious, warm-toned palette. The depth to which he understood this palette and transformed it to create a gorgeous exploration into South African fashion was exceptionally inspiring. From every bare foot to every last bead on a headpiece, Mdingi’s presentation was nothing less than finely crafted. The mixture of modern day silhouettes, such as his interpretation of the bomber jacket, were perfectly paired with, in contrast, South-African inspired styles, as he paired the jacket over a finely-tailored pair of high waisted pants with harem inspired legs in an iridescent copper fabric. The jacket was created from a perforated burnt orange fabric that we saw repeated throughout the collection and transformed into other pieces, such as my own favorite: the long tank dress with button detail up the left side.
From every head piece, gold embroidery, and mixed matched fabric, Mdingi reintroduced his aesthetic as finely structured fused with an organic touch. The use of coppers, burnt oranges, deep mahoganies, and crimson reds brought depth to the collection. At the same time, the incorporation of soft wool, cream linens, sparkly golds, and matte caramels created a uniqueness to every piece, while maintaining a beautifly threaded them with gorgeous execution.
Lukhanyo Mdingi’s line made you feel as his music did: peaceful, timeless, and luxurious. The relaxed rhythm of the music made you dream of the beach, and to walk along it in the sandals his models wore, robed in his chic cream linen two piece. Mdingi was able to transport his line to a new level of beauty and luxury, creating a dreamy space for his audience to witness true innovation and the creative mind, a dream one must never wake up from.