WEARING BLACK IN COLOUR

One designer, one photographer, one stylist, one collection, one shoot.

By Rea Khoabane, photo stylist Asanda Sizane and photographer Trevor Stuurman pose in Cape Town for the MaXhosa collection by Laduma Ngxokolo

In the name of fashion, three young South Africans who are getting international attention came together recently to show off their African pride for a striking photoshoot.

Designer Laduma Ngxokolo, stylist Asanda Sizane and photographer Trevor Stuurman were recently shot on the streets of Cape Town wearing the MaXhosa spring/summer 2016 collection designed by Ngxokolo.

Titled ”Mnta’nomgquba”, which is Xhosa for native Africans – the collection is a celebration of contrasting bright colours against dark skins as a way of appreciating the colour diversity and African pride in South Africa.

Using their different skills the designer, stylist and photographer believe they are a physical representation of Mnta’nomgquba. The collection, including long and short dresses, shorts, golf shirts and long and short skirts, consists of 30 pieces put together to create 16 looks.

Ngxokolo, who recently exhibited his collection at the Vogue New Talent Exhibition in Italy after winning the inaugural Vogue Scouting for Africa prize, explores knitwear design solutions that would be suitable for amakrwala, or Xhosa initiates.

” I love working with Sizane and Stuurman because, besides styling fashion campaigns in a credible way, they know the history and vision behind my brand so they understood me as a client very well,” says Ngxokolo.

Sizane, who is the fashion editor of Woolworths magazine, says her fascination with clothes began at the age of six. ”From that age I knew fashion was my calling. I drew inspiration from the women who raised me,” she says.

As a Xhosa woman, Sizane says the styling came naturally because she knows the designer and relates to the brand. “When I envisioned it, I could hear the sound of the collection. I could feel its rhythm,” she says. “We wanted to capture the essence of the name and respectfully pay homage to the amaXhosa.”

She says that during the styling the collection felt lightweight and more suited to summer than Ngxokolo’s previous work. “The blankets were smaller, so I instinctively layered them around the waist or reused them as headpieces. There was opportunity to be inventive, like fashioning a headwrap from a pair of shorts,” says Sizane.

Stuurman, who is the producer for MaXhosa’s look book (a photoshoot created for marketing purposes), says shifting from being a photographer to being a model and stylist for a day made him realise the talent of other creatives. “Justin Polky is a legend in my eyes,” he says.

“With this photoshoot we came together to celebrate and make a progressive heritage brand proudly made in South Africa and celebrated worldwide.”