Saturday, 2 August 2014

Is #ZimFashion late on Fashion Trends?

I’M BACK! After a month long hiatus with a trip down south, myself and the blog are back; with fresh new content to indulge in. Whilst I was unexpectedly away on a trip to South Africa I had a lot of free time on my hands – observing and watching the entertainment industry in South Africa. I remember indulging in watching a lot of VUZU TV with V Entertainment and being glued to their 5th birthday celebrations in Durban July. I remember focusing soo much on what the presenters were wearing – their look, style and fashion! They were always fashion forward and stylish, with my favourite personality being Dineo Moeketsi. Every time the VUZU 5th birthday ad came on, the only thing I concentrated on was her short pink long sleeved jumpsuit with the gold belt to match - It was my fave!

Ok! Enough narrating and let’s get straight into it! The FASHION TRENDS – I started drawing a comparison between SA fashion and Zim fashion. SA fashion was somehow not any less different from American fashion – what you see in the mag is what you got in real life – fashion conscious, always on point and always on trend. There were different looks to suit different personalities and different stores to cater to different individuals which really ran down to your budget. My obvious shopping stint was Mr Price, The Hub, and Ackermans. But whilst I was doing this, I continued to observe what the trends where, what was dressed on the mannequins and what the current clothing campaign ad was. My conclusion ran down to the following items that where trending on the streets and stores in Joburg;

1. Crop top - short, cute, sexy, stylish, bold and printed! Crop tops where a big trend that dominated the shelves in MRP (Mr. Price). Not only embraced in the stores but with SA bloggers too; with looks from and Back home the crop top trend quickly came in some stores and died, having spotted a few if not a handful of stores that carried a few crop tops. Not sure if it was a lack of popularity or the trend might officially come later on, only time will tell.

Chenai Muhwati from Fabulously Pink blog wearing a crop top with a matching skirt.
Carlinn from the very popular SA blog Superficial Girls wearing a crop top and Midi skirt both from MRP.
2.Cheeky shorts – denim cheeky shorts where in an upcoming ad campaign with Jays Jays for their summer collection which was slowly starting to take flight. Back home in Zim, I’ve spotted a handful of stores with cheeky little bum shorts but none worn on the streets.

Cheeky summer shorts worn by Carlinn from Superficial Girls, accompanied by the Bowler bag.
3,Circle/Midi skirts – just before I left, MRP’s summer ad campaign had a feature on ladies circle skirts both printed and plain. When I googled it the trend seemed to be going into its second season. Here in Zim however, full length or short circle skirts are embraced by local designs such as Mucha Couture, Blaque Excellence and, as for the normal individual – I can recall myself and blogger Sharron Mungazi of Deffinatly Shaz who have taken on the trend publicly. But it’s safe to say, I’ve seen it picking up in parts of the city. I remember getting a circle skirt made late last year and my tailor of choice had a difficult time understanding why I chose a circle skirt and why I wanted a flouncy silhouette. Needless to say I had to look for a new tailor and new fabric!

A pic from Sharron Mungazi's blog - Deffinatly Shaz, wearing a deep blue Midi Skirt.
Back in June I did a second post with my print Midi skirt
Once again Chenai Muhwati also rocking the trend on her blog.
4. The Bowler bag - The bowler bag is a round little fellar that has three straps in  total; two shorter straps on each side and one long shoulder length strap. The bowler is super cute and comes in a block colour that can be accompanied with lighter or darker hues such as the one below. Once again, Sapatos had these bags in stock around June and Edgars has a colourful string of bowlers as well. Greatermans also had a few ‘Dazzle’ bowlers before it shut down, and street style wise I spotted a handful of ladies carrying bowlers.

Bowler bag
Sourced Online

5. Ankle Wedge boots
– ankle boots where the winter boot of the season, whilst the wedge cut was a popular trend. If I remember correctly MRP, Legit, Ackermans and The Hub stocked on the wedge boot with both zip ups and lace ups. Which automatically meant the young and fashionable where taking on the trend strongly! Coming back home the trend was alive with my own ankle wedge boot from Sapatos, and a few boutiques in the city stocking some. Trend wise it wasn’t known, with a lot of individuals still opting for the good ol’ knee length riding boot to keep warm.

Ankle Wedge boots both from MRP during the winter season.
Ankle Wedges from Sapatos back in June.
6. Snoods – snoods were a big trend during July. Both men and women, young and old were rocking a snood, either knitted snood or the fabric type. The usual long wrap around scarves seemed to be a thing of the past. In Harare however I have only ever spotted a snood once at Joina City’s Sapatos.

Ladies Snood in Woolworths
Men's snood wrapped around a mannequin in Truworths Men.
7. Pullover knits – pullover knits were the order of the day. Whether lightweight or chunky and bold – they were stocked up in a lot of the stores and on the individuals as well. When it comes to knits at home, it hasn’t been fully embraced yet, especially the imprinted sweatshirt or one with graphics and print. Some of the nice pullover knits can be found in Edgars or Truworths – but it is usually streamlined to one look and not a variety.
Ladies stylish pullover knits on the mannequins by studio.w in Woolworths stores.
8. Wellingtons – I’m not sure what the fascination was but wellingtons where a winter favourite. Wellingtons are rain boots that had been given an updated and somewhat fashionable look. Wellingtons where just as popular as ankle wedges than your ordinary knee length boot, with bright colours, funky designs and characters for both the young and old. I haven’t seen a Wellington in Harare, as of yet. I’m still to find out, although they aren’t really my style.
Little kiddies Wellingtons in a variety of colours - also in Woolworths.
With the trends covered above, here is the verdict:

Can we Question Moral values to Fashion?
Where are we on the trend scale? Are some of Harare’s fashionistas too late or we put soo much reliance on tradition and patriotism that soo much of our trends are muted or non-disclosed to the public? You only see shorts, short minis and crop tops at suburban events or parties where the gate is closed and no one knows what’s going on inside OR at a night club where like-minded individuals hang out and understand each other. Taking a mid-bearing crop top to the streets or cheeky bum shorts out on the town may seem sketchy and not the brightest idea as society might shun you, look down upon you and more or less label you. The scenario is even worse if your mode of transport is combis and not your own personal car! Safe to say don’t go there..

Money or Fashion fad? Is it worth it to spend?
Not all cases of fashion trends are late in Zim. Some are on time and on point, if you have extra cash to spare in some of Harare’s top boutiques. Imported labels from Europe, America and South Africa are the norm, and the price tag is too hefty for a normal wallet. In most cases you find yourself calculating ‘the opportunity cost’ when it comes to buying a designer blouse once off or use that money to buy three cute blouses in Powersales. Options are limited as the designer blouse is one of a kind whilst your cute blouse from Powersales is worn by three other different women you bump into in the CBD. Creating an individual look is a challenge which really runs down to your finances. If you are not hesitant, kumabhero is always an option to check out.

What do we say about trends? Can we embrace them?
When we talk of trends we talk of the in-thing! What’s hot, what’s happening at that moment! With the economic scrunch in Zim and the textile industry still trying to revive, a lot of individuals just want to be clothed and not look at trends because it is costly, unbeneficial and sometimes the fabric makes you question twice on your investment. Whilst a country like South Africa can invest in trends, the same cannot be said about Zimbabwe. Until we rise above our economic scrunch, trends are the least concern on any ordinary Zimbo’s mind. Putting food on the table and paying school fees is top priority!

So there you have it - What do you say about trends in Zimbabwe? I have covered numerous articles on trends and I have tried a few here and there on the blog. A lot of reliance with the trends I have covered where either tailor-made or assistance from close friends who constantly cross the border between Zim and SA. Now onto you, do you think #ZimFashion is late on global trends? What are your thoughts?

DISCLAIMER: This article is in the views of the writer. From travelling to South Africa and back home – I only observed, asked and noted down notes through my own research. I’m not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post. I'm always on a quest to question Zim Fashion; by redefining it, bringing it to your attention and finding solutions through this blog.

*The #ZimFashion debate continues! Check out the first post that covered "What's In the Fashion Industry in Zimbabwe", and weigh in.*

Tendai Sophia.

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