African heritage meets contemporary fashion in Thebe Magugu's 'Folklorics' Collection
By Lindelwa Masuku
The fashion industry is an ever-evolving space, with new designers emerging and making their mark. One such designer is Thebe Magugu, a South African fashion designer who is taking the fashion industry by storm with his unique storytelling approach to fashion.
Thebe Magugu's latest collection, 'Folklorics,' is an exceptional example of how he uses fashion as a means of storytelling, paying tribute to South African and African culture.
Thebe Magugu is a Johannesburg-based fashion designer who founded his eponymous brand in 2015. Since then, he has won numerous awards, including the LVMH Prize for Young Designers in 2019, becoming the first African designer to win the prestigious award. He has also been named as one of Forbes Africa's 30 under 30 creatives, and his designs have been showcased in prestigious fashion events worldwide.
Thebe Magugu's contribution to the South African and African fashion industry has been phenomenal. He is a pioneer of African fashion, taking inspiration from his heritage and creating designs that tell stories of the African continent.
His designs are a fusion of modern and traditional, blending contemporary silhouettes with African prints and motifs.
The 'Folklorics' collection is the latest addition to Thebe Magugu's body of work, and it is a testament to his exceptional design aesthetic. The collection pays homage to the earliest forms of storytelling through Cave-Drawn Styles, with hunter-gatherer figurines hunting for bisons branded with the Sisterhood emblem.
The collection's design elements are inspired by ancient storytelling techniques, with the use of rustic red boulders in Johannesburg as a photographic backdrop for the illustrations.
One standout piece from the collection is the Chalk White Knitted Dress. The lightweight cotton dress features a slash across the chest, a handkerchief-style hem, and an oversized chalk white geranium flower. The three-quarter sleeve is trimmed with loose straps, and it is paired with the chalk white Sunday Best Boots.
The wool suit in an Avocado Oil tone features a notched lapel jacket that cinches at the waist and wrists through bungee-cord elastic and small stainless steel toggles. The trousers are straight-cut with a slit on the left-side which opens from the knee-line.
The delicate chiffon caftan with soft surface bristles in Lemon & Black colorways features low armholes, creating a regal drape when worn. The garment has a foulard grown out of the neck bearing a stainless steel Sisterhood Emblem.
The Sisterhood Emblem is another recurring design element in the collection, seen in a graphic step-and-repeat motif across a variety of styles, from a Tailored Strappy-Waist Suit to a 50's-style Swing Trench Dress. The emblem represents a sisterhood that transcends borders and celebrates the power of women.
The 'Crushed Roses' effect achieved by finely mushroom pleating printed fabric and stopping 20 cm near the hem allows for the last row of roses on those hems to show as a flat finish, which was further laser-cut out to show the individualistic petals of each rose.
The Asymmetric Pleated Skirt in Candy Apple is another noteworthy piece in the collection, with African proverbs written on the hem's examination pad.
Thebe Magugu's 'Folklorics' collection is a beautiful expression of African fashion and storytelling. The collection's design elements pay tribute to the earliest forms of storytelling, showcasing Thebe Magugu's unique approach to fashion.
The collection is a fusion of traditional and contemporary, featuring African prints and motifs, and contemporary silhouettes. Thebe Magugu is taking fashion storytelling to the world, showcasing the richness and diversity of African fashion.