Thursday, June 8, 2023

#RunwayRundown: Altaroma 2014’s “Beat of Africa” Showcase & More

With Altaroma just concluded, we’re looking back at its best in show – biasly in love with every single thing we saw in its Beat of Africa show (which included garms from Jewel by Lisa and Duaba Serwa to name a few), but equally in awe with the Italian offerings  from both new and established designers.

Here’s 10 favourites to fret about, below – ones you should look to for your new fall wears;


Jewel by Lisa

Kickstarting our rundown, is Nigerian designer Lisa Foliwayo’s Spring/Summer’15 collection, which was presented at the ITC’s Ethical Fashion “Beat of Africa” show at Altaroma, where the designer showcased as a special guest. With the label’s signature adorned prints, the range burst onto the catwalk with clashing colours and textures, but loved even more was Ms Foliwayo’s play on length and layering – a half skater skirt at the hip added oomph to a sleek, side-split  maxi dress, and a pencil skirt looked the business with its tri-layered, wrapped hem. Just lovely, Lisa – as always.

duaba serwa

Duaba Serwa

Also at Altaroma and ITC’s “Beat of Africa” showcase, Ghanian label Duaba Serwa showed up with a line of Spring/Summer’15 wears designed for women who prefer “understatement to extravagance.” The brand say that their “style is decided but [with] a casual elegance,” and in this case that’s mirrored prints on ladylike dresses – mostly fitted to the frame but either highlighting the shoulders or the hips via volumes of fabric, tiny cutouts or luxe flock and floral print; good wardrobe things to think about for 2015.


Mina Evans

Ghanian designer Mina Evans-Anfom did the asymmetrical thing in style, using a sophisticated-fun palette of deep pinks and purples, bold blues and muted peach, and throwing all sorts of dress lengths in for good measure. There was print, there was colour-blocking and there was embellishment to the neck. Nab something from this collection asap for statement-making when the season comes around.


Stella Jean

Special guest at the “Beata of Africa” showcase, Haitian designer Stella Jean won the platform’s Who Is On Next? competition in 2011 – a talent scouting initiative organised by Altaroma in collaboration with Vogue Italy – and nowadays, spends time being invited to showcase collections alongside Giorgio Armani, while creating with a commitment to support women in developing countries in mind. Using hand-woven textiles from Burkina Faso, accessories made ​​from materials hand-painted in Mali and producing accessories and jewellery between Kenya and Haiti, Ms Jean has crafted a cool Spring/Summer’15 collection for men and women, which included print on print, bold accessories and bright colour, and made an impact on our plans for next year’s wardrobe. ‘Wearable’ isn’t even half the word…


Sarli Couture

Decadent and in homage to “It Girls” like Jane Birkin, Kate Moss and Edie Campbell, Sarli Couture’s clothes are said to be reminiscent of an ‘ethnic-seventies’ (pony and safari skins are seen against kimonos, so…), although to us at SPICE, there was something a little sweeter at play. In fact, with its carefully placed fringing and candy-stripe colours, the line has a little ‘retro pix’n’mix about it’ which, like sugar, we just can not get enough of. #Delicious.


Piccione Piccione

Young talent Piccione Piccione put delicate designs down the runway to compete at the 10th annual Who Is On Next? competition, with a lineup of feminine garments giving sheer, detailed and smart looks for Autumn/Winter’14. There were see-through sleeves, mirrored prints and florals aplenty, in most cases paired with thin-strapped sandals and tidy collars – the way to do modern day ‘cool girl’ and turn heads wherever you’re going.

Daizy Shely

Daizy Shely

Rising designer, Daizy Shely has an imagination and a half, as well as a thing for textures. Also competing in the Who Is On Next? 2014 comp, Ms Shely’s fall shells came sequinned, feathered or in leather; always bright and in a pallet of blue and lemon. We enjoyed her little-girl’s-dream-made-grownup with skirts to the knee and bare midriffs, but the touch of urban whimsy – lace up heels and pumps worn over knee-high socks – brought an added bounce off the wall that made the collection even more memorable. We dig it.


Renato Balestra

Doused in delicate pinks (recounting pearls and early dawns in just a hue), this collection, contrasted with deep midnight black, has an ’80s nostalgia to it we adore. Cocktail dress bare bold, draped sleeves and skirts are full and flouncing – but with structured shoulders that Grace Jones would surely kill to be caught in, we suggest any of Renato Balestra’s dresses for any fall fashion parties you’re RSVPing to.

luigi B

Luigi Borbone

Inspired by the different social roles of women throughout history – specifically those of the Middle Ages, eighteenth-century Marie Antoinette-era and the times of Pasolini’s Decameron – designer Luigi Borbone put together an eclectic yet fluid story in garments, which went from monastery-style dresses to futuristic androgyny, with Swarovski crystals intervening on silk and tweeds. All wearable despite a backstory that might puzzle you if it were presented to you in the fitting room, we assure you this is one for most bodies. Fall for this come, er, Fall.


Rani Zakhem

Also using a fiery collection of reds – many of which “stolen [from a] summer cloud illuminated by the rays of the sun”, Rani Zakhem’s lineup radiates glamour, with lengths of all varieties cut on gowns for all sorts of women. The Autumn/Winter’14 range of lace and tulle dresses were crafted in “tribute to the woman, who – through her metamorphosis from candor to passion, bloom to maturity, in the light of the day and night  – never ceases to amaze and delight” – a woman this collection is much alike then.

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