David Alford, Harare F/W 2016
With the theme, “Fallen Angel”, Zimbabwe Fashion Week Designer of the Year 2015 closed the evening of Winter Fashion. The venue lights switched off , as the narrator introduced David Alford, Harare sharing David’s journey to a pitch black venue. Audiences immediately knew that the collection about to hit the runway was something extraordinary and BOLD. As the narration came to an end, the lights brightened the runway. The edgy music came alive as the models fiercely walked down the runway rocking David’s Fall Collection. The looks consisted of black and grey garments made from leather, chiffon and fur fabrics( A trend that I am all about this year #Fur , well #FauxFur!
Hope Masike “Fallen Angel” Finale piece in David Alford F/W 2016
The final look adorned by the almost unrecognisable songstress, Hope Masike rocked an avante-garde look. As the runway lights flashed swiftly, the mbira songstress glided down the catwalk with her head held high. The “Fallen Angel” had certainly arrived! With her wings boldly on her shoulders, Hope effortlessly brought the night to a fearless and powerful end. Thereafter , the models took their last walk, David in hand with Hope took his bow to an applauding crowd. From the quality garments, fabrics, music and lighting. David’s show was more than a clothing showcase; it was an artistic adventure with a dramatic and beautiful presentation. David does not simply showcase his clothes, his fashion shows are a story and the audience is transported to a unique place, “David’s World” where he reveals a powerful story.
After his impressive showcase, David shared his comments about the showcase:
Q: What was the nspiration for your collection?
DA: After producing a futuristic, minimalist S/S 2016 collection, which was very different for me, I wanted Winter 2016 to be almost a lead on from “Under the Skin” (Winter 2015), but something a lot more classical and in a way romantic. I began by looking into Classical Gothic art movement and quickly was drawn towards the Iron Gates that surround Cathedrals/ churches etc. That became my starting point. “Fallen Angel” is a story of a girl who has been outcast, condemned by society, and she is regaining control and power of her image and self. That’s why the idea of gates/ cages was intriguing to me. It is also inspired by personal events I’ve been through. It just felt very right to do a Winter Collection that was hard, strong, leather- looking, straps, buckles etc. with fur to give the clothes an almost shabby finish.
Q: Tell us more about the fabrics, colours and textures you used?
DA: My fabrics were perhaps the most complex part of this collection. As I mentioned I was inspired by iron gates of cathedrals etc., so the first thing I researched was the possibility of laser cutting faux leather, to create my own lace. Lace always tends to be of a floral motif so I wanted to create a leather- look lace of a motif that was strong and delicate and of something new, other than floral. All the laser cutting was produced right here in Harare.
The Faux Fur was umber important in this collection, I found a nice luxurious looking for, and however I wanted that gothic aesthetic so I also wanted a rugged scruffy faux fur which I used for the menswear looks and the sleeves on trench coats. I wanted to keep everything looking very hard, so I aimed to try and mix hard looking fabrics, such as faux stretch leather, and firm looking satins with soft faux furs.
Q: How does it feel to represent Zimbabwe at the African Fashion Reception) in Paris and Addis Abba. What looks can we expect for that fashion showcase?
DA: As a person who has come to live and work in Harare from the UK, it is a huge honour to represent Zimbabwe at the AFR 2016 in Paris (2nd July), and Addis Ababa (8th- 10th September, and I think it is testament to what an amazing country we live in, and how lucky I have been to be welcomed into the Zim Fashion industry, and hopefully show that African fashion does not need to live within stereotypical walls. I will be showing my Winter 2016 collection in Paris, and then my Winter 2016 & SS17 collection in Addis. I’ve also been invited to take the brand up to Nairobi Fashion Week in November and Accra Fashion week in October so it’s
an exciting year ahead.
David being congratulated by Guests
Q: Hope Masike closed for your show and has been seen in your pieces before. Can we expect more collaborations with her?Do also tell us more about the finale look she rocked.?
DA: Miss Hope Masike is possibly the most professional, kindest, and genuine people i have been blessed to collaborate with now on several occasions, and she has been a faithful follower of the brand since our first show last April, this is a relationship i intend to develop and hopefully we will be able to work with each other for many years to come, after all fashion and music fit so well together.
The Finale look from “Fallen Angel” came from my idea of constructing a Roman- like bust, a form of armour almost. I didn’t want to take the theme of Angels so literally, meaning having a lot of feathers, or imitations of wings throughout the collection, so I thought it was a good idea to have a final look that was so unique and summed up the entire collection. The cast is created from Fibre glass which we cast directly onto a dummy, then the bust and abdominal definition was constructed on top of that. The feathers are duck feathers which were then layed onto the fibre glass, the wings are whole wings which are held in place by a metal plate that sits under the
feathers on the bodice.