Contemporary South African brand ALC showed its autumn/winter 2022 collection on Thursday evening during South African Fashion Week. Staged at the Mall of Africa in Waterfall City, the runway show showcased 29 talented designers and featured a live audience for the first time since the pandemic.
The Durban-based menswear brand, known for its utilitarian aesthetic and workwear designs, takes a decidedly Eastern turn for its collection for AW21. Inspired by ancient Japanese aesthetics, the collection embodies elements of “wabi sabi”, the acceptance of imperfection and flaws, as well as “sashiko”, an ancient Japanese crafting technique used to mend, while simultaneously decorating, damaged clothing.
Models were sent down the runway in quilted and oversized coats and jackets, worn over layers of shirts, dresses and tunics. The uneven hems, mismatched fabrics and contrasting textiles all add to the “imperfect” feel. The color palette ranges from neutral shades of beige and ecru to darker tones of navy blue and brown, a juxtaposition of softness and strength. A patchwork of patterns feature heavily, sometimes in the same look; stripes, gingham, plaid and chevron prints.
Statement headgear was also deployed, from extravagant and larger-than-life quilted designs to practical bucket hats. The utilitarian touch was still very much present in the multiple pockets and fastenings that detail the pieces, which were mostly crafted from off-cut and upcycled materials, a nod to the brand’s commitment to sustainability.
View the runway images from ALC’s autumn/winter 2022 show at South African Fashion Week below and shop select styles from ALC here.