The event was a celebration of all things Zambian, and designs were awash with the colours of the national flag: red, orange, black and green, with plenty of chitenge print. The three-day fashion extravaganza has been Zambia’s most elaborate and most successful in its eight year history, staging 48 designers (5 international), up from only 15 in 2013.
On the final night, newcomer Chisoma Lombe’s “ChizO” collection was a celebration of the eclectic, with a variety of fabrics and lots of sparkle. Designers Chiza Ngulube and Terrence Ngulube (with his collection “A Tribe Called”) brought a refreshing menswear line to the catwalk in a mixture of tailored cuts, dashiki-accented tracksuits, and funky chitenge shorts.
My personal favourite was Donna Mushanga’s collection of hooded dresses in East African khanga material, mix-and-match chitenge outfits, and daring cropped tops.
In celebration of Zambia’s designers, Charity Nyirongo – a household name – scooped the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, an honour befitting her achievements in the fashion industry.
Ranging from the sultry and feminine silhouettes of Mena Price and Nada Chibanda, to the patriotic celebration of the ‘Jubilee’ chitenge prints of Chola Lungu Mutoni and veteran designer Towani Clarke’s creations; from the nature-inspired offerings of Greek designers Nektana Donta and Petros Giannakakis, to celebrated Tanzanian guest designer Mustafa Hassanali’s ornate and luxurious gowns bedecked in gold and silver, Zambia’s fashion industry is clearly a serious contender on the international arena.
Zambia Fashion Week / Fortress
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