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Durban cultural and sub-cultural designs graced the runaway in the final day of the Annual Fashion Show by the Durban University of Technology’s Fashion and Textiles Department, held (last Friday), 4 October 2019, at the Station Urban Event Space, in Durban.

After two days of showcasing innovative and urban-inspired designs by 41 DUT students and two invited student designers from Minjiang University in China; only 21 students made it into the final runway where they showcased their pioneering designs that shape the city of Durban.

Speaking on behalf of DUT’s Fashion and Textile Department was Head of Department, Sunthra Moodley, she said putting together an outstanding garment was not easy, it required full dedication and patience and that made all 41 student designers winners.

She added that as this year’s theme focused on heritage and culture, students had to go on a self-discovery journey to allow them to reflect it on their designs.

Winning The Best Range On Show award was Andile Nsele, whose range focused on the journey one takes from being a physical member of a family to a spiritual ancestor.

He said putting this range together involved a lot of research on cultural beliefs and the afterlife. “Putting these designs together was not easy, I wanted something different and African so I had to go deeper into ancestral life and put it together into something meaningful,” said Nsele.

Scooping two awards for Best Men’s Wear and the Jonsson Workwear Award was third year student Tebogo Makgope, whose range was themed: “Point Road Gomora”. Makgope said his range was highly influenced by the environment and culture around Point Road in Durban CDB, as it is known as “The Gomora of Durban”.

He further added that he had big hopes for the future. “Winning these awards feels surreal and it is one of the moments I will treasure for the rest of my life. I have big plans for the future, hopefully one day I will showcase my range at the SA Fashion Week and internationally,” he said.

Faculty of Arts and Design Executive Dean, Dr René Smith said this year’s fashion showed us how diverse the city of Durban is and how South Africa as a whole is filled with wonder and creativity.

“It is very important to celebrate design and it is nights like this that inspire me as they show us how design can bring us together,” said Dr Smith.

The winner for Best Commercial Range Award was Georgina Brink. The Most Innovative Range Award went to Babalwa Matiyela. The Recognition Award was a joint win by Hanelka Naidu and Aaliya Docrat. The Judges Award was won by Alexandra Van Heerden. Winning the Merit Award was Sicelo Maphumulo and the TFG Award went to Sibusisiwe Khona. The Best Technical Student of the Year Award went to Siyabonga Mahlaba.

Outstanding students will also be given an opportunity to fly to China to compete in one of the biggest fashion competitions and further move to The Netherlands and France to compete in international competitions.

Giving the vote of thanks, Moodley shared her gratitude to all her staff who were hands on in making the event a success. She further thanked all the sponsors who contributed immensely into this year’s fashion show.

Pictured: Best Range Award winner Andile Nsele with model during the DUT 2019 fashion show.

Nomfundo Ngcobo

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