African Fashion International (AFI), along with Foschini, launched the Foschini/AFI FASTRACK competition with the idea of starting a platform for talented young designers to kick-start their careers in the fashion retail industry. We are delighted to share the collections of two of the 6 students who took part in this year’s AFI Foschini FASTRACK. The students who took part were; Nikita Newton, Mia Kreik, Chesley Wilson, Natalie Comberly, Hubré Walh and Tina Loftus. Mia Kriek came in second place with her Post-Apocalyptic Female Warriors pieces, and Chelsey Wilson came in third with her The Story of a Girl pieces. Both students shared their inspiration and motivation for their collections with us and we are happy to share it with you. Both Mia and Chesley have produced mini ranges with Foschini’s
Mia describes her Post-Apocalyptic Female Warriors collection as:
“The image of a post-Apocalyptic world probably seems like an unlikely place to draw inspiration for a fashion range. In popular culture, films and video games this destroyed world always seems dominated by strong men. However, being surrounded by many inspirational women, I realized that in this world of desperation and decay women will be able to take care of themselves, providing, fighting and protecting as much or even more that their powerful male counterparts. Studying the look of these male warriors I decided to adapt the look of body armour, strong structure and protective gear into female attire, following the female silhouette and still highlighting the female form, juxtaposition to the hard line visible in male armoury. Studying this world I found that military styling had a deep influence on the design aesthetics. I also focused on the durability surrounding military styling and I realized that this is the kind of clothing that would survive the apocalypse and protect against the harsh element accompanying this unforgiving reality. This is where I found one of the centre-pieces of my design inspiration, the parachute that informed many of my range choices.”
The inspiration for Chelsey’s collection The Story of a Girl comes from her own life experiences. She describes her collection as:
“Having the freedom to design whatever our heart’s desired sent my imagination on a little adventure. I decided to first develop a narrative by writing a story about a girl. The house she lived in, her strange and quirky habits, the bunny that lives in her bedroom and the places that most inspire her were all part of what inspired the clothing that I decided she would wear. Hence, I named the collection ‘The Story of a Girl’. Being a bit of a daydreamer, this ‘girl’ that I dreamed up is partly idealistic. Her life and things about her are a bit too good to be true at times, but then there are elements of her character that reflect a little bit of me and my personality. When designing and making clothing I get to use all the creative elements that I love – from drawing and conceptualising, to using my hands to create the end result – and sometimes even incorporate the element of photography and styling to enhance the end result further. What inspires me so much about clothing design is that it evolves throughout the process. From conceptualisation to completion, the product is ever-changing, and that is the beauty of it, that there is no right or wrong – just simple self-expression.”
Well done to both of you. We are all very proud!