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July 25, 2012

Cape Town fashion – what inspires me

Selfi, who particpated in the Urban Art and Fashion show 2011, will be showcasing at this year's Fashion Week. Photo courtesy Tanki Em

I am not a fashion blogger nor do I aspire to be one, I am just in love with the power that fashion, trends and clothes have on ones self-esteem. With this in mind I ponder what it is about Cape Town fashion that inspires me?

Living in a diverse city, such as Cape Town, one has to celebrate the various trends in the city and the simple items of clothing that can be transformed into the most interesting ensembles. I am seldom amazed by what I see around Cape Town, but have decided to look at fashion from a creative point of view. With that shift in thinking I have become hooked on fashion, a topic which I learn about on a daily basis as a way of life and human interaction. 

Fashion in Cape Town is on its own level. Capetonians have bursts of concepts, which are formulated in wonderous patterns and creativity, as well as a rowdy nature which personifies their cheeky position on fashion. If you think about it, Capetonians are cheeky dressers, with classy and well-constructed ensembles consisting of various brands and styles – vintage mixed with modern, modern mixed with urban and urban mixed with smart casual. We don't stick to rules, we don't always follow the dress code on an invitation and, at times, we add loud accessories to a simple outfit. Capetonians are a people of leisure and pleasure, which inspires me to write about the city and its quirky fashion.

The surroundings in Cape Town also influence fashion trends in the city. It's a love affair men and women have with fabric, style, and the overall look. It's the feeling that washes over you when you see someone wearing a locally inspired ensemble that looks amazing, yet hints of New York's urban style during the day and even the red carpet look in the evening.

What inspires me about Cape Town Fashion? It's the local designer who is inspired by modern Cape Town and being on South African soil, it's designers such as Stiaan Louw, Maya Prass and Craig Port whose take on Cape Town as the go-to city for the latest trends, it's designers such as Gavin Rajah, who designs with no restriction and pure authenticity and it's the Goat Clothing designer who injects fresh bursts of fabric manipulation and colour into urban streetwear. But, most of all, it's the fact that any street in this city is our red carpet moment, the pavements are our fashion ramps and every cafe, store, and trendy spot is a portal to a unique look adored by many.

This city is a fashionista's paradise, an uninhabited canvas, a slice of fashion heaven with its own look and a scenery to match. In Cape Town, we cannot be placed in a box, we are just celebrated.

Tanki Em is the editor of cptstreetmag, a weekly e-zine, showcasing Cape Town's diversity, people, trends, events, entertainment, entrepreneurs and local news. Follow her on twittter: @TankiEm.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from July 25 to 28, 2012.

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