SAMW SS17 - Rich Mnisi X Thebe Magugu
First, a moment to discuss the significance of fashion designers pinning photographs to their clothing. We saw it just under a month ago from Raf Simons in Florence - a collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation - where it sparked conversation about turning the body into a site of art exhibition. Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magus’s baby pictures on shirts and coats were a collaboration with each other, a direct reference to their childhood and family. More personal than an art exhibition could ever be. Yet, when their customer wears one of these looks on the street, they’re exhibiting the face of an individual who has no blood relation to them or passers by. The distribution of these clothes can thus be likened to the experience of walking into a random art gallery, not knowing what to expect. Maybe the result of putting their baby faces on clothing for the world to see is Rich and Thebe’s comment on pop culture and the way it facilitates a constant ‘looking’ at individuals you do not truly know (Rich has said that pop culture is one of his most prominent house codes.)
Ultimately, this was a collection about interactions between people. Family, specifically. How do the baby pictures relate to the tea cup prints? “Every family drinks tea,” said Mnisi backstage. You’ll be hard pressed to find an item in this collection that doesn’t have a sense of specialness about it - each one has a distinct feel of individuality (is this not what fashion strives for now?) about it Together they form one big high-waisted, flare-sleeved modern family. We’ll all read something different into this collection, and it can all be traced back to the Mnisis and the Magugus: “We looked at older images of our families, photo albums, and we just spotted little things that we really liked and things that we wanted to explore.” A personal collection then, about interactions however personal or impersonal, that we’d love to get up close and personal with.
The Look: Modern family.
The Key Piece: The cup-print tunic.
Accessories Game: Metallic beauties from Waif.
We're Dreaming About: The flared selves.
Where to Wear: To the best of gatherings.
Post / Daniël Geldenhuys
Images / SDR