South African designers from Mpumlanga province have showcased their designs at the South African Cultural Seasons in Russia through a partnership between the Department of Arts And Culture and the Russian federation.
Cultural and traditional pieces are currently being exhibited at the All- Russian Decorative Arts Museum in Moscow. The exhibit called ‘African Explosion’ looks at contemporary African designs that can be fused into Russian couture.
The designs will not only showcase innovative modern cultural pieces but also traditional costumes created by different cultural groups from South Africa.
South Africa’s garments are known for their ethnic diversity. Through the ages, clothing worn by African tribes has been celebrated and admired.
Designers have now modernised traditional attire and bead-work to make high end fashion haute couture from the roughness of leather and animal skins. Add to this the tickle of feathers with bright bold colours embroidered to perfection.
The country’s clothes weave together a diverse nationality of people. The aim is to showcase and depict South Africa’s rich cultural diversity and promote trade.
“What this exhibition does it opens opportunities so that we can have our own designer shops not just Gucci and Versace we want a Xhosa Versace a Ndebele Versace and we are going to do it we have everything to offer to the world,” said Vusumzi Mkhize director general South African department.
The partnership goes a long way in supporting economic empowerment.
“South Africa is the biggest economic supporter in African countries and every year we promote our corporation and every year we find gems like this between our countries to promote our corporation and make it diverse, said Olga from Russian ministry of economic development.
The platform also provides opportunities for skills transfer.
The exhibition was well received with many flocking to see a variety of garments stitched with patriotic pride and national flair.