Courtesy of RVK Fashion and Lush Events, Lilongwe hosted the first ever Africa fashion festival which many have described as a milestone in the fashion industry.
Having attracted participants from all over the world, the event gave an opportunity for local designers and models to go toe to toe with their international counterparts.
In readiness of the main showdown which took place from Friday 25th to 26th November at BICC, on Thursday night both local designers and models were treated to a cocktail at the newly opened Latitude Hotel along Mponongo Street in area 43.
“Fashion is art. As Latitude Hotel, we believe in art. In support of this event, we decided to host a cocktail to give a chance to designers and models to mingle and share artistic experiences in the fashion industry,” Latitude 13’s Bridget Mangulama disclosed in an interview.
The exquisite Hotel which has been renovated and decorated with African artefacts, truly represented the country’s tourism quite well as international fashionistas appreciated the warm welcome to Malawi.
“This is an international event that has attracted people from across the world. We wanted to give out the best as we are known for our warm heartedness,” Mangulama added.
She appealed: “Come and surround yourself in vibrant decor, progressive architecture and innovative vibe, whilst letting our high-tech conveniences. There’s a reason people describe Latitude 13 as “an expected oasis”.”
The following Friday night, the show went to BICC for first day of the two day event.
At the onset, the bar was already set high when the hosts Times TV’s Mr 265 and Morinann Marie introduced the first designer ex-Big Brother house mate Watipaso Kulemeka commonly known as Wati.
Wati’s Angel Wax opened the fashion festival with models parading on the runway in his designs.
As promised, Wati delivered having showcased a set of 10 different fabric designs backed by 25 different garments for both females and males which he did singlehandedly.
“I have more designs under my sleeve. I am looking for your support and together we can change the game,” Wati appealed to the audience.
But, it was Lilly Alfonso who shut down the first day.
Models showcased her designs which attracted loud screams and hand claps from the audience.
Speaking in an interview after the event, Alfonso described the event as meaningful saying, it has come at an optimum time.
“These events are important because they provide a platform for designers to showcase their designs. As you may be aware, this is the first time Malawi is hosting designers from all over the world. We need more of these events as we are getting ready for the global market,” Alfonso explained.
She added: “We need to challenge and learn from one another.”
Day two saw another local designer Lulu Alexa Makawa of Ms Pearl Designs winning the hearts of many as she got a stand ovation.
The audience could not hold itself as it welcomed every model in Ms Pearl Designs on the runway.
“This is the best I have seen so far. This designer is truly creative. Malawi has talent and the future looks bright in fashion industry,” said John Paulo, a South African based R&B artist who also performed at the event.
Among others, Nyalisa wear, Mafrica (UK-Malawi), Sandra Designs (Uganda), Adam’s Needle, Bonono Merchants (Lesotho), Esnart Nkosi (South Africa) showcased at the event with music performances from Lulu, Dali, Blaze and John Paulo.
From BICC, the fun went to the newly established Cockpit club for an after party.
This was one of the best weekends for fun seekers in the capital, Lilongwe.
“Let us appreciate, at least something positive is happening in Malawi,” said Clement Kwizombe, a renowned photographer.
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