picture by Erin De Swart, designed by Siphelele Ntombela
Siphelele Ntombela is from Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, he graduated in Textile Design at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In 2017 Siphelele Ntombela designed the African inspired Mohair Range called African Renaissance Collection.
The Range was inspired by the book Tribe to Township by Peter Becker, which talks about the lives of Africans pre-colonization and after colonization. The concept of colonization was the focal inspiration of the range, where Africans went to the cities to find jobs and were influenced by the Western Culture. This shift birthed a lot of South African Styles in the Township e.g Panstula and Skhothane.
African Renaissance Collection takes influence from the western culture but embraces the cultural aesthestics of the Zulu culture. The triangular patterns on the garments are inspired by the Zulu earrings worn by the women. The male garment consist of three pieces which are the cardigan, Sleeveless Suit Jersey and Ibeshu. “iBeshu is the rear apron made from calf skin (from stillborn or dead calves). Those of young men involved in active pursuits are knee length whilst those of the older men are ankle length” (Zulu Culture, N/a). The female garment has four pieces which is the dress, belt, scarf and isiColo. IsiColo is a hat worn by married women.
These garments were showcased at The Collective Graduate Fashion show which won third place and Bay Fashion Sunday.