African Fashion International (AFI) Fashion Week has drawn to a close after an action-packed three days of designers showing their latest collections, among other activities the organisers hosted.

Under the theme African Fashion Unite, designers from parts of the continent – including Cameroon, Congo and Madagascar, among others – gathered in Johannesburg to show their latest creations. African prints, celebrities and statement tshirts were no rare sight at this fashion week.

READ MORE: From Zozibini Tunzi to Khanyi Mbau, here are 8 celebrity red carpet looks we spotted at the AFI Fashion Week 

With sustainability and climate being a top talking points across the world, we saw these issues referenced on the AFI runway. On another fashion hot topic is diversity and we can safely say this local fashion week gave its international counterparts a run for their money. We were pleased to see a variety of women being represented on the runway.

Circling back to the actual collections, these are the top trends we spotted on the runway.

Taking up space

Volume was one of the key agendas on the runway – ruffles, trains and puffs. Designers, House of Jahdara, Masango by Siphosihle and KlûK CGDT showed how to command space with voluminous fashion.

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: Kluk CGDT Sho
SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: Kluk CGDT Sho

Hello summer!

A new version of Matte Nolim’s much-loved crop shirt that marries the exposed midriff with a daring cleavage made its way on the runway. Similar concepts are seen twice more on the AFI runway.

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: David Tlale fa
SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: Kluk CGDT Sho
SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: Kluk CGDT Sho

Ostrich leather and more

Leather made a few appearances on the runway, featured in corsets, dresses and skirts – while varying from patent to ostrich textures. Following the rave around Thebe Magugu pink faux ostrich coat that made it to a F.I.T Museum exhibition, the faux ostrich leather texture made its way on this fashion week in black.

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 11: Eric Rainsina

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: Kluk CGDT Sho

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: Kluk CGDT Sho

Stripes and prints

As the mixing print trend is at its peak, designers at AFI didn’t disappoint in delivering multi-coloured stripes and prints. 

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: Kluk CGDT Sho
SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: Kluk CGDT Sho

READ MORE: Inclusive model casting, GBV awareness, and the Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung collection make big news at Free State Fashion Week 

The corset

Designer Eric Raisina from Madagascar shows a textured corset. As the corset aesthetics is on the trends list, this is a piece that you could add to your look. The designer added a bright knit belt to the statement piece.

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: People attendi

Extended lashes

The feathered beauty look has once again hit the runway, as seen before on the Valentino Spring/Summer 2019 runway. David Tlale created his own look with black feathers on the models who walked the runway.

READ MORE: Face jewellery as seen at NYFW - Is this the next bizarre trend we're all going to get in on?

David Tlale model at AFI fashion week in Johannesburg:

Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer '19 show by designer Pier paolo Piccioli.

Statement handbags

Under the theme African Fashion Unite, these guests accessorised with a statement handbag. Handbags have become more elaborate with interesting textures, shapes and colours – and a boombox-shaped handheld bag is right on trend.

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: People attendi

Offbeat accessories

Speaking on statement accessories, designer Marianne Fassler had her models walk down the runway with ornamental cattle head necklaces around their necks.

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: People attendi

Floral headpieces

A trend spotted on the runway that will help as summer hits us is the flora as hair accessories.

READ MORE: This AFI Fashion Week we're b(l)ending the makeup rules and this beauty authority approves  

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 10: People attendi

ALL IMAGES BY GALLO

What were your favourite collections at AFI Joburg fashion week? Let us know here

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