2016 Great Year For David Alford Harare
2016 has been an incredible year for rising Fashion House, David Alford Harare. The award winning brand dedicated most of the year penetrating the international market showcasing in Ghana, France and Kenya.
Their well received Spring/ Summer collection Centurion debuted at Accra Fashion Week before making it’s way to the prestigious UNESCO Africa Fashion Reception in Paris and finally Nairobi Fashion Week. Renown for its attention to detail and meticulous finish, the brand has ended the year on an unmatched high being awarded Best Designer Couture at the Style Oracle Fashion Awards and Designer of the yearatthe Zimbabwe Models Awards 2016 respectively. That’s not all, the brand was selected out of 8000 designers to participate at New York Fashion Week in February 2017!
Established in December 2014, David Alford, Harare is a contemporary minimalist Fashion House which strives to create a new and exciting dimension to African Fashion. The house combines passed influences from Fashion, art and architecture with modern day techniques of producing clothing and accessories.
Since the launch of the Brands first collection in April 2015, it has enjoyed much recognition at home and abroad.
• Awarded Zimbabwe Designer of the Year 2015
• Participation at Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe 2015.
• Most successful feature on Diana Opoti’s 100 days of African Fashion 2015.
• Participation in Accra Fashion Week 2016.
• Participation in The UNESCO Africa Fashion Reception, Paris 2016.
• Participation in Nairobi Fashion Week 2016.
Creative Director, David Alford says “2016 was a tremendous year for the brand to further its reach outside of Zimbabwe, and for our overall team to refine developing collections. 2017 looks set to take the Brand to new heights and give us the oppurtunity to immerse ourselves in more prestigious Fashion Shows with the hope of our garments being stocked by International stores etc.”
Committed to spreading the brands knowledge, ideas and processes to the wider upcoming Fashion community within Zimbabwe and the diaspora, the David Alford Harare team contributed to the facilitation of the Zimbabwe Young Designers Program 2016. A program that educated designers with no previous experience in concept development, design, pattern cutting and construction. In addition to this, Alford was Guest of Honour for Chisipite Senior School’s first ever fashion show in November.
As the brand’s star continues to rise and and leave Zimbabwe imprinted on the global fashion map, many aspiring and established designers will continue to draw both inspiration and motivation from the brand, it’s precision and excellence.
CENTURION, Spring/Summer Collection 2016 as articulated by David Alford Harare Creative Director: David Alford.
“Centurion, began for me as a continuation of our Winter 2016 collection, “Fallen Angel,” which sort inspiration from artwork from the 15th Century. I knew I wanted to portray an image of a girl who was encased in armor and had the need to use clothing as a form of protection; so all this considered it made total sense to me to continue seeking inspiration from the same period of history.
The 14th- 15th Century was a time when War was rife across Europe, the British combating the French, Spanish, Portuguese etc., and also saw the armor of these armies develop from simple chain mail garments to completely encase the wearers body in sheets of molded steel. The most common way to create an armored plating effect with fabric is to form the fabric into pleats and so this is where the collection really began to take shape.
To contrast the initial inspiration of royalty, and decadence I wanted the collection to have a totally futuristic minimalist feel to it, so as to form an almost science fictional warrior aesthetic, so I also used the simplicity of 1960’s architecture as a guide to achieve this.
Fabric was a key part of the make up of the collection. Faux Leather was a must but I wanted to use a contrasting fabric that would look just as hard and intimidating once pleated and constructed so cotton became the option. A major fabric choice was used to create the Trench Coats and Jackets. Spun Bond is a fabric usually used concealed in furniture, car seats, and many other day-to-day objects. I liked the way that Spun Bond contrasted the impenetrable Cotton and Leather with its transparency and cloud- like appearance. Furthermore it was the idea of taking something that is usually concealed, and using it to make an exoskeleton, the opposite to what a suit of armors function is.
Unintentionally Centurion developed from the initial European Medieval inspiration and became more closely inspired by Traditional Japanese Samurai Warriors. High, wide collars, and uneven hem lines echoed that sense and style of Japanese cutting and the Kimono, combined with floor length skirts worked well to elongate the body and was also a reference back to the more feminine side to Medieval Europe.
Centurion is a culmination of history, futurism, tradition, culture and politics. It seemed particularly relevant for me to do something, which reflected what was happening socially, and politically around me at the time. A time when Zimbabweans were rising up and fighting for what they believe in and the changes they want to see. I also feel people have always used clothing as a form of protection, for example using tailoring as a status symbol, or symbol of authority and power”.