The Coutts Collection F/W 2021
Lukhanyo Mdingi, designer of his namesake brand founded in 2015 and based in Cape Town South Africa has been selected to participate in the first edition of the Ethical Fashion Initiative accelerator programme, which sees the launch of the most interesting talents from the African creative scene at this years Pitti Uomo 99.
The new collection confirms the brands dedication to the practice of creating timeless and beautifully crafted clothes emblematic of the brands authenticity and integrity. Except this time it also serves as an ode to love and friendship.
At the heart of this collection is a poignant love letter to another young South African designer, fellow fashion collaborator and dear friend Nicholas Coutts who unexpectedly departed (too soon) in May 2019.
Aptly named ‘The Coutts collection’ it presents a confident, vibrantly rich mix of artisanal craft and classically tailored minimalism, reflecting key elements of the duo’s individual design aesthetic. However as a basis, considerable consideration is given to a sustainable approach in terms of functionality of design, use of natural textiles and harnessing women-led community involvement.
Central to the collection are the N.Coutts inspired oversized hand woven scarves, generous in their length and breadth, harmonious in its mixture of rich tones and texture, and robust, almost seductive in its hand made tactility especially given the context of the times we live in.
Importantly, the design narrative is created with a contemporary outlook that embodies indigenous culture, craft and South African heritage. This is done in a collaborative partnership between designer and a community of highly skilled women from an organisation called Philani based in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
Other key pieces to draw attention to in the collection are silk printed scarves, abstract patterned knitwear in bold yet warm colours and a striking sunset-orange jacket with standout pocket and brass button details made from the highest quality, locally sourced fabrics including angora kid mohair and merino wools.
Collectively, the pieces speak of joy , and of the power of togetherness. But they also bring the makings and potential of local luxury fashion in South Africa into sharper focus.
Written by @Leannetrcy