#alienadventures: David Tlale’s downtown drama
To say that David Tlale likes a bit of drama, is like saying Jen Su might be persuaded to wear a hat. From live orchestras at midnight to “that” show on Mandela Bridge, David likes to push boundaries, and along with them, a lot of his critics buttons. In most cases, David’s love of drama and spectacle overpowers the clothes; but at least he agitates.
And we can always do with a bit of creative agitation.
His installation for #MBFWJ2013 did not disappoint. Staged on the stairs of the old City Hall (now Gauteng Legislature), with the guests filling the piazza, David presented his collection on a troupe of static models. The soundtrack, the clackety clack of old-school typewriters, was acted out but two rows of typists – although I’m still unclear about the concept.
His groupies swarmed downtown, while the fashion press were bussed in (on time), and for about an hour, the City Hall’s piazza once again served as a town square where the city’s residents congregate for a public spectacle. The collection stayed true to David’s handwriting: richly textured, unapologetically flamboyant, conversation starting and, of course, dramatic. The imposing columns of the City Hall steps somehow balanced the collection’s opulence, providing yet again a memorable experience, but unfortunately, leaving one with little recollection of the individual pieces themselves.
So here they are again
As for the rest of the shows on the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg schedule, I can’t comment. For the first time since its inception, AFI did not offer me any accreditation to this fashion week (I received this show’s invitation direct from David). Puzzled, but it may or may not have something to do with my last City Press column – http://www.citypress.co.za/Columnists/African-time-is-a-time-bomb-20121103/