Heni being the winner of Designer of the Year South Africa award at the second annual FAB Night Out on 11 December, this collection was one of those we were most looking forward to at this year’s Mercedes Benz Johannesburg Fashion Week, and the designer known for his multifaceted and dynamic sense of elegance did not disappoint.
As hugs on a darkened runway and imminent separation and alienation opened the show and set the dramatic tone it was Heni’s trademark lavish display of opulent designs that kept the drama running high. Models with panda eyes and mascara running down their cheeks emerged from the darkness clad in pristine white designs. What caught the eye were the oversize pussycat bows, Victoriana collars, knee-high socks and girlish pigtails and Princess Leia buns that softened the smoky dark eyes and added a playful Lolita-esque touch.
While the girlish coquettery was ever present as a leitmotif through the show, Heni introduced the femme fatale sex appeal in the shape of loose fit metallic separates, relaxed knitwear, crochet in cosy creams and khakis, fitted skirts and daring side splits that would make Angelina Jolie blush. And of course black – short shorts, playful button up shirt dresses and play suits before the dark turned to light again, this time with more grown-up maxi dress up which echoed the same button detail of the earlier pieces with a pretty coat with peasant cuffs.
As the grand finale came with models cosying up once again on the runway and smizing for the cameras, we couldn’t help but wish we were cuddled up with a Heni piece of our own!
Images: Simon Denier/SDR Photoby