The end of the year is slowly creeping up on us, and the seasonal change has not quite arrived. I started a conversation about the bad weather with my colleague Toni, and as it happened she was in the process of ordering a jersey online. This led to a bigger conversation and I was introduced to a fashionista who creates knitwear as if each jersey was a unique piece of art.
Laduma Ngxokolo is a South African designer who encapsulates the energy of contemporary life using traditional Xhosa patterns and shapes on knitwear. He is the mastermind behind the knitwear brand MAXHOSA.
Our country’s mix of tribal visual languages is inspiring both local and international trends. Ngxokolo is one of a few talented individuals who has managed to evolve a craft to the extent that he has made it modern and sexy. In doing so, he is also keeping the Xhosa tradition alive for a younger generation to admire and feel proud enough of their heritage to further push Xhosa culture into the future.
Joyful earthy colours are what make South African décor inviting and visually appealing. I am noticing that fashion patterns and colours are influencing interior design trends and translating into colour and pattern on interior walls and in decorated spaces.
A recent visit to Harrismith in the Free State gave me an opportunity to look at some Sotho and Zulu patterns created by individuals in a local community project run by Oaklands Country Manor.
It was incredible to see these individuals create their own unique colours by adding tints of different stainers that they had purchased at a local retailer and added into Plascon white paint. Their freedom of expression and use of colour have inspired me to add more pattern to my neutral walls.
Having been witness to their colouring process, the hues they produced were absolutely spot on with international trends. With them having no access to the internet and no form of knowing what is internationally popular, this proves that colour is a universal language.
And in all of this painted pattern and colour, the common denominator was the use of an earthy natural canvas – something I would explain as a deep earthy amber, like our newly launched 2018 Plascon Neutral of the Year: Amadeus Y2-B1-4.
Plascon Stylist and Brand Ambassador