Romantic ruffles reminiscent of love-struck poetic verse and a bygone era stitched up in nostalgia. Reinterpreted in an emboldened form. Young designer Fikile Sokhulu has an aesthetic that has been based on the idea of embracing femininity in women. “Fashion details in the collection are inspired by concept of reflecting femininity in the type of clothing I’ve designed. Gathers and frills have played a role of creating shapes and proportions”. Sokhulu approaches her silhouettes as a goddess who is both versatile and delicate. The notion of strength through a kind of softness is experienced through the materiality of her pieces. “The fabric that is used reflects an organic feel, as unbleached calico fabric, in its natural state, references being calm. Light weight fabric and neutral colour schemes used in my collection also reflect a soft, gentle mood”.
Sokhulu is also concerned with generating narrative in her work. Noting how, “psychologically and socially fashion plays a role on how society is structured. Fashion imagery influences human behaviour hence an open mind to diversity and an accommodation of different conceptions of beauty would change society views.” Often drawing on nature for inspiration as well as personal experience and the environment around her. “I do not know an exact moment I became interested in fashion – it was gradual. I have been interested in art for a long time, growing up I would create sketches even though at that time I was not looking to gain anything. I slowly grew an interest in fashion, I drew clothing and I applied for a fashion course and now I am designing and making clothing”.
After graduating with a diploma in Fashion and Textiles, Sokhulu won the Best Range on Show at the Durban University of Technology Annual Fashion Show in 2017. Since then she has also made her first international debut in just October last year at the World University Student Fashion Design Competition in Qingdao, China. These well-deserved accolades are indicative of both hard work and a keen eye for design. “I would like to grow as a brand and branch out to mass production”. Part of Sokhulu’s dream is to continue developing Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu while working with local clothing retail stores in order to make her label more accessible as well as continue to grow an international presence on the trajectory she has already started to establish.