Driving along the tree-lined streets of Forest Town, on the way to the ‘Akedo’ event, the sun piercing through the trees, I know I’m lucky to live in this city. Johannesburg to me is an undervalued treasure filled with spirited people and staggering places.
It’s a mild winter Saturday and the city is abuzz with weekend happiness, arriving at the venue, it is seemingly unassuming from the outside. Upon entry, you realise that it is anything but, a beautifully converted architect’s home filled with light and a true creatives milieu. Stacked glass doors lead from the striking living room, onto a manicured garden. Every inch of this space takes you to another place, it is curated down to the last detail, and yes I mean the fruit bowl. Art, sculptures and coffee table books lie about as if strewn but somehow you know they were destined to belong in that exact spot.
As you enter the space the modish kitchen hints at the fun to be had here. The white and grey grained stone countertops are covered in neat rows of champagne and wine glasses, brimming with sparkly bubbles. A large wooden table stands in the middle of the living room laden with desserts. Pink, white and green macaroons are piled high on sculptures. Glazed doughnuts, marbled brownies, layered cakes in various flavours, brandy snaps and meringues sit on slabs of marble. Proteas lie as if they have toppled onto their sides, yet you know it was perfectly orchestrated.
Stepping out into the garden for the first time and you see white African style stools dotted on the lawn in a haphazard manner. Off to one side, I get the first glimpse of the clothes, the’ Akedo’ Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, and I’m blown away. Garments hanging with purpose on black metal rails, tops folded attentively on a green tiled table, and clutch bags perched atop white pillar stands, with a lookbook card placed between them. A mix of grey, green, orange, brown and black garments, all flawlessly constructed using silk, cashmere, wool, cotton velvet, and linen. These clothes tell a story of the ‘Asafo’ flags and traditional warrior groups in the ‘Akan’ Culture.
There is a sense of lingering calm as guests start to filter in. Drinks are poured as conversation and laughter drift across the air. As everyone begins to settle in, head designer of ‘Akedo’, which launched in 2013 announces that the show is about to start.
I have been privy to the birth of the label and the germination of the first parrot collection which began its story in the lecture rooms of ‘LISOF’. I have seen ‘Akedo’ experiment, I have seen ‘Akedo’ grow and I have to say that this collection shows the mark of a designer matured, a designer who as found her voice and space in her field.
As the show begins the first model made her way round the garden to the final showcase area boarded by wooden ‘Amatuli’ sculptures. ‘Akedo’ founder and all round powerhouse Eleni then carefully explained the inspiration, construction and fabric use behind each and every garment. My favourite pieces and there were many, were; A grey jumpsuit with leather pockets. A white shirt with flared sleeves. A beautiful striped shirt with big pockets in the front. A green shirt with a neck tie. A Black sheer shirt with flared sleeves, a black dress long and sheer. Orange wide leg trousers and lastly the green linen crop top. Every piece was crafted to perfection, and the design was thought through down to the last detail.
At the end of the show, with all of the clothes having been showcased, the shopping experience began. A frenzied group of ladies rushed forward to get their hands on the incredible garments. Most of the items shown were available off the peg, however, a few of the more complex pieces were on an order only’ basis. All the clothes were beautifully packaged with tissue paper and the ladies were sent off with their new treasures in a beautiful white ‘Akedo’ shopping bags.
People always say life is in the little things, however, I also think it’s in the big picture. This event and Akedo as a brand see both, the big picture of where they want to be as well as the details that get you there.
To shop the Akedo brand go to:
or Contact Eleni Labrou at firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 491 8244