HIFA and locally made elegance fit for a princess


THE Harare International Festival of the Arts is mostly popular for its global and local acts in theatre and music, arts and crafts, the opening show, and the closing act.

0705-2-1-CROCHET DRESS

Robin Chaibva – Bridal Writer

A new element, however, is gaining relevance at the six-day arts fiesta – the fashion design show — which this year was being held at The Royal Norwegian Embassy Dome, under the Hifa Craft and Design programme.

Going beyond the usual fashion runway shows — the Hifa Craft and Design interactive shows explore design collaborations with a social cause. Hifa fashion showcases are cause-driven and bring about social development.

The different shows involve grassroots level producers in rural communities and they also encourage environmentally friendly and sustainable fashion production using Zimbabwean raw materials.

On the opening day of the festival — the fashion show showcased “Catching Dreams”, a fashion parade, which featured Zimbabwean designer Vonsdesigns and Swaziland’s Golden Hands — both had crochet and knitwear designs.

In collaboration with grassroots level women, the showcase displayed modern elegant ways to wear handmade crochet and knitwear.

The trend internationally has caught on as seen at Tina Knowles’ wedding. Tina, who is international star Beyonce’s mother, had an all-white wedding that featured guests wearing lace and crochet dresses.

Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington

Closer to home, Miss Zimbabwe contestants donned embellished crochet dresses as part of one of their runway routines just a fortnight ago, at a glitzy event which was beamed live on ZBC TV.

This had me thinking on possibly considering crochet bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses. I doubt many out there would even consider wearing a doily as a wedding gown — so we had to seek advice from the experts.

Brenda Gogwe-Sibanda, the textile designer at Vonsdesigns, who showcased at Hifa, said that crochet wedding gowns are definitely the in-thing but have to be produced with guidelines to achieve elegance.

“My take is that they are handmade and Zimbabwean, hence more original and personalised.

“To avoid your gown from looking like your grandmother’s doily, use finer yarn, 100 percent cotton or a nylon/cotton blend to avoid the chunky look.

“One can accessories the dress with pearls, fascinator hats and by using embellished yarn in luxurious colours like ivory, silver and white to add dimension to the fabric.

“Also incorporate suitable lace fabric in the dress as lining and you have a couture gown worthy of being an heirloom,” says Gogwe- Sibanda

vonsdesigns crochet dress
vonsdesigns crochet dress

Whether you decide to have your wedding on a yacht or boat, a safari natural theme or regal theme — the crochet wedding gown is a possible choice that is original and customisable to your preference and you can get it made right here in Zimbabwe.

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