Feminist and graduate Takudzwa Dlamini gets ready to take over the fashion world

“This process has been a labour of love and despite battling severe depression and anxiety, I soldiered through the most difficult three years and managed to do the damn things,” says Zimbabwean-born LISOF graduate and aspiring fashion designer Takudzwa Dlamini, who recently completed her BA in Fashion Design.

Based in Joburg, Takudzwa presented her graduate collection, which showcased at the college last month and is titled Woman Is a Word.

Woman Is a Word is a conceptual collection that largely drew inspiration from a group of female artists from the 1970s who were ‘reclaiming control of the feminine image’ in various media including photography, video and performance art.

“Historically, women were depicted as a projection of male fantasies, prejudices and relationships. However, in the 1970s, for the first time, female artists began collectively to investigate visual representations of their own selves.”

Takudzwa, whose work is centred on feminism, masculinity and nostalgia, says she hopes to evoke qualities of childlikeness and innocence in the garments she creates.

When asked what she looks forward to the most after graduating Takudzwa says, “The liberty of exploring my creativity and not being confined by the limitations of a brief and producing work solely for marks, and I hope to get my fashion brand Taku up and running and just focus all my energy into making it flourish.

“It would mean everything to me to see people wear my clothing and feel empowered.”

Illustration by Karolina Koryl

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