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Highsnobiety / Eva Al Desnudo

Thebe Magugu Spring/Summer 2022. Paris, France.

Editor's Notes

This season, Thebe Magugu keeps it in the family. For Spring/Summer 2022, the South African designer and 2019 LVMH Prize winner mined his lineage for inspiration, crafting a sartorial family album of sorts, titled "Genealogy."

To begin, Magugu pored over family photos with his mother and aunt, who helped select images that represent key moments in their life. Using the outfits documented in these shots as jumping-off points, Magugu crafts ensembles that pay homage to the women that "always get [him] through."

"The collection pick-pockets a variety of eras," Magugu explained, listing off references: his grandmother's pleated skirts and blouses from the '50s, his mother's leg-of-mutton sleeves circa 1960, his aunt's fascination with South African pop star Brenda Fassie.

Indeed, they're all there, transformed into cerebral yet wearable separates. A knife-pleated "tail" hangs from a smart shirtdress, a mod-ish minidress boasts sculpted puffed sleeves, a bright pink cape — styled with knee-high boots and a beanie — recalls Fassie's theatrics.

Magugu also introduces his second-ever shoe, a pointed kitten heel named after South Africa's customary post-funeral gathering, the "After-Tears." A tradition and shoe shape he associates with his late grandmother, the slingback is a thoughtful nod to the elder Magugu.

"I admittedly have been quite miserable," the designer said. "It’s impossible to ignore what is peak weltschmerz," hinting at last year's all-consuming uncertainty.

Instead of wallowing in his sadness, Magugu produced an undeniably optimistic collection. Translating his personal history for a global audience, the creator bares his pride and joy, reminding us all: when was the last time you called your parents?

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