5:33 pm

"The FashSoc Team banded together to create some impromptu magic."

Impromptu by the way of a bunch of kids who prior to that day only communicated via email in preparation for the shoot. Magic, in the sense that although, we knew what we wanted to create and had a vague idea of how and where we were going to create it, it only came together in the most beautiful way at the last second. And during the actual shoot.

Let's take it back a step so I can explain a couple of things for you. FashSoc is this society that Jemma and I started towards the end of last year, as way of providing a base for fashion enthusiasts, bloggers and photographers etc to get together and learn and collaborate and grow in every fashionable form. Monthly shoots are among the many rad things we help facilitate- with each month serving as a theme for us to work around and creatively steer towards. This editorial falls under the April theme- Freedom, which coincides with the national holiday (Freedom Day) that is celebrated annually on the 27th. So yeah, we post a monthly newsletter informing people of our ideas, and we make it open to whoever feels like it, to join in on materializing our thoughts. You can model, assist, style or photograph, all in the hopes of building your portfolio, or filling up your Saturday morning by way of doing something creative. This particular shoot consists of mostly Justice Machaba's thoughts. He's FashSoc's head of photography and the creative director of this editorial. 

Freedom? Does it exist for all of us? This is the question he asks in this cinematically captured photo story following the models around the inner city. Parallels are drawn between the modern day working class, and those during the apartheid era. Masses of people still have to commute daily to work, still earn low wages and still work in diminished conditions. The concept of modern slavery is thus highlighted through a contemporary portrayal of these workers who start their day at the crack of dawn and only return late at night in order to earn enough to feed their families. The realities of many black people's lives haven't changed as dramatically as many hoped they would post apartheid and so the question of 'who is actually free?' arises.


The clothes thus play an integral role in fully conveying this message. Heads of styling for the day, Tegan Welz and Yours Truly, make use of vintage work-wear, interpreted to a present-day context to create the looks you're seeing now. Large coats, blazers, button down shirts and slacks form part of the main components of each look. The colours range from shades of corporate black and blue, to nostalgic browns, olives and pastels. 

The statement red jacket is power. With the padded shoulder and proportionality to Sonam's dress, there's something quite 'Pretty Woman' about it. The sunglasses (added at the last minute) take this look to whole new levels of fierce and paired with the choker help to blur the lines between then and now. 

Hats and beanies become very important in this shoot, as crew members' outfits are disassembled and rebuilt and re-imagined on new bodies. Lots of *looks at model, looks at Jemma or Justice* and,"can I see something with your hat/beanie". Lots of collaborative effort, most clearly displayed in my favourite scene of the day, the quick change in the middle of the street...

The band of 8 had been running around town, exploring quaint book stores and photogenic street corners, when we figured it was time we switched things up a bit. Cue, opening of giant leather suit case, random placement of clothes hangers on gate rails and shirts and jackets being passed around in a frenzy. "Does this work?" "Isn't that a bit too big?" "Can I use your beanie?" "How do you feel about wearing peach?" 

And then a final silence as the three models stand up against the brick wall..


I don't get why people detest group work. I really love the rush of finally witnessing everything come seamlessly together by way of input from diverse minds.

So here it is. The magic. The impromptu. 

but mostly magic.

Click HERE to see the rest of the the editorial which is up on the FashSoc zine.

Outfit details:
EVERYTHING IS VINTAGE EXCEPT THE SHOES (Everyone was asked to bring stuff and we swapped and switched shirts, jackets and hats in the middle of the street.)

Models: Daneve Blooms, Sonam Shah, Sihle Ludziya
Photography and Concept: Justice Machaba
Styling: Tegan Welz and Refiloe Mokgele (with help from everyone else on the squad!)
Shoot management: Justice Machaba, Refiloe Mokgele, Jemma Richmond
Snapstory by: Zoleka Mosiah

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