Home > Beauty > Colour Blocking? We’ve Been Having It!

Colour Blocking? We’ve Been Having It!

Fashion gurus and stylists always take it upon themselves to do what they do best! Tell everyone gullible enough about what’s in and out of the runways and clothing stores! It is what they do after all and you know what, there’s nothing wrong with it!

Also, we all want to know the latest fashion trends; it drives us crazy…in a good way! But one thing that we’re pretty sure of that never drove any Shangy  crazy was the colourblock trend that once hit the fashion streets in South Africa. WTF? Wa Tolovela Fashion-Guru! Tsonga/Shangaan peeps been having it!

So…What’s Colourblocking?
Colour blocking is defined as a fashion style where you put together multiple or more than two bold/bright/neon colours in an outfit. Sounds way too familiar right? It “is commonly associated in fashion as a trend that originated from the artwork of a Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian.” He was known for his harsh geometric and colourful shapes that he later termed Neo-Plasticism.

As Xitsonga people, we just want to say that we don’t get our inspiration from Mondrian, that’s our fact. We’re one people who’ve always had a passion for colour, this can be seen expressed and represented through our cultural embroidery, decorations of our architectures and of course…fashion! However; through our colours, we’ve been spoken ill of, we’ve been called names, laughed and mocked at – and those gutsy enough would be condescending towards us. Our colourful nature degraded us to just being “amaShangane”, a derogatory term most people living eAfrika-Dzonga use to humiliate us.

What Happened Then?

One day, a fashion guru woke up to proclaim the lifestyle we proudly swear by, the “in-thing.” The multi-coloured traditional clothes – “xibelani (skirt), nceka (body wrap), duku (head wrap), yele (shirt), deha (bracelet) and vuhlalu (beads)” that we’ve been wearing on a daily basis and still do, are proof enough that colourblocking has always been in our existence. We take into account that everyone is becoming more modern and urban, but we still manage to use our fabrics to create or design elegant outfits without losing our own sense of culture.

RELATED: The Evolution Of Xitsonga Women’s Traditional Wear

Share Our Stories

Hlulani Masingi

Hlulani Masingi, also known as Hlulz; is a young, vibrant and witty black South African Tsonga woman with a solid education and seven years media experience. She graduated at the University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelors Degree in Media Studies and English Literature and Honours Degree in Media Studies and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in African Languages and Linguistics in the Media at the same institution.

Born in Johannesburg and raised at ka-Mhinga, an underpriviledged village in Limpopo, Hlulani is a determined individual and regardless of her impoverished background, she has a variety of interests that include PR, Communications, Marketing and Events, her passion is Creative Writing. She has always had a strong thirst for knowledge and could already write the word ‘mother’ in her home language at the age of four. She started her first year of varsity at the age of 16. After working as an Online Editor from 2014 until 2017, Hlulani Masingi founded Shangazine – an online title focused on celebrating Xitsonga people’s traditional and contemporary lifestyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *