The combination of crisp colour, bold embellishments and simple elegant shapes is the hallmark of Orbit, the Summer 2018|2019 Black Coffee collection inspired by the intensity of the tumultuous 1960s.

While the Vietnam War raged, the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King in the United States tore things apart, and the armed struggle gained support in South Africa. It was the same era that brought into being the Civil Rights Act that would outlaw institutionalised racism, a time when workers and students united in France, and a bittersweet optimism blossomed from the Flower Power movement. Eartha Kitt had her trailblazing debut as Catwoman in the 1966 TV series Batman – in some ways the precursor to the groundbreaking powerful female figures of Black Panther’s Wakanda – and Neil Armstrong stepped on to the moon, signalling the start of a seemingly unquenchable appetite for new technologies and new frontiers.

Amid vicious conflict and wrangling with change, the world was stirred by a yearning for boundary breaking and drawing the future forward. Today we are still fighting some of the same fights but there’s a sense of being on the cusp of positive change.

Orbit by Black Coffee exemplifies this optimism, with an upbeat, modern and easy to wear range of pieces, distinctive as much for Jacques van der Watt’s structured tailoring as for his assemblage of knitwear and crochet, handmade tassels, laser cut appliqué, ribbon and custom lace embellishments. This is the second Black Coffee collection supported by Cape Wools SA.

Jacques van der Watt is the winner in the Ladies Wear category of the SAFW Cape Wools SA Designer Challenge.

This collection previewed at SA Fashion Week on 12 April 2018.

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