By Nakai Zenda
Fashion has a peacock demeanor, it wants to be seen and what better way than to showcase it on a platform that serves to zoom in into a niche artistic community that refused to conform to mainstream fashion trends and production. And we love the Skeyi and Strobo Fabrik Party for the incipient revolutionary shifts it has brought to the Zimbabwean fashion industry in 2022.
Just ask one of the directors to the documentary who goes by the name McDonald Munyawiri of that showcase, The Fabrik Party, and he will tell you that the sense of belonging evoked when one is in that space is inexplicably blissful.
The beauty behind fashion is the fact that it has what we call the butterfly metamorphosis. Basically this is the evolution of a basic vague artistic idea (worm) into a beautiful transfixing working statement that depicts a beautiful story (butterfly).
In all honesty, there is not even a basic thing or banality about an artistic idea; it’s so much more, even in the early stages, and to describe it in such a mundane way is simply outrageous. To McDonald fashion simply put is a conduit of identity. We all have characteristics, personalities and behavioral patterns and he believes such to be portrayed by how one pieces an outfit together.
McDonald had the idea to document youth street culture in Zimbabwe and when he got the invite to the 2022 March Fabrik Party, he realized that Skeyi and Strobo had become a (both centralized and decentralized) hub creatives from across Zimbabwe that contributed to the youth street culture Eco system. They say the art of making anything good is to make it exactly how you would want to see it, be the change you want to see they say. That’s why McDonald made a documentary he would be interested in seeing himself.
The documentary gravitates towards three core identities. The first is the aspect of zooming into a niche artistic community in Zimbabwe that refused to conform to mainstream fashion trends and production.
The second is helping television producers like McDonald understand that the ability to make a great film does not necessarily need a big budget but a combination of elements that captures all human senses as people watch the film.
Thirdly it’s used to spark inspiration to the audience especially in Zimbabwe that if the capacity is there we must document people and events that seek to empower and help the community because at the end of the day someone has to tell their story. The Skeyi and Strobo Fabrik Party is life.
Obviously with an innovative mind like McDonald’s you go for the wow-factor when taking your audience’s reactions into account. The director does not what a specific feeling to be evoked but rather he just wants you to feel. Meaning this documentary is going to capture different sensory feelings from the audience. To live through the screen as if you were actually there watching the process of preparations until the doors are open on the day of party. Imagine the magic packed behind those doors.
The bonus in all this has to be the fact that a director’s cut is going to be released called Senses, a niche pellet picked where the title is picked because different people are going to watch this. Speaking in context of Zimbabwean fashion it means they are just at the tip of the iceberg.
Being a creative in corporate media allows McDonald to connect both the arts and the business end; the two being inextricably intertwined. The beauty of Zimbabwe is thus aptly mirrored; you can be whoever you want to be whenever you want to be.
Zimbabwean fashion is one of the most untapped industries in Africa. Zimbabweans have to connect with their altruistic, authentic selves and organic cultural contexts and take the center stage. There exists plenty of fashions shows and a torrent of showcases but the unmatched thing about the Fabrik Party that gets one sitting at 10pm and typing a story about is the seamless Eco system.
Everyone is there for a reason and it all flows in an effortless vibe just as the compiling of this story is. The story wants to unfold on its own and unravels effortlessly and so as to take a phrase from McDonald’s words … so let’s show the world!
By the next five years or so a sense of nostalgia will hit you as you go through another article about Skeyi and Strobo but only to be met with one that tells a story about how Zimbabwean fashion has been taken past your regular boutique conformist culture and more into a space where Zimbabweans prefer to wear clothes made by Zimbabweans.
Talking about facts we couldn’t finish this up without truly acknowledging the elephant in the room. McDonald has opened up a door and creates a blueprint on how to make fashion shows, films and documentaries in our society.
As broad and extensive as this article was, if you need an extra dose of the exciting tea, the Heart and soul channel is doing a feature on this.
Expect interviews from some of the designers, models and one of the founders of Skeyi and Strobo, Uleni Okandlovu. Parts of the runway will be featured and an exclusive introduction to the one and only Fabrik Party.
So yes, is the stars, rainbows, sun and heart all packed into one. As you trickle down to the last sentences it’s obvious you are waiting for the punch line, the epic line to take you to the finish and balcony of this epic story but the truth of the matter is, no words even the eat ones can successfully finish an epic story such as this because after all, the end is just the beginning.