Keep it light and brighter this season

* Left: Here I am, embracing spring and my African heritage in a Gugu Zulu designed jumpsuit.

My fashion diary entry this month zooms in on spring trends. I don’t know about you fashionistas, but I am ready to pack away my coats, oversized jerseys and Wellingtons for lighter fabrics in varying bursts of colour.

A “fashion chance encounter” with fashion designer Gugu Zulu, of Summer Greens, in the CBD last week catalysed a plethora of ideas about what to wear this spring.

Gugu, who studied clothing and textile design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Unisa, started her label, Zulu by Gugu Zulu, earlier this year, after working as a fashion buyer both locally and abroad.

Gugu says her mother is one of her style icons and she, along with her sister who is also a fashion designer, ignited her passion for fashion.

“I have always dreamed about being in the design and creative space, so fashion was a logical option for me,” she says.

Ruffled dresses and shorts paired with a matching blazer in breathable fabrics are also great for spring.

Overcharged florals in longer shaped clothing with side and front slits in colours such as coral, mustard, lime and red are definitely on trend this season.

Maxi dresses and jumpsuits are also trending and can either be paired with two-toned block heels or gladiator sandals. Yes, Gugu says gladiator sandals are making a comeback this season.

What I love about Gugu’s range is that it is proudly South African, which fits in with September being Heritage Month.

“My culture and being an African inspires what I design. My aim is to continue to put Africa on the map globally. Many of us look at European trends to inform what we wear, and I want to change that. I want to be the number-one, one-stop shop for African clothing online. My aim is to be the best in terms of quality, prints and trends.”

Gugu works mostly with waxed-cotton fabrics, knits, metallics, mesh and viscose.

Her international style icons are Victoria Beckham and Dolce & Gabbana.

Spring fashion trends globally are moving towards bright, saturated hues – either monochromatically or colourblocked – and sheer fabrics, which can be seen with the diaphanous dress (which I absolutely love).

I bought one for a steal at a thrift store in De Waterkant last year, so you can be sure I will be rocking it this season.

Satin is also a must for spring in neutral tones, and there is also a strong Japanese influence permeating the runways at the moment.

If you are a fan of mandarin collars and kimonos this is definitely up your ally.

For those obsessed with sunglasses, I have noticed that micro shades are on trend.

I suggest keeping the make-up light but adding a bright colour to the lips or opting for bright eyeliners that will give you that extra sparkle this spring.

My fashion challenge to everyone is incorporate your heritage in the clothing you choose to wear. As Jeweller Harry Winston said: “People will stare. Make it worth their while.”

Send your fashion tips and advice to mika.williams@inl.co.za