Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
WHAT has been believed to be the standard of wedding dresses in the minds of Zimbabweans was last month turned on its head after an exhibition by Umakothi Royal Bridal by NkaZana where they redefined African wedding attire.
The Royal Bride exhibition by NkaZana collection celebrates African queens and redefines fashion with a touch of culture.
The name NkaZana is a collaborative effort between Ganu founding director Nkanyeziyethu Malunga (Nka) and A Tribe Called Zimbabwe founder Nomakhosazana ‘Zana K’ Ncube (Zana).
Both are head designers.
With every gown, the seven brides who participated at the fashion exhibition had their own unique design that expressed their personalities.
Each dress was made out of a mixture of cloth and cowhide, mohair (goat hide), cotton, goose feathers and leather with some having crowns made from porcupine quills, bamboo, ostrich feathers and cow horns to give the wedding gowns a royal touch.
The brides Cynthia Sibindi, Portia Ncube, Rufaro Munemo, Fadzai Nyarungwe, Thando Ndlovu, Bekezela Mlalazi and Geraldine Ncube were selected from a casting of average Zimbabwean women from size 10 going up.
It was a refreshing sight to watch brides in traditional wedding dresses rather than white gowns that have dominated the scene.
The duo of Zana K and Nkanyezi are on to something judging by responses from the crowd who were impressed by the gowns.
Among the attendees, some who are already married regretted that they did not have such an option that would have added colour and beauty on their wedding day.
“We want to take this collection to Harare for an exhibition at the National Gallery there. We also want to take it outside Zimbabwe,” said Nkanyezi.
She said they wanted to revive the belief that one can be as elegant and glamorous while wearing a traditional gown.
“When we started out, we told the queens that we want to design gowns that will express them and mirror their personality. We want our bride to be dignified, glamorous and elegant while wearing these gowns.
“We’re happy with the response from the public as well as the brides who modelled them,” said Nkanyezi.
Those interested in the gowns, Nkanyezi said they were available for hire adding that those who want custom made ones can contact them.