PLANET fashion was on fire at the Mirabelle room, when upcoming fashion designer Znzorzi, aka Adby Phiri, who has completed a four-year degree in fashion design at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), presented his graduation fashion show at Meikles Hotel in Harare. Entitled the Chorister Collection, Znzorzi’s divinely inspired outfits were created as uniforms for the choir members of UFI (United Family International), a popular church founded by the charismatic Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa.
Invited guests arrived on time, and the room was packed by the time master of ceremonies, Tendai, wearing a shimmering kaftan first modelled at HIFA in May this year, welcomed everyone to the event. We were on the edge of our seats with excitement as the first models, all chosen from the UFI choir, sashayed down the aisle in flared knee-length textured blue dresses, high lighted by golden bodice inserts.
Pencil-slim young models confidently walked the walk in perilous stilleto heels, revelling in their striking green batik and lace capes, teamed with just-above-the-knee-length fitted white skirts. Male models followed wearing tailored green batik trousers and fitted white jackets. There was a roar of applause for the model displaying the piece de resistance, an angelic vision in an orange, black and white cotton fitted knee-length dress, with orange wings, which billowed as she floated down the ramp.
An exhibition in an adjoining room of Znzorzi’s portfolio and sketches, showed the attention to detail and skill going into the production of every garment. Nothing was left to chance in the preparations for this fashion show, the culmination of four years at CUT, that included an internship in Johannesburg with renowned designer David Tlale. Even the aromatic coffee and home made biscuits served to the guests by Meikles staff, were exceptionally good.
As this was a graduation fashion show, lecturers from Znzorzi’’s department were out in full force, including University’s dean of the School of Art and Design, Dr W G Bere, who returned recently from a long sojourn at NYU in Manhattan. Handsomely attired pastors from the UFI choir were also present, as well as family supporters, fellow students and a large number of friends and admirers.
A vote of thanks was given by Znzorzi’’s aunt, the vivacious Ledwina Hungwe. In keeping with the company of angelic choristers, she began with the words “All protocol observed in front of God” and proceeded to give thanks from the heart to everyone that had contributed to the success of the evening. A dedicated follower of fashion, Ledwina drew attention to her own elegant Znzorzi caftan, saying “Now I’m going to be counted — look at what I’m wearing!”
After graduation, Znzorzi will be looking for premises where he can open a studio with enough rooms for tailors, designers, a showroom and a welcoming reception area. He has the dreams, the imagination, and the skill to become for Zimbabwe what Giorgio Armani became for Italy and for the rest of the world.