The theme was "Africa: A Safari," as Hall (who is an African-American originally from Detroit) looks "to my personal roots" and takes inspiration from "Dinka, Maasai, and Zulu tribes to the antelopes and zebras" that roam that vast continent. Hall even went so far as to use fabrics, beading, and jewelry designed and created by artisans in Africa, including mud cloth and painted twill. From the first look, a "Nomadic fitted sheath" in tones of brown, white, and tan to the last, a white strapless wedding dress adorned with a colorful ceremonial Maasai wedding neckpiece, the designer successfully evoked the feel of Africa while staying as sophisticated as he has always been.
Gasps of wonder and applause met many of his dresses as the models emerged onto the runway of the packed Main Tent. Some, like the elegant Serengeti silk printed bustier gown and the shorter sheath in the same pattern, evoked the sun rising over the desert in shimmering shades of cream, brown, and rust, while others, like the multi-colored tribal embroidered dress, gave off an easy, more casual yet chic vibe. Other daywear looks featured a strikingly bold black-and-white zebra print on a "dashiki" (long tunic), studded with glittery crystals and worn over slim white silk pants; and a slightly deconstructed tan raw silk jacket worn over matching walking shorts and oversize hat.
But Hall's trademark is eveningwear, and his Spring 2008 collection of gowns did not disappoint, as he continued to mine his extremely flattering silhouettes think bustier, halter, or crisscross straps up top, snug waists, and long, flowing bottoms changed up with a touch of Africa. One stunner was the Nebele painted bustier gown, a fabric created by artist Sharon Fauvel, gorgeous blocks of yellow, green, blue, and red worn with a stack of brightly-patterned tribal bracelets. Another great look: Hall's leopard-patterned silk gown with a plunging neckline, adorned with an elaborately beaded waist.