Jenevieve’s innovations transform ‘the unbeautiful’
CAPE TOWN fashion designer Jenevieve Lyons has a great deal in the pipeline.
On Wednesday 25-year-old Lyons will showcase her Spring/Summer collection at SA Menswear Week, then she jets off to Helsinki Fashion Week in Finland to not only show her designs, but to participate in talks about body positivity and culture.
“I’m humbled and excited to have the ability to talk and showcase African fashion and culture on a global platform, especially to the European market that has shown great interest in my brand from inception,” she said.
For this week’s show, Lyons said she had referenced “strong concepts from various fields of study and interpreted them within a fashion context”.
Lyons said she wanted to “bring across ideas in the form of innovative garments with a strong sense of sculpture and moulding”.
She also wanted to maintain an “aesthetic of conceptual minimalism”.
Apart from fashion week shows, where Lyons sells her runway collections, she also runs a self-titled ready-to-wear label.
The graduate of LISOF (Leaders In the Science Of Fashion) school in Johannesburg fell in love with collecting “unbeautiful” and strange things from a young age. She then sketched these objects or ideas in different ways.
“I began following a career in fashion as I saw it as a way to take my sketches to a tangible state, and give them a functional purpose,” said Lyons.
“Sketching garments and designing them is an organic process where an object, person or issue will spark an idea or interest in my mind. This will develop until relevance is found and an amalgamation of ideas can be made in a fashion context.
“I then create a mood board from where I will sketch out a collection. From there on the pattern process hits off. Then there’s textile sampling and the process of constructing the collection begins.”
Lyons said she wanted to make clothes that remained relevant to “our African landscape in order to ensure a collection that impacts on local industry and allows growth, personally and skilfully too”.
Lyons’s fashion influences are “organic everyday life, surroundings, our beautiful cultures, social and political issues”.
“I’m influenced by innovation and Japanese design that is grounded from young emerging conceptual designers such as Xiao Li and local African designers that are united in our vision for African fashion, such as Lukhanya Mdingi, Rich Mnisi, Tokyo James and Orange Culture,” she said.
Lyons’s advice to others keen on a career in fashion is to “follow your passion, believe in those spurts of round-the-bendideas, and follow them through”. “What we are doing is not normal and the social order will think you are ‘nutty’. But it is those very people you prove wrong along the way. No great achievement happens overnight. Be prepared to work hard for a long time.”
‘In fashion, follow
your passion, believe in those spurts of round- the-bend-ideas, and follow them
Fashion designer Jenevieve Lyons, far right, is ready to show her Spring/Summer collection at the upcoming SA Menswear Week.