Jenevieve’s in­no­va­tions trans­form ‘the un­beau­ti­ful’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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