SA Menswear Week Designer Profile – Jenevieve Lyons
As one of the designers opening Lexus SA Menswear week, Jenevieve Lyons is considered hot property. Having showcased her collections at SA Menswear week since it first launched in 2015, The MODE Africa felt there was no better designer to chat with about Menswear week than Jenevieve herself.
As one of the designers opening SA Fashion week, do you feel added pressure to produce a collection that will really stand out from the crowd?
We are honoured by the opportunity to open South African Menswear week; as well as to be a part of the fifth installment, it takes much resilience and dedication in order to avail opportunities and relevance in order to be linger the possibilities of showcasing composed.
With every collection; comes pressure, we take our collections as a platform to tell visual parables and it is always important to integrate the concept into all aspects to offer the viewer a a full sensory experience.
You ‘depict visual parables’ throughout your clothing, what themes can we expect to see on the runway during your AW 17 SA Menswear week show?
A parable is the foreground of a runway collection to the brand – we aim to proliferate African Fashion in a modernistic and relevant manner to showcase appreciation as a link of reference, and continuously to take the viewer onto a journey of longing.
As a brand and the mission of our brand is to tell parables ‘stories’ through our fashion – to take it so much further than just that a being clothes. As a South African designer uniting to build our industry and African Fashion’s identity; in order to pull this clichéd identity of ‘ethnic’ and print to a more modernistic view that can be placed next to an international brand and be understood globally. Thus; the importance of realising cultural; social, political, environmental issues within a fashion context in order to educate and build renewed perspectives on the African fashion industry is of imperativeness.
We aim to continue telling visual parables through the use of a full sensory experience within the viewer and onlooker as a brand we aim to keep a common thread on all our platforms.
Individualists with an eye for quality and intricate tailoring is who we see wearing our apparel.
Thus will be the story of the somewhat once told – a revisit to what was sometime known.
Many ideas amalgamate at once – but little is only said about thus once; why not twice or thrice. In a time we live, where human destruction is played off by self, we aim to pull together what was once seen to create a.new – a revisited place in a slight different sense. It may be many things at once or simply one at none.
Thus is not to be worn nor adorned; yet to be festooned upon while floating off on a journey of the defragmented stories.
Without giving too much away, what colours, cuts and fabrics can we expect to see on the runway at SA Menswear week?
A transitory experience of riddles.
Expect Unexpected pieces that evoke reminisce of what has been seen before.
Intricately articulated characters.
What sets this collection apart from previous collections you have showcased?
Concisely depicted in an unexpected manner.
What do you enjoy most about the design process?
I speak of the Avant-Garde ideals behind the brand that has influenced the innovation of the garments.
“Avant-Garde” to me as a fashion designer with a Honours Degree in Fashion Design; approach the terms as apparel or dubbed as somewhat fashion that is more in line with artistic forms and principles and becomes somewhat un-wearable; and, rather a performance piece that as art is there to evoke an emotion and meaning to the viewer.
As a brand we embrace the principles of avant-garde in terms of the artistic side of term as well as the main principle being to evoke emotion and meaning – more than just apparel or fashion. Thus approach as a brand can be easiest understood in our brand ethos:
I enjoy the challenge of setting this process in a tangible form from through the whole design process of every collection.
Which other designers showing at SA Menswear week do you admire / get inspired by?
There are many and it would be a shame to point out only a few.
You have been showing at SA Menswear week since it was first launched, what do you like most about this particular fashion week and why do you think it is a good platform to showcase your collection at?
South African Fashion has been in long need of a platform that pushes and keeps striving to innovate in order to build a platform that holds global relevance as well as supports local designers at heart; holding the same aim to colonise together in order to build African Fashion within a global landscape.
African fashion is indefinitely a current as well as forecasted interest internationally; now this is both good as well as a threat, more than ever we as African designers need to unite in order to showcase African Fashion’s identity in a relatable and united way – as said un-clichéd manner.
I feel South African Menswear Week is the ideal platform uniting African designers from all arrays.
You design womenswear as well as menswear, do you prefer designing for men or for women?
Our clients surprise us everyday by woman buying the menswear and vice versa; I therefore think we have correlated a some what genderless appeal.
Which celebrity / public figure dead or alive would you most to design a collection for and why?
Grace Coddington; if you see her, it should be self explanatory.
Jenevieve Lyons shows her AW 17 collection on Friday 2nd February at 18H00.