On a mission to depict visual parables within apparel, Jenevieve, has a long and interesting road ahead of her. The designer is an ELLE rising star finalist and has designed a collection based on religious symbols for the competition.
Learn more about the upcoming designer:
1) Why do you love fashion?
My love for fashion comes from the idea and ability to translate a creative vision into a tangible form. I see fashion as a tool to tell visual parables and express meanings.
2) When designing, do you have a specific target market in mind?
As a designer who aims to depict visual parables within apparel; I had to learn to remember that the collection has to appeal to a certain audience in order to build a sustainable business in this industry. It is important for me to find the thin thread between designing with a strong concept in mind and to ensure that the concept and apparel will be attainable to your target market. My aim is to build a strong link between the two by designing a strong runway collection to evoke interest in the audience, and translate the concept into a more minimalist retail form which will be made available to my consumer within seasonal capsule collections stocked in stores.
3) Can you tell us more about the collection you submitted for the ELLE rising star competition?
My collection for Elle Rising Star 2013 communicates as an eight look collection and is called papyrus. The main concept behind the collection is the re-appropriation of religious symbols worn within fashion; the collection took inspiration from religious symbols other than the usual and expected symbols sampled in fashion, the main inspiration was taken from the pages of the bible, monastic culture as well as catholic nun religious attire. The collection plays with these different symbols in the use of proportions; long vs. short, sheer vs. solid, hard vs. soft.
I took the concept of meditation within the monastic culture as further inspiration to convey a sense of escapism within society and the ideal simulated life that is expected, the concept was exaggerated by a fabric I developed, a dry rubber cast cracked paint fabric which will be found on the accordion parts of the collection, resembling cracking of the old to reveal the new by turning over page one in life. The collection is aptly called papyrus, as the word bible was originally a diminutive of biblos ‘papyrus, scroll’, of Semitic origin.
4) What inspires you?
I find inspiration from various things: the in-depth research process behind new areas of study, innovation within the industry, unconventional fabrics, inner and outer structures of living beings and tangible things that can grow.
5) What is the best and worst thing about being a young designer?
The best thing about being a young designer is you have room to grow and the opportunity to play and learn the in’s and out’s before breaching out into retail, we have great designers in South Africa under which one can intern and gain priceless insight into the industry.
A downfall of being a young designer in South Africa is finding good quality and reliable CMT’s who are affordable. My aim is to create employment by training seamstresses within my brand, and growing and nurturing them as the brand grows. Evidently growing a sustainable and strong team behind Jenevieve Lyons.
6) How does it feel to be an ELLE rising star finalist?
There are truly no words to describe the feeling of being a finalist under the prestige platform that ELLE and Mr Price create for young and upcoming designers. I am humbled by the whole journey and look forward to take everything learnt throughout the process and use it to build Jenevieve Lyons into strong brand and business with a sustainable retail standing.
7) Why do you think you deserve to win?
I aim to put everything I have; all the knowledge, time and tools at my best ability into my collection and use the process as growth for me as a designer. I believe that every step to building a sustainable business is a step of growth and I believe that it is very important to keep growing and innovating as a designer to reach new heights and avenues. My aim is to bring a strong solid concept behind my collection to life in well thought out and quality sewn garments that will walk down the runway, with a retail understanding behind the collection of how to take an idea, portray it and then put it into retail and stores.
8) What are your short and long term goals?
My short term goal is to keep growing and innovating as a young designer; take in all experience possible as a stepping opportunity to further growing a business within the industry while keeping the thread of innovation and creativity throughout.
My long term goal is to move into my own atelier with a sustainable production line running across various stores, a strong client basis, as well as in the process of opening my own store. I aim to complete my masters in fashion design in Antwerp; continuing on the road to building my knowledge and skill as a fashion designer.