#SAFW Designer Q&A – ERRE

Quality fabrics, craftsmanship and power dressing is at the core of the Erre (pronounced ‘air’) fashion label. The brainchild of Natasha Jaume and Carina Louw, which launched at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013, is back again with even more panache and determination. The summer collection, with a black only palette, will be shown at SA Fashion Week S/S 2014. Given the very detailed list of inspiration behind the collection, the team is sure to have an awesome show planned. See what they have in store for showgoers…

ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

1) What is unique about ERRE?

The brand proposes a new kind of power dressing. Traditionally power dressing implied that women dress in a masculine way in order to compete with men in the work place. The ERRE brand proposes a powerful yet feminine look that commands, rather than demands, the attention of all who surround her.

ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

2) You often create clothing for the “working woman”. What basics should they have in their wardrobe?

A figure flattering black dress and a leather jacket that is versatile enough to wear both on and off duty.

ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

3) Tell us more about what you’ll be showing at SA Fashion Week

We experimented with new hand crafted surface texture techniques using leather off cuts with the idea of using every single piece of this precious natural material. But we don’t want to give too much away especially because a lot of people are curious to see how we will pull of our signature all black colour palette for summer. Expect to see more dresses and swimsuits complemented by new leather accessory pieces.

ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

4) What was the inspiration behind the collection?

Exotic summer gardens: as seen at the Babylonstoren Gardens outside of Franschhoek or at the Alhambra palace gardens in Spain. We looked at roses to influence both the construction and surface textures featured in this collection.

ERRE is all about exploring a new kind of power dressing: What better visual reference than the Renaissance era royalty and aristocracy. We ignored the characteristic ruff and slashing of the time period and zoomed in on the fact that Royal icons such as Queen Elisabeth the 1st wore garments that put a lot of focus on the shoulders and face. Many of the design features in our S/S 2014 collection focuses on either broadening the shoulders in a subtle way or framing the face.

ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

The ERRE woman and her changing needs inspire us: The ERRE team has noticed that more and more women are working in what we like to call “the poolside office”. Maybe it’s due to the hot South African summers. But it’s most likely that we are increasingly able to work in any place at any time.

We propose a few wardrobe solutions in this collection: we show swimsuits with the idea that, after a dip in the pool on a scorching summer’s day, the swimsuit can be paired with a pair of tailored pants in order to go to a client meeting for example. We do not cater for skinny teenagers so all our swimsuits offer full support and aim to be as figure flattering as possible.

50’s resort wear: A time before board shorts when woman looked elegant on the beach.

50’s Haute Couture: Because of the way designers such as Givenchy and Balenciaga played with proportion in design. The lady-like elegance of this period appeals to our sensibilities although we of course aim to make it relevant to woman in the 21st century.

Black: Why black?: Working solely in black puts the focus on the textural qualities of the fabric manipulation techniques and good quality textiles. Black is powerful, versatile, sophisticated, flattering, forgiving, elegant, dramatic, protective and practical.

ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
ERRE at SA Fashion Week A/W 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

5) How important is an event like SAFW?

SAFW is vital to our brand as it offers not only a creative platform to show our collection to the public but also serves as a business platform to connect with buyers and potential clients. On top off that the SAFW team in conjunction with The Fashion Agent provides tremendous support for a burgeoning fashion brand like ERRE.

*Follow ERRE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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