As part of the MyFabulousCPT project, Lisa and I popped into Jenevieve Lyons’s studio earlier this week, where she took us through the progress of her collection so far. For those of you who have been following the campaign, this is the collection many of you helped to inspire with your Instagram contributions that acted as her mood board. It’s always incredibly interesting to discover someone’s creative process, and how far it has come with your help!
First things first! How far are you with the collection?
We’re almost finished with the pattern stage, and I’ve sent about 75% of the items into production. I’m personally sewing the more conceptual pieces and there’s about eleven of those, they’re coats, but more like summer coats.
When you are developing a collection, what’s your creative process like?
It’s quite organic. I will be travelling or in nature and see something that inspires me and while doing trend-forecasting it just links up in my mind. I put that into a print or detail. With the instawalk there was all this mist and that was quite the inspiration. There’s going to be wool suiting and a sheer and silk layering, as if the effect is misted.
Aside from the colour palette, how did everyone’s Instagrams inspire you? What else really stood out for you?
The weather overall in Cape Town, as well as the linear shapes of the buildings and the sail yachts and the pebbles that we walked on, that inspired a spider mesh in the collection.
What do you personally love most about our city and did you incorporate it into the collection?
I love how diverse Cape Town is and it’s a hub of creativity. People are there to express themselves, and that definitely taps into my fashion-conscious consumer. So I’ve gone and made a collection that’s very relaxed, quality items that you can wear through seasons and the next year.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I usually describe it as conceptual minimalism. I started out as an avant garde designer but I obviously had to tone it down to be more consumer-friendly. The garments are built inwards, outwards and three-dimensionally but at this point we’re doing it in a flat method and wearable, it’s more conceptual than avant garde.
So because you were given the inspiration and it wasn’t your personal gathered choice, did you find that challenging or restricting?
It’s not so much that it was a challenge but it was a bit scary that you have to depict Cape Town in a fashion context and hopefully people will feel that it is a depiction of what they’ve said is inspiring them.
And then I have to ask you this question; whenever people think “Cape Town” they think “Table Mountain”, it’s like our go-to safety net that we gravitate to for every reason! Did the mountain inspire you at all?
(Laughs) No it didn’t. Nature definitely did inspire me, there’s the whole aspect of escaping to nature and you become transparent with your surroundings.
Can you describe your favourite piece in the collection?
I’m doing a lot of flaked panels and layers in one particular coat that I really love.
How is this collection different to your previous collections seeing as the inspiration was given to you? Is there a big difference or is it still very Jenevieve?
My aesthetic is always in my collection even if I try and not do it, it comes through. It is different though in the sense where it’s the first Spring/Summer collection that I’m doing in womenswear. And it’s one colour palette.
Do you love it?
I really do! I’m very excited for the final product!
After hearing how far the collection is in production, it won’t be too long before we see the final result at the Skip Fashion Exchange Event in Johannesburg next month. I’m so sad I won’t be able to attend, but Lisa will be repping the Fashion Breed team and capturing the full #MyFabulousCPT collection, and not forgetting #MyFabulousJHB and #MyFabulousDBN!
Photographs by Lisa Gabriel
Disclaimer: Garments shown above are not part of the #MyFabulousCPT collection, and are rather seen as an example of Jenevieve’s style and work.