MBFW Cape Town was a celebration of what Africa has to offer the world of fashion and left us inspired, mesmerised and at a loss for words… almost 😉 Words: Bianca Agenbag
Jenevieve Lyons launched her new extended label dubbed “Line by Jenevieve Lyons” (a direct diffusion ready-to-wear line under the head label) at MBFW and left the audience in awe. With earthy tones and modern cuts she brought a fresh take on African fashion to the runway and we sat her down to talk all about it!
What inspired your collection?
The deep tones, beauty, and opulence of our African landscapes are carried through the colour palette, proportions and styling of the collection, boasting with both women and menswear. Elements of nostalgia; luxury, traditionalism, depth and articulation are key points of reference.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
African fashion is 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 our identity in a un-clichéd manner. Telling parables relevant to this in order to bring awareness is a key area of inspiration.
How far in advance do you start planning for Fashion Week?
“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein
How do you approach the production process from beginning to end?
We aim to evoke a full sensory experience within the onlooker. Some mannerism of telling visual parables as a brand forms part of every inch that goes into a collection: the textile selection and pattern cut and garment construction all aligns with the concept behind the collection, models, music; campaign imagery, hair and make-up, it is a whole set of elements at large that are considered.
Do you have any rituals before a show?
Simply persistence; resilience, faith and determination – it’s never easy, but if your next step doesn’t scare you; the step is not big enough.
You describe your designs as ‘depicting visual parables’. Tell us about your design ascetic?
Apparel with an aesthetic quality of avant-garde ideals; with ‘performatic’ prerequisites to evoke an emotional response, evidently telling parables through fashion. The brand speaks to the fashion conscious consumer; with apparel that is intricately designed and constructed to become something of immense grandeur. There are two lines of retail merchandise – The runway collection and the extended ready-to-wear retail lines encompassing both womenswear and menswear. Custom-made and made-to-measure offers the consumer their own unique parable; outspoken into their wardrobe.
If you can see your design in any fashion mag in the world, which would it be?
L’Officiel; Vogue, and Dazed to name but a few.
Current obsessions?
African landscapes; cultures, rust, amber, corduroy.
One goal you want to reach in your lifetime?
Build a brand that can sustain a team backing local production; manufacturing and to continue bringing a cohesive awareness to African Fashion modern identities.
Where can readers get a hold of your garments?
Pre-order basis via: shop@jenevievelyons.co.za
We will be launching our online store soon. Readers can subscribe on our website to be the first to know when we launch!

– See more at: https://csa.global/the-wire/visual-parables-jenevieve-lyons#sthash.hAwfZmwh.dpuf

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