This is a range of three dresses that represents the symbiotic relationship between the artist and Japan. “I moved to Japan in hopes of finding some confidence, independence and maturity. In the same way, I hope my role in Japanese society inspires those same traits in Japanese people regarding the way they view people from other countries.”
This personal and social growth is represented in the range’s colours, shape and structure. There is a progression from naivety and uncertainty in the first dress, to a confidence and maturity in the last. The first dress is naïve: it’s mainly white in colour, and has a similar silhouette to that of a school dress. The hanging strips of fabric are unorganised and disorderly. The dresses progress to red, fitted and symmetrical. It shows that there is simplicity and boldness in maturity.
The hidden elements of white in the final dress represent that hint of insecurity and immaturity that will always remain within us. The artist is encouraging everyone to remember that “growing up” is a never ending concept, and that we should hold on to those child-like qualities, even in old age.
This is the practical component I submitted in fulfilment of my Bachelor of Technology Degree in Fashion. The dissertation study that sparked this fashion range explores the possibility of using street style fashion as a means of rebranding South African identity, and was motivated by the need for a more relevant and contemporary local fashion identity. It explores the benefits of rebranding local identity, and highlights the relationship between national brands and fashion identity. The study aims to represent the South Africa of today, the South Africa that is described as a “potjie” of culture, warm and full of different ingredients and surprises, which has taken centuries to develop its unique and rich flavour (A – Z of South African culture, 2008).
The study considered the views and perceptions of a young, high street fashion market who received questionnaires via Facebook. The questionnaire responses revealed the sample’s opinions regarding the value of national rebranding, the phenomenon of street style, and the multi-faceted South African fashion identity. Both the empirical investigation and the reviewed literature revealed South Africa as a progressive nation in terms of the potential of the South African fashion industry and the development of a unique country brand.
The practical component of this study involved the combination of traditional South African clothing characteristics with those of modern street style, to create a uniquely South African, high street fashion range. In hopes of achieving a quirky, street style feel, I mixed self-designed and hand-made garments with second hand clothing. This fashion range hopes to encourage a uniquely South African design aesthetic among local designers, and a motivation for a much needed patriotic boost on behalf of the South African fashion consumer.
Exciting, stressful, terrifying. My first ever range. It focused on mixing pre-nineteenth century shapes with colours and attitudes similar to what I’d been seeing in a lot of street style blogs. The shaping ultimately resulted in quite an androgynous look. I wanted to focus on working with a variety of textures (including chiffon, pleather, silk satin and knits) and various fabric distressing techniques like staining and bleaching. I was really happy with the way the range physically moved along the runway (skirt hoops swaying and chiffon flowing) and its result was as dramatic as I’d hoped it would be.