Writing for a ready-to-wear range isn’t easy. The construction of metaphors and comparative words to which I would usually use to bring life to a catwalk report, which combines the artistic with what couture can be easier because the garments allow the imagination to travel to where designer’s inspiration and thought process came from.
Ready-to-wear though required me to find a distinctive factor in the collection, something beyond the everyday consumer, bringing it back to the world of haute couture.
Joel Janse Van Vuuren. This name had to be my starting point and so I looked at previous works by the designer and there it was my starting point.
This designer has taken ready-to-wear and has tried to breathe life into a category most designers are reluctant to explore. His designs incorporate those simple fundamentals we are taught in design school. The functionality, creativity and appeal for the consumer on the street.
Van Vuuren’s interpretation of ready-to-wear is found in his manipulation of fabric. The collection he presented at SA Fashion Week, 1 April, took an almost watercolour attribute. His use of gathered elicitation at the bottom of his dresses, allowing an almost cloud like resemblance to how the fabric moved with the models. The ink blotting technique on the fabric, the draping of layers on certain pieces and flares all added to this mystic, seductive, Goddess-like collection. This collection resonated in me, an acknowledgement and adoration of a woman’s physique and how her body requires sensuality.
I craved originality though in the construction of the garments, asymmetric lines or abstraction in simple finishes like gathering could have been deeper explored just to bring the collection to the high standard we place SA Fashion Week collections to be at. I found myself wanting to see if the designer can move beyond what Ready-to-wear is and the stability it brings to the consumer market it’s aimed at.