Fashion and art make a stylish entrance

Production: Future Fossils fashion show
by Diane de Beer
Photos: Strauss & Co

The exciting thing about arts festivals are the unexpected delights like the Future Fossils fashion show which focussed on fashion and the arts with Lezanne Viviers’ latest spring/summer collection, which was showcased at the Milan fashion week earlier this year.

Viviers says she contemplates the potential for collective transformation and cultural redefinition with designs that investigate how myths and shared narratives shape our understanding of our human evolution. That might be a little lofty for most fashionistas, I think.

But more in tune with the times, she also stresses that sustainability is her big thing. She doesn’t want her clothes to be part of a destructive cycle and believes that fashion is the fastest way to express yourself. You should however “re-trace, re-memory, re-set and re-culture” – that’s her motto.

Back to the designs which were shown against the backdrop of the Strauss and Co’s future auction pieces for the Johannesburg auction in November, which includes a recently authenticated Renoir.

Fashion might seem flighty at an arts festival, but the cutting edge fashion crowd were atwitter (bubbly and oysters in hand), about the predicted new look.

And what stood out were not so much the styles, but the way the designs were presented and accessorised. Shoes were quite bulky with shiny stones for a glam touch and perky, almost pill-box style hats are making a comeback.

All the rage were loose and luminous fabrics like organza silk worn over a solid fabric; pants suits are back for men and women; lots of draping; and shoulder pads that show at the edge of sleeveless garments.

The combination of shiny fabrics and a hard-edged industrial look is striking and many of the individual dresses are exceptional because of the detail: studs fastened or kept loose for a specific cut; fabric that suggests artworks; blue, yellow, burnt orange; black; white/cream and green all feature strongly.

There’s also a sculptural edge to many of the garments. Many of the garments feature unhemmed and uneven edges; delicate strands of cotton; and one of my favourites was the new edge on lips, a thin yellow line around the edges of the models’ lips.

So in summary, it’s all in the detail: a cut-out at the back as the model turns around and lengths don’t matter, it’s a choice whether you go short or long; but if you like to shimmer and shine, you are going to love the warmer seasons ahead.