Jenevieve Lyons is one of the few designers in Africa exclusively doing menswear. On that score alone, it is always interesting to see what she brings to the table. At South Africa Menswear week she debuted her new collection themed ‘Macula’, which is used in reference to a visual blot in the eye that can either enhance or hinder. Lyons uses this as the anchor, sending her models down the runway in sunglasses that remind every short sighted person immediately of a phoropter.
She expanding her exploration of how the neutral of alternate pigmentation can either decrease or increase the beauty, and questions what our perceptions of beauty means. Using a minimalist palette, olive greens, khakis and creams and browns are all she allows herself, partly to mimic the natural skin tones of albino people. She draws inspiration from freckled people with linen coats sprayed with rust colourd dots, mimicking the skin of her models. It should be constraining but instead she uses this minimalist palette to her advantage in interesting ways. Colour blocked asymmetric jackets with baroque inspired hems and edges populate the collection, even her trousers are multi-hued.
The Jenevive Lyons man is a traveller this year, all thirteen looks she shows are heavily layered, sometimes as many as three pieces layered over each other. Knee length trench coats swish around knees and tied around shoulders with knots of sailor rope. The models seem ready to walk off the runway and sail onto a great adventure.
The true genius of this collection however is the ease with which it all works, no look looks overwrought or even carefully thought out. There is a carefree vibe that lends itself to the pieces and suggests, ‘you too can leave behind your life and set sail with us’. And the sell is convincing enough that we really do.
SA Menswear Week AW 16
Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, WC, South Africa.