Viviers Fall Winter 2023 – 2024 Collection at Milan Fashion Week, COLLECTION TITLE: KAROO, “LAND OF THIRTS”
COLLECTION INSPIRATION: KARROO, ‘Land of Thirsts, FW23/24 is an exploration of the changing landscapes of South Africa, framed through our abundance of raw materials and beauty.
I grew up in a family where very little is wasted; food, water, electricity and packaging were always respected. From found materials to natural resources, my parents went out of their way to celebrate, to save, to collect and to re-used things in our everyday lives. These were the days long before domestic recycling was more commonplace in South Africa and before water and electricity was considered a sacred commodity.
KARROO, ‘Land of Thirst,’ is foremost an ode to my parents for teaching me a conscious approach to living: they taught me how to have respect for things, how to re-use things, how to take care of things and how-to re-cycle. These tools became key creative tools in my subconscious being.
The ‘Karroo’, or ‘Land of Thirst’ in the traditional Khoi-San language, refers to a very large part of sub-Saharan desert in South Africa. What I find most fascinating about the arid scorched Karoo, is the irony; most of our warm, cozy and luxurious raw materials (Mohair, Wool, Ostrich Feathers and leather) come from the barrenness of this land of thirsts.
South Africa has a reputation of duality; BEAUTY in abundance, that is underlined with massive social and economic challenges. I find my inspiration in these harsh contrasts.
South Africa is rich, with often overlooked, opulent raw materials. I believe these sustainable resources could be upheld and celebrated by a much wider global audience.
Chiaroscuro, an elect of contrasted light and shadow, best describes the changing landscapes of South Africa; both physically and metaphorically. I ‘cry for my beloved country, (Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, 1948) as I protest against institutional and systematic structures within our government, that hurdles us as South Africans in our daily practice and living. Load shedding of our electricity supply, water-shortages and pollution are all challenges to be overcome.
As I drive through the Karroo at the end of each year, the unfolding of a beautiful road trip allows for new Mindspace to return; that said, if I have not checked Instagram that day.
‘KARROO, Land of Thirsts,’ is inspired by the surreal beauty of the magical landscape that reveals itself through this scorched land, as I leave the challenges of the city, a metaphor for global Climate Change, behind me. Upon my return, I am charged with new vibrance, an inner silence and a cozy, warm optimism.
Introducing VIVIERS, a concept clothing brand that is numbered in limited editions and can be made to measure. Founded by Lezanne Viviers, VIVIERS offers a unique experience to building a wardrobe. The brand launched on April 11th 2019 with a showcase at Lotus House, the By- Appointment atelier that also doubles as a concept store, offering a selection of pieces. VIVIERS celebrates the senses and individuality. The collections are made by artisans in Johannesburg at VIVIERS Studio, and breathe the spirit of the city, whilst attempting to redefine luxury.
Lezanne Viviers is a Johannesburg-based fashion designer and the founder and creative director of VIVIERS, a sustainable, handcrafted clothing brand.
Born in Cape Town, Viviers matriculated from PJ Oliver Art School in Stellenbosch, where she majored in sculpture. After graduating from the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design in 2010, she worked with iconic South African fashion designer Marianne Fassler, becoming creative director for the brand from 2015-2018.
VIVIERS has been featured in Vogue Italia, The Wall Street Journal, Dazed, Kinfolk and other titles.
Viviers values the hand of the Artisan. Hand woven pieces are created in collaboration with the Weavers Guilt in Pretoria and other artists like Feathered Fabrics. We have recently started a new collaboration with Kaross, an embroidery project which empowers Tsonga women, to create unique pieces for VIVIERS, as well as celebrate their own cultural narratives in their work. These traditional skills within our community is what brings us joy.
Viviers’ team comprises of 12 in-house members, that make-up the creation family and heart of the brand.
Like a motherboard, GLASSHOUSE is the new HQ of VIVIERS. VIVIERS celebrates the senses and individuality.
GLASSHOUSE is a hybrid creative space where Art, Artisans and Architecture are galvanized to form the home of VIVIERS.
The aim of our proposed collaboration is to showcase the diversity and quality of sustainable and natural fibres from South Africa by presenting a collection of exceptional and artistic clothing made in collaboration with local South African Artisans. This yarn-focused presentation is intended to present to the world the sustainable yarns from South Africa an instillation showcases garments crafted to perfection. This collaboration will highlight pure wool, mohair as well as ostrich feathers with the intention for South Africa and Italy to build a long-term trade partnership.
Through collaborating with Cape Wools SA and Mohair South Africa, this collaboration aims to resurrect and empower the South African textile industry. Bringing essential fabrics to the luxury fashion market.
ABOUT LEZANNE VIVIERS
Lezanne Viviers is a Johannesburg-based fashion designer and the founder and creative director of VIVIERS, a sustainable, handcrafted clothing brand. Before founding the brand in 2019, Lezanne worked for 8 years in the fashion industry,
becoming the creative director of Marianne Fassler in 2015. Since VIVIERS has created a name for itself receiving accolades in the sustainable fashion world as well as local and international features and press recognition.
2015 MARIANNE FASSLER CREATIVE DIRECTION VIVIERS FOUNDER + CREATIVE DIRECTOR
2019 VIVIERS FOUNDER + CREATIVE DIRECTOR
All images by Eva Losada
PR Agency AKA MILANO