01 Dec Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen’s Fantastic Print-full SS15 Collection
Last Thursday evening saw the launch of the Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen SS15 collection – another successful pairing of impeccable tailoring, fabrication, colour and print by designer Keith Henning and artist Jody Paulsen. A collaboration we’ve come to excitedly look forward to every season. This collection in particular presents a new direction but maintains the sporty meets arty look that the two are known for. Their fascination with Japanese design is continued in wrap dresses, shirt dresses, mens trousers and a jumpsuit. The black and white looks in the collection are about creating classic pieces that can be pieced together in ways that feel new – the layering of the tunic or wrap dress over an A line sun ray asymmetrical pleated skirt for example.
We spoke with Jody to find out more about the inspirations behind the range and how they went about realising them. He said, “When Keith and I first starting talking about making another summer collection we were certain about exploring colour. We also liked the idea of exploring more streamlined silhouettes for women and clothes that have movement – the pleated A line skirts for example. We really attempted to create a feeling of freedom and optimism in the looks. I wanted it to feel happy and full of energy.” The energy, colour and saturation of 70s Senegalese film, Touki Bouki became the reference point for this. The lookbook images reveal a direct reference to the mood of the film through the styling; a fez hat with round sunglasses and clothes tied around the models. The process of conceptualising the range was a freeing one, Jody says, “Creatively, this collection felt like the most liberating one so far. We really didn’t think about what inspired us too much – we just kind of went with what we liked as opposed to being too restrictive or edited.”
The prints in the collection were inspired by art movements like DADA and constructivism that pioneered collage in the 20s and 30s. Interestingly they come to life first as felt cut outs in the same way that Jody makes his bright and layered felt murals. He let us know more about how the prints were developed, “The prints are probably the easiest part of the collection. I showed Keith a bunch of collages from the early 20th century that I loved. we sat together for two nights and cut out shapes in fuzzy felt. The following night we made collage compositions and patterns out of everything that we managed to amass. I took a piece of fabric that was the same size as a T-shirt and then started collaging shapes together. I kept holding the collages onto my body imagining what it would look in its final stage. The whole process was very hand made.” Once a final pattern was decided on, a graphic designer turned it into a digital file for printing.
When Keith and Jody work together it’s in the truest sense, every decision is made together. Throughout the design process they work very closely designing all the silhouettes together. For this collection they also explored various fabrics – knits, crepes, chiffon, neoprene, cotton, twill and abaya fabric – using good quality synthetics for the first time.
Known for presenting accessories like bags and sandals alongside each new collection, this time around Keith and Jody worked with jewellery designers Steffany Roup and Kat Pichulik to add another dimension to the range. Jody explains, “Both are really close friends and we admire their work a lot. Keith and I gave them references and showed the print motifs – and they were free to do as they pleased. I really enjoyed the contrast between these two jewellers and seeing their work in juxtaposition against one another. Steffany is so elegant, classic and restrained while Kat is really bold, ethnic and vibrant – I loved this dialogue for accessories.”
This collection is the biggest for Adriaan Kuiters to date, a result of wanting to build up their womenswear archive and explore a range of silhouettes that are suitable for various body types. “We used everything we learnt in previous collections and really tried to push it further and make it stronger.”
Shop the range at 73 Kloof Street, Cape Town.