Designer Lezanne Viviers Unfolds a New Vision With Debut Collection

Lotus House in Westcliff, Johannesburg, is the flagship space for designer Lezanne Viviers’s newly launched design studio VIVIERS. The mid-century modern home was designed by Osmond and De Kock as far back as 1960, and it is here that Viviers recently hosted the launch of her exquisite autumn-winter collection, titled ‘Unfold’. It marks her solo debut after years serving as creative director at Marianne Fassler.

Presented, was a sophisticated collection with clever fabric choices, lots of texture, colour and an evident nonchalance about gender prescriptions. “The materials I chose for this collection all have a duality in appearance; they are synthetic looking, yet they are made from silk, they are natural feeling although they are made from nylon,” she says of her fabric choices.

“My curiosity for textures and fabrics that are deceptive form part of my curiosity for many things that are not what they seem to be. I am fascinated by what is man-made and what is natural, as even man-made things come from natural sources. Organi-tech; imperishable technology yet originated from fragile natural elements. These characteristics were what I was on the lookout for when I curated the materials for the Unfold AW19 collection. It all influences the wear-ability and tactility of the garments, which makes the experience exciting.”

Viviers adds that ‘Unfold’ has both a technical and personal meaning to her. “To Unfold, means to open up, to decrease and to reveal something new. Clothing is constructed by folding papers then folding fabric to form a multi-dimensional shape that is no longer flat. More personally, Unfold is a metaphor to open up to my true self and my vision towards what clothing is and can be.”

For this inaugural autumn-winter launch show, VIVIERS collaborated with Studio Lennie, a Johannesburg based hat atelier that crafts handmade, one-of-a-kind creations inspired by the multiculturalism of the city. The result is innovative, elegant millinery craftsmanship that complimented the collection’s vivacious, and simultaneously understated elegance. These hats were made in the VIVIERS studio specifically for the Unfold collection.

While many will be familiar with Viviers’ work at Marianne Fassler, with her new label she hopes to offer interested individuals “a unique experience to building their wardrobes”.

“As with any discipline, each participant has a unique voice as an individual. Equally so, each individual could have exactly the same materials and exactly the same resources but each person’s distinctive way of combining these ingredients will unfold into a dish that has its own flavour, has its own scent and that has its own colors. By being true to yourself and by getting to know your true self, you cannot but offer the world anything other than something different.”

Lookbook Credits

Photographer: Zander Opperman @uglybruv

Make-Up: Caroline Greeff using MAC @Carolinegreeff


Hats: STUDIO LENNIE x VIVIERS Collaboration @studiolennie

Stylists: Louw Kotze @louw.77

Assistant: Sahil Harilal

Models: Ashlee Cayte, Rhulani Kubayi, Luther Galloway, Mx Blouse, Laura Windvogel, Tarryn Alberts, Thapelo Mofokeng, Thokozani Ndaba, Kwanele Kunene, Patricia Ndongala, Caleb Nkosi, Sithasolwazi Kentane, Marlene Steyn, Tamzyn Botha, Victoria Michaels, Koketso Mbuli, Thifhu Chikombi

Videographer: Ed Blignaut @edblignaut

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