Solid foundations

Designer Suzaan Heyns will ”cement” her creativity at the fashion week. Her ready-to-wear 2012 spring and summer collection, titled Reimagine Concrete, will be unveiled at the event.

She will feature 35 items for women and men.

Remaining true to the avant garde, Heyns is exploring architectural structures by incorporating cement in the construction of her garments. She is undertaking it in collaboration with PPC Cement. ”I was inspired by the sculptor Kevin Francis Gray,” says Heyns. ”My aim is to subvert the way we see cement. When you think of cement, you think ‘hard and structural’ and we are taking it into a feminine realm, making it soft and liquid in essence.”

The collection will consist of ­colours to complement the material. Heyns looks at the three stages of cement: powder, liquid and final ­setting.

They are explored with ­chiffon and soft colours will represent the powder to reflect the lightness, whereas leather, widely used in Heyns’s ­collections, will represent the final outcome.

The show will feature sculptural pieces made of cement, but Heyns will not be trying to sell these to her ­clients. ”Fashion is fantasy,” Heyns says.

Yet she also describes fashion as ”art and sculpture — more than its trends”.

Her label was launched in 2009 and her fish-scale dress, part of a previous collection, was one of 10 finalists at this year’s Design Indaba competition for the most beautiful object in South Africa.


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