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Viviers Fall Winter 2023 – 2024 Collection presented at Milan Fashion Week


KARROO, Land of Thirst - presented at Milan Fashion Week in proud sponsorship with Cape Wools SA @capewools and Mohair SA @mohairsouthafrica, Photographed by @nicksoland, Creative Direction: @lezanneviviers

On 23 February KARROO, LAND OF THIRSTS was showcased in VIA DELLE ORE 3 with a live event which marks designer Lezanne Viviers' first onsite event after the digital debut of September.

KARROO, Land of Thirst is inspired by the surreal beauty of the magical Karoo landscape, that only really reveals itself, as one drives through this scorched, thirsty land. "As I leave the challenges of the city behind, (a metaphor for global Climate Change), I start to slowly unwind, as the road becomes longer. Upon my return to the city, I am charged with new vibrance, an inner silence and cozy, warm optimism." Says Lezanne Viviers.

"KARROO, Land of Thirst explores the colourful and changing landscapes of South Africa."

The collection is an exploration of the changing landscapes of South Africa, framed through our abundance of raw materials and beauty. KARROO, Land of Thirst, acts as an ode to Viviers' parents for influencing her 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 'Karoo' 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.

KARROO, Land of Thirst - presented at Milan Fashion Week in proud sponsorship with Cape Wools SA @capewools and Mohair SA @mohairsouthafrica, Photographed by @nicksoland, Creative Direction: @lezanneviviers

Chiaroscuro, an effect 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 over-come."

FABRIC AND COLOUR PALETTE ANTICIPATION For VIVIERS Fall Winter 2023 collection, references photographed by Lezanne Viviers herself of Karoo landscapes were developed into surrealistic artworks. Merging the collection's themes of arid land- scapes and cosmic horizons with beauty and light, which has been referenced in previous collections


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. 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.

Born in Cape Town. Lezanne exchanged the natural splendour of the Cape, for the cultural melting pot of Johannesburg, the city of Gold. where she moved in 2011.

"In my attempt to understand my own identity as a white, South African women, I began to use fashion, as well as beauty as the language of activism, in order to further explore not only my identity, but how we as humans could co-exist and interact through the language of love and unity as our primary source of communication.

Creatively I nourish myself with just about anything; I continuously re-discover beauty through the senses, often recognising it in articles considered mundane, like the recyclers' trolleys on the streets of Johannesburg" - Lezanne Viviers

The vision of the brand is to bridge between communities that see themselves as mutually exclusive, by creating a manifesto where narratives meet in the raw form of the arts. VIVIERS facilitates an umbrella-like platform. where through the arts. for artisanal collaboration and architecture, creatives can challenge institutional norms through clothing.

VIVIERS focuses on a sensual experience. Established in paradoxes, the boyish girlishness of the collections pieces could be both sophisticated, yet simultaneously rebellious, hard yet soft, organic yet synthetic. The garments are construct-led from rare and unusual textiles that make up seamlessly imperfect garments. that Lezanne strive to cut to perfection.

The designer is inspired by a Japanese sensibility and how it trans-migrates. through interpretation, in an African context. Shokunin in Japan means craftsmanship, however, it exceeds the mere fact that something is made by hand. It implies that something is made joyously, considerately, beautifully, but made to the utmost of your capability. This sensibility is shared in ancient African beliefs.

Spiritually and materially. Shokunin or craftsmanship is an approach with a social consciousness, which to Lezanne blurs the line of arts and crafts. An artis(an) vs an artis(t). Ubuntu has the same meaning in South Africa.

KARROO, Land of Thirst - presented at Milan Fashion Week in proud sponsorship with Cape Wools SA @capewools and Mohair SA @mohairsouthafrica, Photographed by @nicksoland, Creative Direction: @lezanneviviers

Further Reading In Articles

African Artist Directory

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