The fashion line AKJP came about through the collaboration ‘Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen’ between artists Jody Paulsen and Adriaan Kuiters designer, Keith Henning. The duo of AKJP both live and work in Cape Town and are well known for their artistic implementation and cutting edge kink on modern pragmatic mens and womenswear.The brand’s identity has been defined with sport enthused motifs and the expansion of robust prints for each collection that has been produced. Their signature style features have been defined with boxy silhouettes, asymmetrical detailing and the use of layering. AKJP is recognised both locally and abroad as one of the country’s most innovative brands and has showcased their latest collection the ‘Permanent Collection’ at SMAC gallery Johannesburg this past Tuesday. How the duo went about creating their new collection, what inspired them as well as the concept behind their campaign will be discussed.
The ‘Permanent Collection’ is built on modish wardrobe staples as well as limited edition artistic prints created by Jody Paulsen. Intended to set a new foundation for the label and make allowance for the evolution of future lines. The collection is at present centred towards offering everyday wear for South Africans though there are plans to create high end capsule collections focussed on an international audience grounded in the ‘Permanent Collection’.
The line consists of some defined men’s and women’s silhouettes and the larger majority of the range is comprised of unisex pieces. Classic styles with a renewed touch accompany chic easy to wear shapes available in twills and crisp cottons. The line contains its breaths of lavishness with pieces constructed from hemp, silk and leather.
Experimentation with collage aided in the development of the artistic prints that enhance some of the pieces within the collection. Jody has drawn his inspiration from artists such as Hans Arp, Henri Matisse and David Hockney and created every design paper cut outs that were digitized and finally printed. To apply patterns to the collection different printing techniques were combined with fabric collage and embroidery.
Conceiving the concept for the campaign during their design implementation, connections were drawn between the collection silhouettes and prints, and the kind of work that SMAC gallery artists produce. The campaign was photographed at SMAC gallery and takes a look at the relationship between three friends/lovers who have been locked inside the gallery over night. A strong sense of intimacy was captured between the three models by photographer Neil Roberts. The intimacy needed in the photographs were accomplished with ease which might be attributed to the models familiarity with one another due to working together on previous AKJP brand campaigns. The faces of the campaign are Jae Kim who has worked with AKJP from the age of fifteen, AKJP campaign and runway darling, Nina Milner as well as Daniel Defty.
Jody and Keith’s intention to have the ‘Permanent Collection’ as everyday wear for South Africans is an aspiration that I believe is not wholly attainable as many of the pieces from the range evoke a lux mood because of the use of materials such as silk and delicate intricate sheer detailed pieces. Jody’s artistic prints inspired by artists such as Matisse and Hans Arp also contribute to this lux emotion that is evoked. There are however pieces that might fall into this bracket such as jeans and easy to wear shirt designs. The entire range can thus not be regarded as everyday wear. The brand continues its recognition locally and abroad as one of the country’s most innovative brands and a pioneer of modern day cool in the South African fashion vista.
Jewellery by Steffany Roup
Hair and Makeup by Gareth Coleman