2015/216 Finalist Mieke Vermeulen is currently busy with a line of handcrafted accessories and ready-to-wear garments that express a fresh, minimal South African look. Entitled the Neo Africana collection, it was inspired by traditional South African artisanal techniques and contemporary South African illustrative art. Fabric prints include images by renowned South African illustrator, Nina Torr. These are incorporated into Mieke’s designs to mutually support and promote local talent, as well as to create a definitively South African look and feel.
We caught up with Mieke this month for a quick QnA to find out first-hand what she’s been up to since her selection as a PPC Imaginarium Finalist.
What has happened for you since the Finalists were announced in February 2016?
I was part of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives 2016 programme and exhibited at the Watershed, Cape Town. I am in the process of creating a range for SA Fashion Week’s “Sunglass Hut New Talent Search” which is inspired by African individualism. I am also collaborating with renowned South African illustrator, Nina Torr, on a range of textile prints. These garments will be available for purchase after SA Fashion Week in September 2016.
What have been some of the benefits you have noticed after having done so well in the competition?
Through the process I was able to explore materials that I was unaccustomed to using and this helped me find solutions to combining materials that don’t usually go together. The designing and engineering aspects of the project definitely opened my mind to new possibilities and have been a great asset to my career.
What insights or advice do you have for this year’s entrants?
Art answers to a need for personal expression, and design answers to a public need for a solution. Keep in mind these internal and external elements when deciding on a concept and this will guide you through. Form versus Function.
What would you like to see more of in the design sector of South Africa?
I already admire the innovation and resourcefulness of many South African designers and look forward to being further inspired in the future. I would however like to see more South African consumers support designers by buying local and so stimulating a more creative community.
The future of fashion design is…
… The cross-pollination of different design fields.
Contact Mieke via her Facebook page to order her new limited addition leggings with illustrative prints from her Neo Africana collection.