Jenevieve Lyons


“I took the concept of meditation used in the monastic culture as further inspiration to convey escapism of society and the ideal simulated life, to evidently grow yourself,” said Jenevieve Lyons (, a  young fashion designer based in South Africa, who depicts visual parables throughout her clothing. In all her works she refers to concepts taken from various fields of study, which she interprets within a fashion context. Constant research and passion allowed her to create innovative garments with a strong sense of sculpture and moulding. “This concept was exaggerated with a use of fabric I developed myself. It consists of fabric being painted, cracked when dry and then cast in rubber to preserve it.” Papyrus is the name of the collection, composed by eight pieces based on the re-appropriation of religious symbols within fashion. The theme of Papyrus is based on revealing the use of religious symbols that are worn in the wrong context or worn by that of a non-religious person. All the religious imaginary investigated is other than the usual and expected: pages of the Bible and monastic culture, as well as Catholic nun religious attire.

The collection plays with these different icons in the use of proportions: long versus short, sheer versus solid, hard versus soft; although sheer fabric was used, the sensitive areas of the body remain ‘covered’. With the monastic culture as the foundation of these works, the concept of escapism came about behind the collection: religion is seen as a practice, and the more you develop yourself within your practice the more powerful you will convert to be. The cracked paint fabric was mainly used as the upper layer on the accordion parts of the garments resembling the pages of the Bible, symbolizing that escapism and change start at page one in any area of life, cracking of the old to reveal the new. The collection is aptly called Papyrus as the word “bible” was originally a diminutive of the biblos “papyrus, scroll” of Semitic origin and the shaped parts of the garments were derived from wet paper folding techniques. The word “papyrus” is written in small caps as a depiction of religious respect for the word’s origin.

Text by Anna Volpecilli