Joel Janse Van Vuuren, who has recently moved to Joburg from Durban, explains that his designs reflect his explorations of beauty, fashion and the 21st century. His passion for fashion design was sparked while working at a London high-end fashion store.
He explains that his design method is random and non-restrictive so that he can produce garments that are creative from the outset of the design process.
“In my exploration of this process, I came across Rorschach’s inkblots which sparked the idea of creating fashion illustrations from inkblots. This child-like approach to design led me to create around one hundred paint blot fashion illustrations from which I could select those I could use in my collection,” he says.
“In this process of creating paint blots, I used a variety of mediums, from acrylic paint to gouache and ink. I placed the medium on a page and either flattened another page on top of it or folded the page in half, both of which created interesting silhouettes that could later be transformed into fashion designs.
“Once the paint and ink had dried on all the pages, I placed a figure into the paint blot shape to create a fashion silhouette. I did not want to allow thought or logic to dictate the figure and the design, so I allowed myself a brief 20-second window in which to draw the figure before moving on to the next paint blot page,” he says.
“I am moving away from any previous understandings of the fashion design process I may have been taught. I believe that with this method, seen through the ‘chaos’ of randomly spilling paint on to a page and allowing the free form to determine my fashion silhouette, I introduce order and create a fashion illustration from a paint blot. In this way I impose structure on the chaos.”