2014 is the year that Cape Town has been named World Design Capital (did you see all the yellow in my shop window this month?). I’m hoping it will be a year where Cape Town’s design community comes together to support and encourage one another, while the Design world is focussed on our city.
At Skinny laMinx, our theme for 2014 is Cross Pollination, as we want to spend the year sparking off collaborations big and small. In fact, we’ve already made a start!
I’m a big fan of fashion designer Jessica Harwood’s store, Take Care, which I often pop into on my way home along Kloof Street. I love the store’s clear, minimal styling, and Jess’s beautifully spare collections.
So, when the sampling for my Up, Up & Away prints for Cloud9 Fabrics arrived I asked Jess if she’d like to play around with the lightweight organic cottons, bringing some of her pared-back fashion sensibility to the collection.
Jess chose Up in the Air in Pollen, and Dots & Spots in Smudge to make this summery shell top with a keyhole detail on the back and a pair of simple tapered pants with pockets and a draw cord waistband. The combination of my prints with Jess’s simple, clean lines has resulted in playful casualwear with a light yet sophisticated edge. I LOVE it!
The garments are not available for purchase, as this collaboration was all about being inspired by one another’s work. We hope that this helps inspire home sewists and aspiring fashion designers to create their own clothes using the Up, Up & Away collection, which can be bought in limited quantities from the Skinny laMinx shop at 201 Bree Street, Cape Town.
If you’re not in Cape Town, visit Cloud9 Fabrics for a list of stockists in your area.
And now, meet Jessica Harwood herself:
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Simple, understated and honest.
How long have you been working in fashion?
I started the Take Care label in late 2008 and it has grown so organically since then. I’m always learning and Take Care feels a little more grown up every year.
Tell us about the Take Care store on Kloof Street. When did you open, what do you sell there?
We opened the Kloof Street store in December 2011 with menswear label Adriaan Kuiters. It’s been an amazing two years and I’m so glad we did it! The space is shared between us and we sell our own labels including shoes, bags and accessories as well as some other local designers’ pieces such as jewellery from Skermunkil and light feminine basics from Hannah.
You recently released the Take Care SS13/14 collection. Which, would you say, is a signature piece for you?
I love the Double Trapeze dress. We’ve made it in a few different colours and they are all my favourites.
What attracted you to Skinny laMinx and in particular the Skinny laMinx/Cloud9 fabrics?
I’ve always admired Heathers ability to create such striking prints that seem to appeal to just about everyone. That’s not a simple feat! The opportunity to play with the Skinny laMinx/Cloud9 prints and combine them with Take Care’s simple clean lines was immediately exciting, and the fabric lends itself so well to light summery casual wear. I’ve enjoyed the process thoroughly!
How do you feel that this project ties into the World Design Capital 2014 initiative?
I think these sort of organic collaborations between designers is exactly why Cape Town is being recognised as the World Design Capital 2014 and why so much energy is being put into growing it. We have some incredible design talent in our small city and there is a strong sense, at least for me, that we are all pushing each other to be better designers all the time through collaboration and support.
Any exciting plans for the new year?
It’s going to be a big year. I can’t say too much just yet but an exciting new line is being developed as a sort of sister label to Take Care. There is also talk of expanding in Joburg later in the year.
Thanks so much, Jess! I’m so happy to be part of this fantastic Cape Town design community. xx