Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rayne Fashion: Vintage Vamps Up

Vintage is not something that many South African fashion lovers outside of the Western Cape get to experience, and as a Jozi girl, my first head-over-heels collision with vintage was in Kalk Bay, when a pair of white leather gloves stole my heart. The dilemma for most vintage lovers is finding the sort of garment that goes beyond collectible and crosses over into the category of Timeless. 

So what better way than to reconstruct vintage pieces without forsaking the integrity of the items? And what better person to take on the mammoth task than a Central St. Martins student and LISOF graduate?

Meet Jessica Rayne, founder of fashion label Rayne and savior to vintage fashion yearning to be worn in the modern age. 

Tell me more about the mastermind behind Rayne.

I am the founder and designer of the label.
My team is very small- Just myself and an amazingly talented seamstress.

What does Rayne bring to the table that sets it apart from most labels?

I feel like my main focus in terms of separating myself from other designers is that I play a lot with the relationship between ready to wear (or rather every day wear) and haute couture- I make a point to mix the two notions.

All pieces are one of a kind and in turn are treated like little stories and art pieces- 
that's where the couture element comes in- there is a lot of time and love that goes into each individual piece from sourcing to concept to design- 
The ready to wear element is that the pieces are still 'affordable' and can be worn every day for any occasion.

The concept of reworking vintage pieces is absolutely genius, what inspired the idea?


I have always had a pull towards vintage and antiques- partially because I'm incredibly sentimental and romantic and I think growing up I have been surrounded by collectors of treasures (my mom and gran).

I studied in London for a year which only inspired and added fuel to an appreciation for vintage- it's a big part of their culture. 

As an avid vintage shopper the only problem that I found was that a lot of the shapes were outdated and unflattering-

This, teamed with a moral concern of factory staff treatment in the industry and environmental factors which are constantly changing and in a lot of ways diminishing.

It was a collection of thoughts and concerns that bought about the creative process behind my label. 

I like the idea of remodelling things and reconsidering their original form- there is an element of art in that. 

I love that each piece has a story, it's come from something which life span is coming to an end and just before it's done with, all the memories of the previous owner drenched into the seams, Rayne gives it another chance, another opportunity to create more memories, more life.

I feel it's important to consider society and the worlds obsession with MORE- alot of my brand is built on the idea of quality & uniqueness- and of course LESS. Staying away from mass production has always been a priority for me.

People like to feel special. I like to create things that are special and precious and in turn make people feel that way.

In college I researched sustainability within the fashion world and that really created an alertness for me with regard to sustainable living and the impact its going to have on the fashion industry- with clothing being a luxury purchase. 

I wanted to almost put out that you don't need to buy more- you just need to be clever about what you have already. Pieces can be changed and remodelled a million times over.
I love that about my label.
I never set out to be a conceptual designer- I was just kind of doing what I loved because it made me happy, but actually I'm really seeing there is a lot behind my label then just pretty clothes. 

What I'm realising more and more that my label is just an extension of myself as an artist- the clothing is my medium.

Is there any particular aspect of where you're located that affects the design process of your garments?

I do believe culture and lifestyle impacts you as a creative- If I think back to the period in my life where I was living abroad, that place made me feel different and dress differently so I'm sure that will in turn impact on your work.

My designs aren't specifically African  inspired or affected but I'm proudly South African and find JHB such a motivating, romantic, beautiful place to live!

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone about to jump into the empty swimming pool that is the fashion industry, what would it be?

                               Work hard.

Be willing to learn and grow- everyone is a teacher.

Just when you think you're ready to give up, you need to push that much harder!

For full collections and stockist details go to rayne.co.za

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