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Suzaan Heyns' concrete fashion

Suzaan Heyns, in collaboration with Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) has incorporated concrete into the production of her 2012 Spring/Summer Collection, launched at her show at the Crowne Plaza, Rosebank, Joburg.
Inspired by sculpture, Heyns has managed to transform the everyday mundane into a spectacular showcase, illustrating the journey of cement from powder to a dream realised and has called it, "Reimagine Concrete". By combining her love of art and architecture, Heyns created the collection to "feminise" concrete. She said: "This collection is the artistic appreciation for technique and is not driven by trends. I have taken the idea of the solid form and transformed it into fluidity by highlighting the sculptural silhouette of the human form."

Fabrics dipped into a concrete mixture

Assisted by support from PPC's technical marketing manager, Donovan Leach, the fabrics used in the collection were dipped into a concrete mixture and moulded on a dummy. The pleats and drapes of the voile and chiffon combined with concrete creates an optical illusion - trompe l'oeil - and audiences are left perplexed by the surreal way in which concrete has been used in the same way as fabric, literally sculpted into garments.

The creative team at M·A·C Cosmetics executed Heyns' brief by achieving numerous looks that evolve with the collection. This collaboration saw the make-up partner approach each model as a canvas, allowing them to create an ethereal effect in order to maximise the architecture of the face.

Adding to the dramatic effect was the AV created by the Silver Lining Pictures team, commissioned to shoot at PPC's Jupiter plant in Lower Germiston. The film plays with the concepts of evolution and duality and contrasts the innocent beauty of its models, twin sisters, with the environment of the factory.

Young Concrete Sculptor Awards

Heyns' collection runs parallel to the build-up of PPC's 21st Young Concrete Sculptor Awards (YCSA). The competition is the longest-running competition of its kind in South Africa, which encourages sculptors to rethink the role of art and design in our everyday life. It is a platform for young emerging artists to showcase their creativity and innovation by using the medium of concrete.

Heyns' latest collection will be available in her new store in Melrose Arch set to open in August, 2012.

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