Jonte Pike, a young talent who is set to go very far with her label ‘Jonte’ launched her autumn/winter 14’ collection last Friday night, 2rd May at the luxurious Gold Bar. The sophisticated and stylish venue hosted a beautiful catwalk to showcase Jonte’s collection titled ‘Antiquity’. With darker shades and a wintery ambient, Jonte showcased a mesmerizing collection which was feminine yet full of strength. A wintery colour palette of black, burgundy, bronze and dark green shades made us want winter to come quicker! Each garment was impeccably structured, intertwined with a mix of textiles including leather, silk, wool and intricate beading.
I sat down with the designer before the show to ask her some questions about her label and herlatest collection.
Congratulations on winning the Vocational Student of the year in 2012. How did that feel?
It was amazing, a bit surreal, really nothing I expected. I was privileged to have received the award across all areas of vocational training and was humbled to be representing the fashion industry. It was great meeting such talented students from all across Australia at the nationals in Brisbane. The training awards were a lifetime experience.
You also received a scholarship to Japan, what kind of opportunities did Japan open up for you?
There were so many opportunities from the trip including factory tours which you don’t get to see in Australia. We got to see many various techniques unique to Japanese Hyogo Textile Companies such as the weaving and dyeing processes. Having the opportunity to work with textile companies who supply fashion houses like Calvin Klein and Versace was enthusing! I had my own textile design manufactured in Japan and was able to showcase this fabric at Perth Fashion Festival. I was lucky to receive the scholarship on two occasions, 2011 as a graduate designer and 2014 as the emerging designer. On the 2014 trip iconic designer Akira Isogawa participated and it was such an experience to be in the presence of a top Australian Designer.
Being from South Africa, has your heritage influenced your designs in any way?
Yes definitely, I’ve got a very eclectic feel to my work. I work with a lot of leather and hand beaded qualities, which was influenced from my South African background. I have always loved different cultures in South Africa and have been told it can be seen through my work.
I noticed you tend to use different fabrics together, is there a reason behind that?
It has become my design stamp. I like to mix leather, silk and hand beading. I love to juxtapose different textiles together. I enjoy mixing textures together to create a tactile sense to the garment. It adds a different element, which is more unique to my designing.
Can you describe to us what your latest collection was about?
The Jonté Antiquity Fall/Winter 2014 Collection draws inspiration from an antique ambience but re-worked for today’s modern edgy woman. A necklace I got from my grandmother inspired the whole collection. Playing with contrasting fabrics, this collection embodies genuine leathers, sheer textiles, hand-beaded features, laser cutting and hand dyed Batik textiles.
So the necklace was the key source for this collection, what were some other sources of inspiration for ‘Antiquity’?
Some beautiful textiles I found including silk devoré fabrics and some coloured leathers also inspired me for this collection. I liked the idea of re-working older fashion ideas into modern looks. There are a few design elements, which continue through the collection including zippers, piping and leveled hemlines, which developed from my inspirations and became key features.
Where do you source your materials from?
There are a few different companies I go to or if I find a swatch I go to places to try and find that same material or the closest form to it.
How do you hope your brand will develop over the next few years?
As of end of last year I started stocking in Sydney and Melbourne so I am hoping to grow that. I am setting up my online store at the momentand I hope to open up a showroom sometime next year, eventually working towards opening up a store one day and expanding through Australia.
You can check out ‘Jonte’ the label on:
By: Bojana Petrovich