When I first met Miss Siviwe James four years ago, I was entertained by her candid humour and palpable enthusiasm for all things fashion and anti-fashion, which has now manifested and evolved into a menswear label, Pilgrim Clothing ZA.
A pilgrim can be described as a person who travels nomadically for spiritual or religious reasons, wandering the earth in search of meaning. This definition is a perfect fit to this bubbling new talent. As creator of the Pligrim Clothing ZA brand, Miss James has been set in her views on fashion, describing herself as an artist first, making clothes for her male alter ego.
James explains that the Pilgrim man is, “well-travelled with cultural experiences that place him in the realm of a nomadic view of social changes”. The awkward adventurer that she designs for is reflected in the mix of artisanal craft and deconstructed conceptualism in each bespoke garment. She admits that “we still have a long way to go before the market truly accepts and understands conceptualist design and actually pays for such but for now, we are making moves in the right direction”. Pilgrim is not for the average South African man as Miss James wants to steer away from conventional fashion in her pursuit to “colour outside the lines” that we too often adhere to as South African consumers.
She will be showing at SA Menswear Fashion week, promising to be one of the most stimulating ranges to saunter down the catwalk. The range, in line with her design philosophy, was inspired by parishioners clothing of worship. Studying the cultural zeitgeist of South Africa, “this collection taps into our spiritual evolution. Our current need to uplift and renew. There is a drive for the pure lifestyle which is devoid of all materialistic wants and needs and considers the impact we have on our environments”.
Her drive to not fit in will appeal to those men looking for textured statement pieces to add to their winter wardrobes. The menswear landscape is slowly shifting thanks to menswear fashion weeks and new talent like Miss James, slowly nudging the male fashion periphery. She preaches through her clothing a message of individualism and social change, saving one fashion heathen at a time.
Watch out for her show on Wednesday the 3rd of February @ 19:00, Cape Town Stadium
Contact Siviwe James at PilgrimClothing_za@outlook.com.
Images by Tope Adenola for Horpload Works Photography