Craig Jacobs is a fashion designer best known for his label Fundudzi. He, and seven other South African designers including David Tlale and Suzaan Hynes, were chosen to interpret Yves Saint Laurent’s new couture colour palette’s in honour of the house’s 50th anniversary in beauty, which were shown at last week’s SA Style Awards. We caught up with him to talk about his dress which is inspired by the Rive Gauche Couture palette, his label and some of his red carpet DOs and DON’Ts.
GLAMOUR: What do you love about the YSL Rive Gauche couture palette?
Craig Jacobs: I think it’s very serene, it’s very calming and I’m obsessed with blue at the moment. My Autumn/Winter 2015 collection was pretty much blue, almost everything was blue. So, when I heard about this, I thought, “this is fantastic” because this is kind of my mood at the moment.
GLAMOUR: So it was like a great pairing?
Craig: Yes, indeed.
GLAMOUR: How did you translate the YSL Rive Gauche couture palette into a dress?
Craig: I fell in love with the colours so much that I wanted to bring them out in the dress, but also make it very sheer and transparent. It was about liquidity and I wanted to translate that into the dress. Combining pleated tulle, ruched georgette and silk chiffon. So, it’s all about form by the shades and trying to replicate that through the garment.
GLAMOUR: Is there something that Fundudzi identifies with?
Craig: Water is an integral part of my label because Fundudzi is the name of a lake in Limpopo. So the shades of blue felt natural to me because they related to the under-currents of my brand.
GLAMOUR: What type of woman would wear this dress?
Craig: The Fundudzi woman is quite classic, understated to a large extent, doesn’t follow trends, and very self-assured. However, what I’ve tried to do with this look is inject a little sexiness. Taking her a little out of her comfort zone, with the elements of sheer – you’re fully covered, in the right, strategic places.
GLAMOUR: How did you feel about the look coming to life with the makeup and model?
Craig: The YSL team interpreted what they felt would work and it turned out great. I selected BC because I thought that she would be the perfect person to wear the dress. She’s very strong, striking, statuesque and there’s a level of calmness about her – so she was the best person to illustrate the dress.
GLAMOUR: Are you a fan of Yves Saint Laurent?
Craig: Definitely! He comes from Morocco, so he’s an African designer. He was really big in the ’60s and ’70s. The manner in which he injected an African aesthetic onto a global stage, but in a very Parisian way, was amazing. I think that his sense of style and those iconic pieces, like the smoking jackets, all those things were very much part of the fashion vocabulary. He’s definitely an inspiration, it was great to do something that enabled me to engage with the brand and honour him.
GLAMOUR: What are you big DOs and DON’Ts for a red carpet event?
Craig: DON’T try too hard, DON’T be a slave to fashion – be yourself. I think that’s really important. DO have fun with your look. DO wear garments that are appropriate to your body and that make you feel good. When I design I’m always thinking about, how can I celebrate the woman wearing my clothes. So that’s what clothing should be doing. If you feel uncomfortable, if it feels a bit too tight and you can’t move or your shoes hurt, then you shouldn’t wear it.
GLAMOUR: What does GLAMOUR mean to you?
Craig: GLAMOUR is a mood. I think GLAMOUR is the feeling you get when you step out onto a red carpet and you know that all eyes are on you and you feel good about yourself. It doesn’t have to be about bling, it doesn’t have to be about the hottest colour, it’s about that mood that you feel.