Pilgrim Clothing | Inspired by the churches of Africa

Our style contributor, MR TSHEPO MOSOKOTSO, styled Pilgrim Clothing’s latest range which was showcased at South African Menswear Week (SAMW). He gives us a glimpse into the collaborative shoot with the label’s founder, Ms. Siviwe James. 

It’s Good Friday and the call time is 5 am. Ms. Siviwe James, the founder of and brains behind Pilgrim Clothing, is preparing breakfast for the crew at the back of the car. I am excited by the beautiful, breath-taking and refreshing location. Hard to believe that one could find such a piece of heaven in the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg. 

While  putting together the looks, I ask Ms. James why she chose this particular location for the shoot, she turns around excitedly and responds: “The collection, as you know, is inspired by the churches of Africa: the fabric and man become an amalgamated being.” She further adds “They migrate on days of worship, congregating on mountain sides, valleys, turning open spaces into ceremonial locations of spiritual renewal. They feel no need for structured housing that resembles the walls of rigid confirmations”.

About two weeks before the shoot, she had asked me to help her commercialise the collection she had successfully showcased at SAMW in Cape Town earlier this year and I headed the call. There are two aspects of the styling we wanted to create that I believe we achieved:

Firstly, we wanted the consumer to be that beautiful individual who freely share their thoughts and unbranded consciousness. They should strikingly adorn their bodies in the chosen collection, so that they could be uplifted to the realms of a “demi-god”.

Secondly, since she had recruited a female model for this project, it was the perfect opportunity to play on the gender fluid fashion trend, to show that she is a progressive designer.

Not only did we successfully put together a beautiful lookbook, Siviwe believes that “The collection is simply beautiful and it clearly tells a story of divine in understanding, virtuous in heart with a pious spirit and these terms are clearly inscribed into the threads of each and every garment.” I totally agree.

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Styling: Tshepo Mosokotso

Creative Direction and production: Siviwe Jmaes

Make-up: Mamello Mokhele

Models: Alino Katombe, James Nzini, Prince Moeketsi and Dzunisani Ngobeni

Production and styling assistant: Katlego Magano

Photography: Simon James

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