Stephen Van Eeden is a Fashion designer who grew up in Kathu, a small town situated in the heart of the Northern Cape, bordering the enigmatic Kalahari.
His career objective from early childhood was to become a dentist, but as the years progressed fashion as a vocation resonated with him and this elicited a creative spark of realization that fashioning a woman in luxurious fabrics and effortless styling her in a manner reminiscent of a mythical deity would leave both designer and muse with a contented smile.
Stephen studied at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion design in Stellenbosch. After graduating top of his class in 2007 and receiving several awards as a young design student, he was determined to leave his mark in the South African fashion industry.
Shortly after graduation, he was appointed as a designer, product developer, and PR -liaison at the Cape Town based accessory leather craft company, Cape Cobra, which specializes in the design and manufacture of exquisite exotic leather goods for local and international clientele. Within this well, established luxury company a stable platform unveiled for this young designer.
Stephen kept his passion for bespoke couture alive after-hours, by creating gorgeous gowns collection for his private clients, mostly brides, and frequently participated as a young designer at fashion events and design competitions.
A chance meeting in 2010 with Teresa Joubert, a close friend, and fellow designer culminated in a 2-year business partnership and the founding of the Gelieft Brand – mainly specializing in bridal wear. As a formidable design duo, they were dedicated to perfection and the achievement of the highest aesthetic ideal in their elegant creations. At the beginning of 2012, Stephen relocated to the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and joined the eminent house of couture and pret-a-porter, Rosenwerth – one of the most acclaimed names in the South African fashion industry.
Under the creative leadership of both Elzbieta and Gabi Rosenwerth, Stephen cultivated a profound understanding of the modern woman’s style and a discerning eye for luxury fashion. In 2014 he took up the position of studio manager and assistant designer at Gavin Rajah- a fashion house that is synonymous with fine craftsmanship, luxurious finishes, and fine fabrication. This Cape Town based atelier is famed for producing couture garments for their loyal clientele around the world.
The success of the brand was built on a consistent standard of workmanship and creative excellence. While working under the guidance of Gavin Rajah, Stephen had the honor of traveling internationally and immerse himself in the fundamentals of managing a successful international brand -he counts this as one of the most rewarding experiences of his career.
Today Stephen brings us his last collection in collaboration with Lindie Jacobs as a photographer. Although all the dresses are a dream for every bride; I have to say is difficult for me to pick my favourite, because each one of them are truly stunning; as winter subsides and the softness of the fresh spring air rises, we get the desire to be dressed in the freshest cloth.
For this specific editorial collection, Stephen Van Eeden looked at inspiration in areas far from every day with a definite focus on simplistic, sophisticated and contemporary styling.
Classical colonial-style fashion can definitely inspire the creation of ideal ensembles for weddings that take place during the warmer days of spring and summer!
These couture pieces boast elements that are elegant, comfortable and rich with charming details that connect the traditional with a modern aesthetic. Subtle modernism in these ensembles promotes the absence of ornate embellishments whilst still incorporating the classical design philosophy of symmetry, proportion, and repetition in each piece.
In this capsule collection, the designer dusts off and reinvents exotic style lines in combination with minimalistic hues and tissue-like textiles that rhyme with lightness. The textiles used are a blend of natural and artificial fibers that create surfaces with an elegant, modern and smooth feel adding touches of beautiful detailed floral embroideries reminiscent of traditional anglaise.
To know more about Stephen, please visit: Stephen Van Eeden
Photo Credits: Lindie Jacobs