“For his final collection, Henry spent hours in the CSM library looking for inspiration from his home country. “I was finding South African references that I had never even seen before: books from 1965 that had been forgotten on the shelves.” And it was there, amongst the old, long-forgotten books, that he stumbled upon the works of photographers, David Goldblatt, Jurgen Schadeberg and Roger Ballen. Their social documentaries of South Africa’s working class became the jumping-off point for Henry’s graduate collection entitled, Intersections.
The collection references the tradesmen and domestic workers of the 60s and 70s-era photos and the “characters” Henry encountered growing up. It also takes inspiration from the indigenous Ndebele and Shangaan people — and these nods are all evident in the menswear-inspired suiting, utilitarian cuts, animal skins and beading. Wide-legged pants and boxy tops are constructed from heavyweight canvas and brightly dyed springbok hides, also indigenous to South Africa. Geometric patchwork pieces based on Ndebele handicrafts are paired with “bibs” in the style of work clothes worn by miners. Overall, it’s a cohesive collection of separates that Henry developed with a “complete wardrobe”, a refined professional woman and the luxury market in mind. I’m striving for “really beautiful and carefully considered clothes,” he explains.”