In Conversation with STUDIO DEGENS
Antoinette Degens and Daniël Geldenhuys make up the talented team of Studio Degens, known for their expertise in creative direction, styling, and visually enhancing projects. They recently partnered with our creative team of 'Collection 9', which includes Mikael Hanan (FIELDS founder and designer), Ian Engelbrecht (photographer), and Suaad Jeppe (hair and make-up), to bring the innovative concept of our latest collection 'Conscious Grounding' to fruition.
We had the opportunity to speak to the team and learn about the distinctions between the European and South African markets, as well as the conception and inspiration of their publication, HOMEY magazine.
Studio Degens has an ongoing relationship with many classic luxury brands. How does their work with FIELDS differ?
It’s not often that we get to work with a local brand that produces the same quality clothing as our European clients.
Can you tell us about the styling inspiration behind FIELDS Collection 9 - FW23 Conscious Grounding? And how does Studio Degens stay grounded?
We were inspired by the clothing: the detail and texture of the fabrics. We wanted to show people how to wear these pieces in a way that feels real and engaging. Authentic imperfections like creases and folds look so much more high-end in natural, quality fabrications.
Our humour grounds us and keeps us relatively sane.
HOMEY Magazine is a beautiful source of creative inspiration. Could you share its inception story and what you've gained from the process?
HOMEY is a unique opportunity to showcase the exceptional talent South Africa has to offer both locally and internationally. Producing each story enriches us creatively, beyond words. It’s a welcome challenge and an honour to tell these unseen, unheard, untold South African stories. And we’ve only just begun.
HOMEY - this digital magazine chronicles the unseen, unheard and untold stories of inspiring South Africans.
What is Studio Degens working on at the moment?
More HOMEY stories, Fall 2024 campaigns for our European clients, and an embargoed project with our creative partners at NORTH VCA.
How does the luxury fashion market in South Africa compare to the European landscape and what are the biggest differences?
Unfortunately, South Africa does not allow for the same quality production opportunities as Europe. The Rand hampers the buying power of the market, so it’s much more challenging for people to invest in quality clothing, which in the long run is much more sustainable.
Creatively, the understanding of campaigns and visuals, both in stills and video content, is very different. We find South Africans are not prepared to invest as much. On the upside, South Africa’s light, locations and production capabilities are exceptional and allow for so much more variety than Europe, especially for luxury fashion visuals.
In summary, South Africa has the talent but lacks Europe’s infrastructure.
Favourite classic trends for the upcoming season?
We don’t believe in the traditional definition of trends, but we are passionate about versatile investment pieces. Right now, we’re enjoying refreshed takes on shirt dressing, denim, and oversized silhouettes that stand the test of time.
Ian Engelbrecht, Daniel Gledenhuys and Antionette Degens on set for FIELDS.
Favourite city in the world?
Antoinette: Other than Cape Town, London.
Daniël: New York.
All-time favourite artist?
Antoinette: Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko and Michael Taylor. Don’t make me choose one.
Daniël: Am I allowed to say Miuccia Prada?
What would you never wear?
Antoinette: Tummy tops and things with holes in the shoulders.
Daniël: After everything Christopher Kane and Balenciaga did for Crocs, I won’t rule anything out.
Your favourite piece from the FIELDS collection?
Antoinette: The Ecru Round Neck Sweater in Cotton.
Daniël: The Striped Box Tee in Turkish Sea Stripe.
Being a creative in South Africa is...
Antoinette: Beautiful and challenging.
Daniël: Uncharted and unconstrained.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Antoinette: My 7-year-old practicing her choir song: Bruno Mars’ The Lazy Song, in the car on repeat. Otherwise, Max Richter, Róisín Murphy.
Daniël: Reneé Rapp’s Snow Angel and Ariana Grande’s live tracks on Yours Truly (Tenth Anniversary Edition).
What are you binge-watching at the moment?
Antoinette: Ran out of shit to watch while waiting for season 3 of Hacks. Love to fall asleep to reruns of Vera.
What are you reading at the moment?
Antoinette: World of Interiors, September 2023 and Roses at the Cape of Good Hope by Gwen Fagan.
Daniël: VOGUE, September 2023.
Read more about HOMEY magazine here.
This interview has been edited for clarity. All artwork images are courtesy of Studio Degens.