In 2014, Martelle Ludik graduated from LISOF and secured a place in showcasing his self-titled brand on various platforms including SA Fashion Week, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg and SA Menswear Week. The brand is immensely influenced by pop culture and the ever-changing attitudes of society. While targeting a younger market, his designs & runway styling always encapsulate a rebellious & defiant attitude. ‘But why not?’ becomes the relevant question for his designs and the concepts of creation, agitation and differentiation are always important in his design aesthetic.
This collection was inspired by the 80’s but specifically the brief ‘New Romantic’ movement of the early 80’s. It came off looking very inter-sexual, men in make-up, glitter and frills and very feminine, with a bit of a pirate feel to it.
Harsh lighting was used for a deer-in-the-headlights look, to create the idea that it is a spotlight where the subject is constantly placed under question about his being and it then taking a toll on his psyche.
Playing with gender norms and with the feminine elements in masculinity and vice versa and contrasting ideas that work together to form a new normal. With the constant theme of disruption in the brand DNA, one of the disruptions is that of gender. Since the brand’s aesthetic does have a strong lean towards inter-sexual and androgynous design, gender does become less important and it becomes more about what the clothes signify for the person wearing it.
Martelle hopes that the campaign motivates people to think further, be dynamic in their thoughts and question things. "It’s not enough to accept things for how they’ve been without asking if it has the right to stay unchanged. I want someone to look at the campaign and the garments in general and ask themselves ‘OK, but why not?’"
Creative Director/ Stylist: Neo Serati
Photographer: Tatenda Chidora
MUA: Orli Oh Meiri
Clothing: Martelle Ludik