We caught up with Diandra Haupt, Inscape’s Pretoria campus lecturer. Diandra has been with Inscape for a year and lectures Applied Design for Fashion and Graphics. She is one to watch, she has showcased at SA Fashion week for her A/W 2015 OPIA Collection which she says was inspired by the movie “Where the Wild Things Are”. Her collection was featured in Marie Claire and in 2015 she made it to the top 8 emerging fashion designers in Africa. She got to tell us about life at Inscape, her inspiration and her plans for the future.
Who is Diandra?
I’m a design enthusiast, and have a background in both graphic design and fashion design. I obtained a BA Honours in Information Design at the University of Pretoria and afterwards decided to rather specialise my design skills in the sphere of fashion. I then continued my studies and obtained a BA in Fashion Design from LISOF.
Studying further was definitely the right choice, as the year after I graduated I showcased at SA Fashion Week, as part of the top 5 of the New Talent Search, part of the collection was featured in Marie Claire the following year. During 2015 I was also selected as part of the Elle New Talent Search competition, and made it to the top 8 new emerging fashion designers in Africa.
I am very passionate about design in all disciplines, even though I have narrowed my focus to that of fashion. I have also found a passion in lecturing (specifically here at Inscape) and love seeing the students realise their potential!
How long have you’ve been lecturing at Inscape?
Almost a full year, I’m a newbie.
How are you finding Inscape?
Great! I love Inscape’s approach in teaching design
What subject/module do you lecture?
Applied Design for Fashion (DAD 240), Applied Design for Graphics (DAD 230 & DAD 330), some first year theory subjects as well as Unique Thinking.
Funniest/strangest thing that happened during one of your lectures?
In one of my lectures a student burped really loud, it was funny because it was completely unexpected, as everyone was working and she unexpectedly just burped.
Tell us a bit about your OPIA Collection
OPIA is the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
The collection was inspired by the movie, Where the Wild Things are. The visuals in the film were the key inspiration and influenced the use of natural textiles such as hand knitted items as well as the neutral colour palette. Much like the boy in the movie re-imagines a whole world for himself, the brief called for a discovery of a new point of view and with the collection; the idea was to show the craft element of knitting in a fashion sphere instead of the arts and craft stereotype that it is known for. Therefore hand knitting was used in silhouettes such as a jumpsuit and crop sweater, pairing machine knits with modern fabrics such as scuba.
Who inspires you? Why?
My mom, she is such a driven person and a very awesome Mom, she has always inspired me to achieve my dreams and goals.
I would also have to say Alexander McQueen, as he managed to transform clothing to transcend the concept of fashion and become art. He was such a key figure within the fashion industry and is inspiring in his use of strong concepts and ideas, to drive his collections.
Favourite past time?
Your proudest moment to date?
Taking part in the SAFW New Talent Search, especially because I was new to the industry and had just graduated.
What are your plans for the future?
To develop my fashion label into a well know brand and hopefully participate in more design competitions and events.
List 5 tracks that reflect/ have contributed to your life journey
5 tracks are not enough, but the most recent ones either have contributed in that they all have memorable moments linked to them.
The City -The 1975
Poison and Wine – The Civil Wars
Seaside- The Kooks
3 Libras- A Perfect Circle
Sweater Weather- The Neighbourhood