‘Sistaaz of the Castle’
Photographer Jan Hoek (1984, NL) and fashion designer Duran Lantink (1987, NL) present Sistaaz of the Castle, a project about the colourful looks of transgender sex workers that roam the streets of Cape Town, South Africa.
Together they created a series of photographs and a fashion collection around their fashionable appearances, and their ability to make the most exuberant creations of everything they find.
The local sex workers’ organisation, S.W.E.A.T., gave Jan Hoek and Duran Lantink the opportunity to meet and collaborate with their transgender support group Sistaazhood. For this project, Hoek and Lantink zoom in on seven girls from the community: Coco (25), Cleopatra (23) Sulaiga (30), Gabby (29) Flavinia (33), Celine Dion (32) and Joan Collins (57).
Most of the girls are homeless, living under a bridge beside the castle of Cape Town. Jan Hoek photographed their lives and their outfits. The photos also serve as a lookbook for the collection of Duran Lantink. The designer was inspired by the creative ability of the girls to produce beautiful creations from found pieces of garments. He recognised a similarity to his own process, using different recycling methods and collage techniques.
The artists were also interested in how the girls would want to look like if they had unlimited possibilities. One of the girls would like to work in a luxurious Victorian brothel. The 57-year-old Joan Collins dreams of a wedding dress and a third wants to become Miss Africa. All these fantasies are translated into a dream-couture capsule collection by Lantink, which is also photographed by Hoek.
A Sistaaz of the Castle publication about the styles and lives of these stunningly fashionable woman will be released this year (2019) in June.