Since childhood she knew she wanted to work in fashion. That was due to her everlasting passion for creativity and art. At the age of 16, she took a sewing course to learn more about fashion and the process of its creation in order to pursue a career in the field. She owns a Yorkshire terrier, whom she misses dearly whenever she is away from home. Her guilty pleasure is cake and her favorite social media app is Instagram.
Here are some insights from Jennifer herself, on the process of fashion design and this year’s theme of the FASHIONCLASH festival.
You can meet Jennifer and buy her designers during FASHIONCLASH Festival at the 'Fashion Makes Sense Lab' from June 30 - July 2. (free entrance).
More information about the program: here.
What are so far your main achievements in your career?
My main achievements, which I would have never thought if I think of me as a little girl, is that I never expected to achieve what I did since now. I never would have thought to win and to graduate in Fashion with the both awards that I won during study. Then that I moved to London to do an internship, on my own and since then never stopped doing and creating my ideas. I never stopped drawing. Fashion is always on my mind. And of course that I am here still doing what I always wanted to do and have not given up.
In what projects are you involved at this moment?
For now, it’s attending FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017. I hope that more projects will come. The rest is all work in progress.
What are your biggest struggles as a young designer/artist?
As a young designer I find it difficult to show my collections somewhere except online, which is the cheapest way of doing it. Some expect you to pay a certain sum which most young Designers don’t have. Budget is always a problem. But that’s how it works I guess. In every collection I try to express my idea in the most possible way that I can, not only on fabrics but also if it means that I have to do everything on my own, like photo shooting and creating a fashion film. Which I do and love doing, even if it’s a lot more work. But in the end it’s fun and exciting seeing your work because you can say ’I created this and did this all myself’. It’s satisfying. All in all, I am glad that there is an annual event like FASHIONCLASH Festival that gives young creatives the opportunity to show, sell and exhibit their work. Moreover, for someone who does all on their own like me sometimes it is difficult to meet the season deadlines for SS or AW. Most of the times I get ready days after the Fashion Weeks are over.
"For me Fashion is something that was always there, since humanity began to dress themselves."
What do you love the most about your profession?
I love that I can be creative in something that you can use in your daily life. Everyone needs to dress so fashion is part of all of our lives. As I do everything myself, I do like a bit of each of my design process starting from the idea/ scribbles/inspiration, pattern-making, sewing to the shooting creating a film. Most of it all I like that I can create my own designs, my own ideas and don’t have to stick to any rules or other. I love what I do and like that I can be free in every step of my process.
How would you define fashion?
For me fashion is not only a necessity or something you just put on and get on with your live. For me Fashion is something that was always there, since humanity began to dress themselves. It’s history and it’s progress. Fashion is also expressing oneself, it’s art and creativity. That’s what I think.
What fascinates/inspires you and why?
I can be inspired by all sorts of things that I see, read or hear. I believe that inspiration is everywhere. For me it can be something odd I am seeing somewhere, a painting, a certain song or sound or even an experience/feeling. Sometimes it also can pop up in your mind, just out of nowhere, also while working. I try to see/read/explore the most that I can and soak all information, like a sponge and then write it down or draw any idea that I have, depending on how it pops up in my head. I am not inspired or fascinated by anything specific, but as I do like all sort of creativity really, I am most of the time inspired by painters, musicians or writers or artists of any creative field who can inspire me with their work, the way they think, they work or express themselves. I like to be inspired by anything. It’s limitless and it’s everywhere.
Finding your own distinctive voice can be difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity?
It is difficult to get one’s voice heard. I do my work and my designs with passion and try to keep them as unique as possible and to create them as I imagine them to be and to look like. My inspiration doesn’t come at the beginning of a collection straight away. It sometimes comes whilst drawing, other times when going out seeing different things but always with the theme of the collection in mind or even during developing of the toiles on the mannequin or just out of the blue when I don’t expect it. One can find inspiration at any time. Well, that’s more for me but each person is different and creativity can be different and develop different on each single person.
What challenges did you face during the design process?
Challenges for me in each collection is to find the right fabrics for my main idea and the right styles. Those are always tricky points, even when you have an idea that you’re so enthusiastic about it that seeing a this piece in toile and in the end you totally want to change it because it doesn’t look as you have thought it would. That can be frustrating at times but that’s the process and some things just need time to develop to the better. But this challenges need to be there. Without them there is no process and that’s good that they’re there. Of course there’ll be always little mistakes, but we’re humans, that happens. For me if there are challenges that good because it means that I can work on it, try to figure out another way or other things and work on where I got wrong and where I should do better.
I develop and create my own ideas and Designs. I do everything myself because I believe that feeling unique and authentic in what one wears is important and which also are very important to me, because I am passionate in what I do. What I mean with this is that I want to show that there is more to clothing than just, let’s say a mass-produced T-Shirt. There is more to it and that there can be someone, in my case one only person who does each of their product themselves is in indeed unique and it also has some kind of story behind it. Once someone said to me, that when wearing my designs, one can feel the difference and see oneself not in the usual outfits but differently to other already worn clothes of their wardrobe. I hope others do feel the same.
Can you tell us something about the project you will present at the FASHIONCLASH Festival?
At FASHIONCLASH Festival I will present my collection „UMBRA SUMUS“, which translates from Latin to “We are shadows”. This collection is inspired by urban art and culture, but it is more an experience of mine. UMBRA SUMUS is the inscription of a sundial from a mosque in Brick Lane, East London. It is a reminder that live is volatile and later it became another significance when immigrants and the French Huguenots started to move into this area. I gave this inscription a different meaning with this collection by giving it this title and described my own experience. Being around, in between and amongst the crammed streets of people where sometimes you barely can walk in the pace you wish, for me it felt like a tiny piece among a thousand of faces you don’t know. In that moment like a shadow in a way, unknown/anonymous by others. A shadow wandering from place to place. Fearless, fierce and curious. I wanted to capture that feeling in that instant and transmit it into my clothing.
What do you try to communicate with your project?
As explained before I wanted to capture that feeling and transmit it into my clothing. Of course everyone can feel differently. The make-up consists of tribal signs and should show that one is not alone even though sometimes you feel to be lonely. Long story short, I truly believe that you define yourself, not others. This is more what I think my collection says, that you should hold on to others but you decide to do what you want and to be who you want to be.
Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
Since I started to work on my own designs I was looking to showcase my work and what I do, but not only online also on events so that people can see, touch the fabrics, try them on and if they like talk to me about my stuff. So whilst researching, I found the website of FASHIONCLASH Festival. As I read and saw that FASHIONCLASH showcases creatives, designers and also students, I didn’t think twice and sent an email. I am very happy that the FASHIONCLASH team accepted my application and am so excited to show my collection on this occasion.
FASHIONCLASH is already working on future themes. What are the topics you find interesting?
Future is a big theme and like in every Design related job we need to look ahead because tomorrow is already the future. I like to think of ten, twenty years and more ahead and to imagine how the world will look like and how the world and even the dressing sense of the people will change. Future of Fashion is very interesting, though Fashion is not only something we put on but it has to be emotional, contemporary. I believe this year’s Motto „Fashion Makes Sense“ does underline this as well because Fashion needs to be emotional, one needs to know who is behind the designs. For this reason, in my view this is already looking forward to the future which is very interesting.
What are your thoughts regarding ‘religion and fashion’?
Religion and fashion is a very controversial topic depending in which direction or view one sees it. In general, I think that fashion concerning in each and different religion should be respected and tolerated.
(Does)Fashion Makes Sense?
Does fashion makes sense to you?
Fashion is part of my life. We all dress up every day. Fashion and creating fashion is my way of expressing myself. So it definitely makes sense to me.
What are your thoughts on making ‘fashion’ more environmentally-friendly?
I don’t know but there shouldn’t be this stress about creating so many collections, mid- season ect ect. to low down the manufacturies, check more on fabrics, how their made ect. But nowadays I believe it’s more about the money then thinking about the environmental consequences. And I believe that a garment should last longer than just a couple of months so that then the consumer goes and
buys a new one.
What are your thoughts on the senses in relation to the human body?
A person should feel good in what his wearing. It should make him fell good not only himself inside but also the touch of the fabric. Regarding the question before the person who wears a totally new, lets say jumper or shirt, his skin shouldn’t show any allergic reactions. That I wouldn’t like to see on me either.
Do you think that fashion can contribute to a better world / better well-being, and what do you do to make a difference?
I am not sure if it could contribute to a better world but as a Designer who does everything myself, I do choose the fabrics which I believe are good (and not only budget wise) and I do sew and create every garment myself. That’s my contribution for now.
What senses are engaged in your creation process?
The sight, touch, smell (fabrics) and hearing. Last one when imagining my work as a story, for the fashion film or short clip, music sometimes makes the difference even conveying your intention with what you want to say.
How does technology change your creation process?
For me I apply technology in my creation process when creating prints for screen printing my designs or when editing the pictures of the shoot or working on the clips. Even new inspirations can come up when being on social media. But going back to the question, it doesn’t really change in my case.
Morning, checking up what needs to be done for the day (if I haven’t done it the evening before), if I need some trimmings or other, get out get them. Noon checking up on emails, in the evening working on the collection depending on which stage I am, pattern/toiles/cutting, concept/fabrics/moodboard, working on pc on screen print moods or sewing final collection pieces. It all depends on which point I am.
Vegan, vegetarian, healthy diet or any food will do?
I always try to eat and cook heathy but wouldn’t say I am strictly one of this listed. I like vegetarian, some vegan bit also meat. But basically I eat anything, even junk food once in a while. I eat and try anything.
What’s your favorite song at the moment?
I am more of a rock person even though I listen to anything. I try to be more open to anything. At the moment while working I am listening to a lot of Radio, but couldn’t really say what song I would prefer the most.
Best TV-show/movie at the moment?
I love to go to the cinema but haven’t had any time lately. But the last Tv-Series I watched was Penny Dreadful, I believe it was and started to watch Mr.Robot and am looking forward to see Girlboss next.
What is your bad habit?
My bad habit…maybe that I am a bit stubborn sometimes.
Are you a people's person or a loner?
I like to be around people who share my same interests but sometimes I also need to have some lone time or me time. Just some time by myself.
Your favorite quote?
I’ve actually have a couple that I really like:
„Life is too short too waste it to realize the dreams of others.”-Oscar Wilde
„If you don't have passion for something, you shouldn't it be doing in the first place.”-Alexander McQueen
“The importance is not to get you noted, but to remember you”-Giorgio Armani
“Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.”- David Bowie, Leo Tolstoy
What is your favorite city? London.
What/who do you miss the most when you are not at home? My family, friends and my dog.
If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
To London, because this is the place where I always since I was little wanted to move to when grown up and study/work there. It still is.
That I am able to do what I love doing and I really enjoy traveling when I can and have the time for it.
Who is your biggest example/idol?
That would be Alexander McQueen. I loved him since the first time I saw and learned about his work. He was amazing and still is. Every time I see his collections/ designs it gets me every time. Then there is Vivienne Westwood. She is also amazing in what she does. She’s great and I love what she does. If I have to say it all, David Bowie is another idol that I really love. An inspiration in every character he played. You see, I do have more than just one because every artist has a different character, different ways of expressing their work to the people. If I think about it it’s more the exhibition of their work, how they show and convey their message to their audience/observer. Well, and that’s why I have a couple of idols.
Favorite magazine? I-D Magazine.
Favorite hashtags? #lovemywork #thoughtoftheday #checkout
Instagram account you think deserves more attention?
Mine :) Apart from that, there are so many good
fashion, photography and art, also lifestyle
profiles that is difficult to name just one.