JEN MM DSGN is a designer, a photographer, a stylist, a painter and …
Basically I like to create so I do that what I feel is right to do and use for what I think is the right medium for the theme of the collection. I also like to illustrate. Concerning the painting, I haven’t had the time to do it lately.
I was reading somewhere that your “favourite colours are: black, pastel black, faded black, washed out black, light black, dark black” or “black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: ‘I don’t bother you – don’t bother me” (Yohji Yamamoto)
I like all colours and patterns but black is the colour I mostly think of when starting do sketch new Designs. I always do imagine them in total black at first.
Later further in the design process I might change depending on the theme I am inspired by and its colours I chose to use. But black lies most of the time at the beginning of my imageries and ideas. Black is where everything new ends and begins. It’s also the colour I usually wear most of the time, I have to admit. I don’t have a certain reason for it. It just developed with the time. With black you never go wrong. It’s chic casual and you’re always styled and look cool for every occasion. Black is a colour that holds itself back. Like an outsider, it's different from the others and I think in my opinion that’s what the quote meant, depending on the situation sometimes it conveys the feeling of wanting to be left alone. I like that it’s is mysterious, intriguing and curious and you never know what is meant with it. Like in art with some artworks like Rothko or others the observer can make up his own mind and create his own meaning and his view that is totally different from what the artist actually meant to intend with it.
Precisely, the key elements of your SS17 collection are black & red, the shadows, the blur, the tribal signs and graffiti; graffiti even on faces. I feel like you want to hide the models’ faces or in urban art culture faces doesn’t count?
Faces should always count. It shows our diversity and our character. Well, with the shadow part I tried to convey a feeling that I have had when being around cities that I never been or travelling alone exploring the places. 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. I wanted to capture that feeling in that instant and transmit it into my clothing. Of course, as explained before everyone can feel differently. This experience or feeling or how you want to call it, can be seen differently by others or not at all.
The tribal are to show that you are not alone and/or feeling in that way you do. It should be a sign of solidarity. The graffitis for instance show that there is always someone behind everything. If it’s a graffiti, a certain situation in life or any art form. You are what you do. I truly believe that you define yourself, not others. Do what you love, with passion otherwise there is no point.
Can I afford to consider you as an urban art/urban street designer or should I wait for you on other grounds and styles of mode?
I wouldn’t consider myself an urban art or street designer at all. I just do what I love in that moment when I am designing and what suits best to the ideas. I would say to wait. For sure other styles will come up. I like to experiment and to play with patterns or materials I never did before. So who knows what I come up with next.
Your products range from womenswear to menswear, accessories …
I also do bags and clothes for both gender, which I call androgynous. Products that are wearable for both. Of course, normally there shouldn’t be a specific name for it because everyone is free to wear what he or she likes even if it’s not meant to be for both gender. But in this case, if I design and shoot a piece where a male and a female model are wearing the same piece, I describe it as an androgynous product. For this reason there is also that section or range, if you like, amongst my products.
I was reading somewhere that everything is made by you, starting from the process of design, the idea to the pattern and final production …
For now I am the person behind everything beginning from the idea and inspiration to the shooting. Beginning with the sketches, the patterns, the toiles, fabric research to the end of the design process and the sewing of the actual pieces. Then finally the photographs for the look book series and short clips. It’s hard doing all of it but it so much fun and seeing the final product set up is satisfying. In the end it’s worth doing it.