The Jan Jan Van Essche Thread

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The Jan Jan Van Essche Thread

Postby breakadawn » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Jan Jan Van Essche is a 30-something year old Belgian designer who solely produces menswear, though some women buy his clothing because of the aesthetic it carries. Aside from a really simple, baggy style with beautiful fabrics, JJVE is interesting to me because he only produces one collection per year, all the clothing comes in one size, and he tends to have quite a personal relationship with his clients (although he apparently hates being branded as couture).

He has produced five collections to date, the first starting when he was 30 years old. They can all be viewed here, the one I linked is the latest one, which is actually my favourite so far.

Just wanted to get a discussion going yooooo
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Re: The Jan Jan Van Essche Thread

Postby breakadawn » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:30 pm

Here are a few of my personal highlights from his lookbooks, I've spread it out over different collections to give some variety. He claims that most of his flintstone comes from West African and Japanese culture, which is pretty easy to see in the drape (kinda like Yohji) and the sewing techniques (which I've heard are inspired by the Asanti).

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JJ and his partner Pietro - they operate this cool shop
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Re: The Jan Jan Van Essche Thread

Postby can- » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:30 am

fun jjve cardigan I tried on, to give you a feel for how oversized this is, it's a tagged medium and I'm a fairly true XL

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Re: The Jan Jan Van Essche Thread

Postby JtotheWhat » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:12 pm

I think I first saw Jan Jan in the Belgian designer thread here on c-t and since then have become obsessed with him, his style is basically what I have been searching for myself for quite some time, and I had that ''aha!'' moment you get when you find something you feel like was made for you. A lot of designers (or a few at least) create a great silhouette comparable to what JJ does, as someone else said somewhat similar to Yohji, but what sets him apart are his fabric textures, they have so much character and really make the garments come to life for me whereas a lot of other people creating a similar silhouette are using a lot of overall less interesting materials. The combination of his fabrics and his silhouette give it a really cool almost religious appeal which I think he addresses in a couple interviews, it's just a really great jizz on the whole and when you see him and hear what he has to say it feels quite authentic. I also think his emphasis on natural fabrics is great. I don't own any pieces yet but there are a couple I have been eying up and planning to pull the trigger on as a reward to myself as soon as I finish University this winter.

Here is a video of him showing some of his fabrics and garments to someone, quality isn't great but you can see some of the awesome textiles he uses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gXvrgrr7aM


Some cool smaller interviews I've found..
http://www.jponfashionspeed.com/2013/04/exclusive-interview-with-jan-jan-van.html
http://thewordmagazine.com/style/a-conversation-with-antwerp-fashion-designer-jan-jan-van-essche/
[url]http://coffeeklatch.be/en/interview/2011-09/2/jan-jan-and-piëtro[/url]
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Re: The Jan Jan Van Essche Thread

Postby bird.in.flight » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:37 am

The handwoven pieces from Project Two "Redeem" are done in the traditionally japanese style of Sakiori weaving - strips of various fabrics torn into strips and handwoven on a loom - all done in-Atelier

Here's a picture of the weaving process

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And here's a piece made from the finished product taken from Atelier Solarshop's Instagram

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Re: The Jan Jan Van Essche Thread

Postby schiaparelli » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:19 pm

beyond excited for this thread. @thephfactor showed me the freunde von freunden interview with jan jan van essche and i'm being absolutely serious when i say that it's really shifted my view of fashion. also shoutout to @bird.in.flight bc his enthusiasm for JJVE is infectious.

Which specific topics do inform your design choices and directions?
My collections always have the same central theme. The same moodboard has been on my walls now for three years. There are some things I take away or add but in the end it is a very slow process that retains certain key elements. I don’t reinvent myself with every collection. I see it more as a continuous story.


i love this idea he expresses of slowly unfolding, of gently advancing the ideas that have always been close to your heart, and finding an appreciation for the familiar.

And what is that story about?
It might sound a bit esoteric but I would say it’s a story about comfort and freedom. I don’t want to feel “obstructed” by clothes but rather liberated. I don’t want to dress the people who wear my clothes in a certain way, they should be who they are and act as they would. I have the feeling that clothes are often made as a second skin—a skin of a second persona. My clothes are open for personal interpretation and styling but, of course, they have a certain identity too—


i think this idea of liberating clothing, and clothing that frames a person and who they already are, instead of forcing them to fit into a new image, is critical to JJVE.

How would you define that identity?
There is something I come across a lot in folk culture and traditional garments: the fact that the body shapes the garment more than the other way around. A kimono is the same cut and size for men and for women. A boubou in Africa is merely the width of the fabric—how it looks depends on how you look.
I really like to see the variants of fabric while people move and interact.

We are good enough as we are. I’d say that’s what defines my clothes along with natural textiles, soft colors, monochromatic palettes and less and less seams.


love this. we are good enough as we are. i think there is so much fashion out there where the designer is trying to be assertive, where the designer is saying "this is what your body needs to be like, in order to engage with what i do". and i love that JJVE is very open-minded and is interested in exploring fashion that lets a person's actual body, and their real self, take precedence. in womenswear, specifically, there such a strong culture of needing to be the right body, and having your clothing disguise and shape you into the right kind of body. i think that, in that context, what JJVE is saying is very empowering and wonderful.

the idea of garments being interpreted by each person, and coming alive and being reshaped to a personal degree, is very lovely. the idea that the garments aren't supposed to look at fit in an extremely particular way—that there is room for you to decide and change that—i think there is a huge sense of comfort and respect for people that is communicated by this.

I really love it when you don’t feel the actual clothes too much.
Exactly. There are some days when you really want to feel denim and its the rough structure. On other days you want really light drawstring pants that you hardly feel or even a jumpsuit with no waist. Girls wear dresses—they know the feeling of body freedom. Men, on the other hand, don’t.


i've personally observed that, although womenswear that leans towards androgyny still has a flow and a sensitivity to motion, menswear often stays a bit stiff and restricted. it is also wonderful to see a designer discussing unisex sensibilities that involve taking cues from womenswear and bringing that into menswear, and not just the other way around (which is more typical and—to me—less transgressive and interesting).

When I look around I ask myself “Why all that empty spaces, white walls, minimal interior you see everywhere?” This space feels much more real and personal.
To be honest, I would really like to be a minimalist but I just can’t.


hahahahaha
he's just
so real
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