On Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting and having a chat with Juliette Hogan, and her sales & communications manager, Chantelle Mears. It was such a cool experience to have an insight into their world, and brand. It was amazing to see how much they care about the brand, and how passionate they are about what they do. Of course, I am very (VERY!) inspired, I asked some questions and here is what Juliette had to say.
Did you study fashion design or fabrics at school?
No, my mum taught me and my sister how to sew, so I didn’t need to take it at school. I took fabric technology at intermediate but didn’t take it at high school. (Rosehill College in Papakura). I studied textile design at uni in wellington, and did four fashion papers whilst finishing the degree. She then went on to win a scholarship to study fashion in New York.
When did you decide fashion was going to be the thing you pursued?
Juliette said she’d always loved sewing, and that she knew she wanted to do something involving it, but didn’t really understand what fashion was. Growing up in south Auckland, she didn’t have access to fashion magazines and didn't go shopping a lot so wasn’t exposed to what fashion & fashion design was until she got to university. “I wasn’t desperate to be a fashion designer from a young age, but loved to sit down and make clothes”. She only really committed to fashion design as a career when she won the scholarship to study in New York.
What is your go-to everyday piece? If you could only wear one piece of clothing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Black skinnies. They are very casual, and user friendly. When I’m at work I want something that allows movement,and is comfortable, yet still looks put together. I’ll often add a touch of sequin e.g. black skinny jeans, and a sequined tee. We also have a grey sweatshirt IN at the moment (which seems to come a close second).
All time favourite pair of shoes?
I change my wardrobe every six months, so It changes every time I switch it out, but at the moment a staple pair are my common project sneakers. They are beautiful white (match everything) comfy, and casual. Chantelle made a really interesting comment that the white sneaker always evolves, but the concept is always the same. Juliette’s dressy favourite is a pair of Jil Sander heels.
What/who influenced your latest collection?
October last year, my partner and I did a three week trip around America and the desert. The colour palette is very much taken from it; terracotta’s,mints and sunset tones but all very muted. The design is very loose at the moment, but it all makes perfect sense in my head. In terms of designing, we plan a each collection really well. For example we’ll decide on five pairs of trousers. One that can be worn to a black tie dinner, another the could be worn to a summer barbecue, another for casual wear and maybe two pairs that could be worn to cooperate events. The people behind JH have a very good idea of where styles fit into the overall collection. They like to create building blocks, you could buy a cami one season and pair it with a jacket from the next. In respect for styling Juliette will know how to dress a silk dress up or down, putting a t-shirt underneath for more casual wear, or a pair of heels to dress it up. It all translates back into the creation of a collection. I got to have a sneak peek at the mood board for her upcoming summer collection, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy so you have to wait until it is officially released August 2016.
Who are your style icons?
The brand doesn't have any “style icons” per say, it’s more of a mindset,or lifestyle. Juliette designs for herself, and has a definite idea of what she likes and what she doesn't like.
If you could show at any international fashion week, which one would it be?
New York. I think its because I studied in New York for 7 months, and fell in love with the city. It is the pinnacle of fashion in terms of cities. The brand is far more American in style than European.
How does a concept translate into a garment/collection?
Juliette does all of her own pattern drafting and sample making, so it is very easy to interpret because she’d done it all herself. She said creating a garment was like writing an essay-you have to gather all the information before you can write it. She will get together all her textiles, and as they are bespoke she said she can almost see what they need to be made into, and knows what works and what doesn’t. It’s almost instinctual.
If you had two words to describe your overall “aesthetic”, what would they be?
Minimalist,contemporary and classic. (thats three!)
If you could only work with one textile/material what would it be an why?
Silk. It has a very beautiful handle, and falls gorgeously. It is the epitome of luxe.
Thank you for reading!
Pay a visit to their website, http://juliettehogan.com/
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