“Timeless, Minimalism, Stylish and banging are the keys!”
As fashion weeks season passes by, CopenHype keeps you all covered bringing exclusives interviews as we gather with some of the biggest names at Copenhagen Fashion Week for a little chat. This time we met up with designer Jean Phillip, checkout what we found out.
Seating at a café downtown Copenhagen where we met the young hunk, fresh, cool, humble, hot and fabulous, Jean/Phillip, where besides letting me play paparazzi, taking pictures of him outside in the streets, we talked about everything. From how he started as a designer, his private life, ambitions, goals, collections, inspirations, Copenhagen Fashion Week and lastly what it means to be Scandinavian/Nordic fashion designer.
Growing up in Jutland, Jean Phillip always knew that fashion was the ‘thing’ for him. He told us about how challenging it was growing up in a society where not being mainstream was considered a weirdo or a freak and how he later felt relieved as he came to bigger cities such as Paris where he currently shows his collections during Paris Fashion Week.
In 2007, after several times of trying to get into The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Jean Phillip realised that he had to find another way and make it on his own or end up die trying to get into academy. So, as self-aware and confident he was, Jean Phillip decided to create his first collection.
The first collection was a small 10 items’ collection. Everything was handmade by himself and sold in different stores in Copenhagen. He told us that designing and producing everything on his own were too intense that he didn’t have time to prepare for the next collection. For instance there was a time where he had to seat home and sew over 80 pairs of one of the popular pants.
Read some of his answers to our questions:
What do you mean when you define Jean Phillip designs as edgy and minimalistic with a slim cut?
Minimalistic: is always about choosing fabrics that are quite straightforward, always good and excellent quality and yet minimalistic. For instance if I choose to do a digital print I go with a silhouette really simple – or if is a black colour I’ll make it very strong.
The Edgy is the more rough part of me where you see some kind of S&M leather theme coming in. There is a lot of bondages going on as well, nets, and seafloor stuff – the edgy plays a lot of sexuality for men and makes it somehow underplay sexy, seductive.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
It is very different from collection to collection.
The summer, where I did the leather masks together with an artist called Søren Bach was inspired by Batman film as well as the HBO series called Dexter with the same name who is a serial killer. So the whole collection was about masks, pain, blood and the dark-side psychopath of a man. That’s where the whole blood patterns prints actually came from. But instead of using the red blood colour I mixed it with black to take it further away from what inspiration was. I think it’s good to have some strong point of views, but I like to take it away from the subject to make it sober in order for people to realise what the inspiration is when I tell them, as it might be hard to tell by looking at the collection. And as any artist, I like that whole thing of interpreting the story behind any art by digging deeper and using imagination.
To summarise, it’s just different from collection to collection. For instance the A/W’15 that I just showcased during CPH fashion week for a couple weeks ago only had one key element, which was just the bulletproof vest that military guys and police wear. So I just had 8 different pictures and variations for bulletproof and that was the only key item that made up the entire collection. So is one thing to another, maybe the next collection would be some cartoon character from Disney. It’s so different! Sometimes my inner-consciousness dictates the whole process that I don’t even get to realise the inspirations or story behind what I am doing till I am done with the first pieces.
How do you set up your collection?
I only do menswear and one would say that it kind of follows what’s going on at Paris Fashion Week. But it’s more of a coincidence, as I really don’t think much about it besides having the feelings of what’s trending. Cause at the end of the day I have no idea what other designers or brands are doing and I can’t say that I follow or do what they are doing as they present their collections as the same time as I do. I guess, for me is more of something in the air and the sense of which direction things and concepts are going and then go with what my inner-sense tells me. It’s always exciting and a turn on as it keeps me working harder in terms of being better in what I do.
Even though I notice that I am quite on point in terms of designing and creating, the things about the press and consumers having a lot to say about one’s work is also quite interesting. I’d like to think that the biggest failure is for me is feeling like a mediocre. Like to be judged and placed in the middle without knowing if they like my collection or dislike it. It doesn’t matter whether they love it or hate it as long as there is a clear point on their views. I’d rather be loved or hated than being in the middle. It gives clear views in terms of improvement.
At the end of the day, it’s all about satisfying people without compromising my work and myself. Cause without consumers to buy my clothes I wouldn’t be able to function. Let’s be honest money makes the world go around. Money money, monnneeeyyy ♪♫♬♩
How do you get ready for events such as Copenhagen Fashion week?
I started my brand in 2007 and have been at CPH FW 11 times.
The whole preparing a fashion shows can sometimes be intense. Since I style my shows, I always do more of a ready to wear kind of shows. Of course not all the items get to come through, but I always try to make my best out of it, like you straight can just get off the catwalk and go to the streets and be all like: ‘yeahh I am fabulous’. But there would also be approx. 15 to 20% of the items from the show that I don’t presented to the buyers, meaning that it doesn’t end up to the consumers. And it’s a choice that I make simply to protect consumers’ interests. For instance, a jacket might look so fabulous on the catwalk and it’s one of those pieces everybody wants, but is made out of fragile fabric, meaning that it would break after a shorter period. The problem is though that a such items look ready to wear that people really want them, but there is a whole construction availability issues that makes them like “I know that this jacket is banging and I need to make it in this fabric cause it looks so great but this material is not something you’d like to sell your costumers, because you know that is not strong enough”. The same cases we sometimes have with washed fabrics. They look very well for a one-time thing such as catwalk, but you can’t put them further to be produced cause you know that they are not strong enough to last.
Do you showcase/participate in any other fashion weeks?
I only showcase my collections at CPH FW and Paris FW
Do you consider yourself a typical Scandinavian designer?
Whilst creating I don’t think much about being Nordic as I am more concerned with being fashion forward, actually I consider myself the right opposite. But I can see why some people might put me in that kind of box since I do minimalism but that’s not the case.
Your SS15 is soon in the stores, what should people expect of Jean//Phillip this summer?
Cool, Hardcore and Loose.
If you think he was kidding, Checkout our most obsessively looks from Jean//Phillip 2015:
For more info, go to www.jeanphillip.dk