JRF Designer Takeover
Interview with Jessica Russell Flint
What does sustainable fashion mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your business?
I guess the aim is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely, and there’s various ways we implement this, either by default or through our ethics. We won’t use any animal based leather or tanning, we only use vegan imitation leathers that can easily be produced using paper based products on our accessories and our interior cushion accessories we refuse to us duck or goose feather pads. They are disgustingly cruel. But from a clothing POV, our clothes are all limited edition, we NEVER waste, our collections are pretty much made to order and we almost always run out of stock before the end of the season. Each pieces is precious and we’re definitely not part of the fast fashion brigade.
Who or what is your main inspiration? People ask this all the time and I literally cannot pinpoint this. Every day it’s something different. I could be in Shoreditch and see someone eating a piece of fruit or last week on a boat in Paxos looking at the ship captains pink shirt. It doesn’t come from anywhere specific. But I do love colour… I’m a magpie.
What, in your mind, is the relationship between your collection and London? How has London influenced you as a designer?
I love London, but I love Londoners even more. I love everything from the artisan grubbiness which wouldn’t be the same if it was polished, to the Kings road and Chelsea. There’s so many different pockets and I’m a hybrid. I am totally influenced by London, Londoners, and where they travel to and from. The way they mix up their fashion. We are a vibrant crowd and I’m proud to be a Londoner.
If anyone (dead or alive) could wear your designs who would it be and why? Kate Moss. It’s a cliche but she’s just an icon of fashion in every way and she could wear a compost sack and make it cool.
Do you have a specific process that you follow when designing? What is it? As a team we’ll decide on a couple of themes, I will go away and take elements from our paintings and prints, re-draw new prints using quill and ink and then put them together into repeat prints, mock them up into our key shapes and then we’ll review. Often nothing works and the whole process is repeated again.Or even more usual, Alice will come in last minute with some sort of influence that totally works and we’ll amend everything last minute.
Do you feel as if it is important to push the boundaries in fashion in order to make a positive impact? There’s a lot the same out there. I’m not saying if this is wrong or right but our silk garments are not cheap so I think it’s important to make the cuts epic and the prints different but wearable to make sure people feel special when they are wearing them and then that’s a boundary. We’re not on the catwalks so I don’t feel we need to be totally out-there – it needs to be worn/wearable. We have the bolder prints for our bolder customers – our Ibiza set!
What would you say your measure of success is? Selling out…
A quote that you live by? Do unto your neighbour as you would do unto yourself
Where do you source your fabric/textiles? China/Portugal/Hong Kong