Sunday, 3 March 2013

One for the lads/Girls who want a stylish man: Jenny Schwarz Menswear

I have often written about coveting certain items and fashion being aspirational. And nothing makes a piece of clothing or an accessory more desirable than limited availability. It certainly works for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Hermes, and whilst in its relative infancy (only in comparison to our dear Louis) I am craving to get my hands on my latest obsession: Jenny Schwarz Menswear.

In this blog I strive to go beyond explaining fashion in a "because its pretty" kind of way and don't get me wrong there is certainly plenty to discuss about Jenny Schwarz. However, with certain pieces/designs there is that indescribable element that taps into the non-objective part of your mind. The "screw the stitching, just give it to me!" factor. Much akin to the extra je ne sais quoi a dancer or actor may express that renders a performance truly moving such as Meryl Streep in practically any movie. It is this essence in combination with impeccable construction that Jenny Schwarz designs envelop.

After discovering Jenny Schwarz on Facebook, I got in contact and arranged an appointment at Felicities PR in London to see if the garments in the photos were as effortlessly cool and well cut in reality. And hallelujah I wasn't disappointed. Menswear is often bland and Jenny manages to create unique an visually attractive garments using subtle detailing like mother of pearl buttons and texturised or ribbed fabrics as can be seen above. My mind was teaming with questions over the fabric choices, the inspirations, the details. So I did what seemed best to do in that situation and asked Jenny said questions: 


1) What inspires you when designing a collection?
I am usually inspired by history. I love wondering around National Trust properties or an antiques market for my personal pleasure and more often than not I will find something that inspires my work whether it be a great oil painting of a naval battle or a simple piece of antique lace. I am very lucky that the creativity of my personal life and job work together so well.

2) What fabrics do you most enjoy working with?
So far I have kept most of the collections muted. Blacks and greys hold most of the collection together with occasional hints of rust or green. I don’t like to restrict myself though so I won’t say its always going to be like this. The next collection may be very different. I am also interested in the textural difference in a garment and that often works well when the colour is similar.

3) How many people are in the Jenny Schwarz team?
There are two of us full time running the business but there is so much more than this behind the scenes. We have freelancers who we outsource certain elements of our collections to and we have to draw on the support of our closest allies. Any young brand in this industry needs to have a strong supporting base. We find it very useful to work with other young companies who offer something we don’t have while we offer them something they don’t have.

4) Your pieces are very wearable but have wonderfully innovative/unique detailing, is that an intention to stand out from the crowd?
I definitely am drawn towards menswear because of the fact that the pieces have usually got to be more wearable. I do want to run a successful menswear line and for me that means not messing with the tradition of menswear too much, certainly in terms of its silhouette. I prefer for the innovation to be in the textures, the fabric and the detail. That is where I stand apart from other brands; in the way I juggle those elements.

5) What are your plans for Jenny Schwarz in the near future?
In the future I would simply enjoy the notion that I was brave enough to take a chance on my own business and it allowed me to earn a modest living and enjoy going to work every day. If anything more than this happens then they will all be bonuses. Oh, and a private plane would be nice. And a ship.

6) What do you love most about fashion/the fashion industry?
I love the designing, the construction and the creating. The part that transforms something from an idea into a wearable piece. I love seeing a garment take shape or a textural difference contrasting in exactly the way I intended. This is why I do what I do.

7) What annoys you/ do you dislike about fashion/ the fashion industry?
I would love to see more young brands coming together to help each other out. In this age of social media it could be so easy to share simple and helpful tips on where to source fabric to where to produce quality without it costing the earth. I think people are scared to let out their secrets but truthfully I think there is more to gained by everyone if people were more open with how they are going about things.

8) You’re look books and shows are styled beautifully, do you do this yourself?
I work very closely with a number of extremely talented young people. It is my concept and I bring the design, the garments and the inspiration but I do bounce ideas of people I trust and people who work with the same aesthetic. It is very important to do this so that everyone who works on the look book is coming at it from if not the same angle.

9) Who is your ideal customer, who is the Jenny Schwarz man?
I never design with a particular person in mind and rather bizarrely we have seen our pieces worn by a huge range of people. Whether it be the country school Maths teacher or the young fashion conscious graphic designer. Although together the pieces may take on an avant garde look, they can be separated nicely so that when worn with other styles they lose some of the extreme.

10) What is the one thing you want to make Cristo Clear about Jenny Schwarz?
There is no ‘t’ or ‘d’ in my last name. It is not ‘Jenny Shorts’ or ‘Jenny Skorts’ If you’re unsure just copy and paste…J This will get more confusing when we launch our beachwear range, Bermuda Schwarz and our cheap line Penny Schwarz.


So that's the deal! The vibrant Jenny is selling her archive pieces through her Facebook page at a ridiculous, and by that I mean brilliant, discount! I purchased three pieces myself. A dark grey shirt with mother of pearl buttons, grey tailored jersey shorts and a light blue mohair jumper which is soft to the level where feels like I am being cuddles by a team of happy kittens! 
Wearing Jenny Schwarz shirt at Day 1 of London Fashion Week 
Jealous? Good! That means you want it, so make it happen!

Is that Cristo Clear?


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