London-based designer, Jake Wiseman, despite only graduating Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2011 has already worked with fashion houses Nicole Farhi, Lanvin and Giles.
The current independent designer modestly claims that he entered the industry in the “standard way as a child making clothing and at school art interested me further.” Despite his ‘normal’ way of entering the industry, his philosophy towards fashion is nothing but extraordinary.
“Each morning we form our identity, often without realising it, through what clothes and accessories we choose to wear. I enjoy the idea of the designer becoming part of another person’s identity. By making something that has never existed before, we put some of our self into that item. The customer will have chosen that item for a reason, then they put some of themselves into – the end result is a whole new identity.”
When asked who would he like to dress from the past or present, his answer was also very refreshing.
“Iris Apfel, she’s an 84-year-old American woman who’s incredibly cool. I think she would really appreciate the clothing, she would see it as beauty, she would love it, and she would enjoy it. I think she’s like me, she sees dressing as a creative process, and how your identity can change on a daily basis.”
He describes his influence as “Shangaan music, it’s an electro-African music from Soweto. The music is a fusion of culture and I wanted my collection to reflect that. She could take any piece from one outfit to another and it works, whether she prefers that top, or she’s cold, or she thinks the colours are cool it doesn’t matter as it would still work. I didn’t want to create a typically obvious African collection, the skirts they wear in Shangaan music are almost like kilts but instead of the fold being inwards they fold out. So they move amazingly well when they dance, and these skirts really emphasis their bums and hips by making them look bigger. So it’s sexy but in a very different way, so I wanted this collection to be sexy too but not in the figure hugging sense – it’s very womanly, it’s dishevelled elegance.”
Words: Sarah Parsons