JAN JAN VAN ESSCHE
Contemplating on the present to stimulate creativity while opening up newly divergent paths without expectations.
Looking back and finding strength in ones’ fundament to slowly keep on building a future rooted in history.
From this transition, a new perception on freedom arises… a new phase… a new rhythm. Listen to the drum beat.
A substantial core of existing styles is reinterpreted.
Sensible materials that have proven their value are once again selected to soothe and to comfort from the first hint of touch.
While jumpsuits and individual utilitarian elements are added to ground the ephemeral and to emphasize the workwear influence in the carefully constructed garments.
The oversized yet fluid pieces in the collection carry references to the ‘boubou‘ and chemise Arabe, expressing a laid-back elegance and take the overall mood traveling to distant places.
A range of tunics and shirts in light weight wool chiffons and silken winter cottons function as perfect layers to accommodate the various winter temperatures around the world.
Chunky knitted sweaters and hand crochet beanies in French merino d’Arles linen blend for colder regions.
‘Shibori‘ pattern woolen cloths -hand-dyed by skillful masters- travel from Japan, highlighting the meticulous resist dye craft and bringing a mysterious depth to the draped silhouettes.
The ‘Bincho tan’ -coffee combined with ink- dyed cottons carries a faded sand color, while the fiber dyed cotton checked fabric radiates saturated hues.
The handwoven series in the AW23 collection are once again fully handcrafted in the JanJan Van Essche studio by artisan Lamine Diouf.
These unique pieces keep on demanding their place in the wardrobe and once again they compliment the collection by narrating the story of the slow pace of the hand.
A series of vegetal tan leather McKay boots are hand crafted by the brothers –Ryo & Sotaro Ogino– of Petrosolaum based in Tokyo.
An ongoing collaboration since the AW20 season, which has been timelessly sharpening and grounding the Jan-Jan Van Essche signature silhouette.
A new collaboration with the Austrian Werkstätte Mülhbauer resulted in beaver and rabbit fur felted hats in their natural colors, hand moulded on custom made blocks.
Their softness and subtle luster absorb and reflect, shielding the wearer from rains and rays.
With his debut show, Jan-Jan Van Essche shares his philosophy and approach to contemporary fashion through a triptych presentation. Taking the audience from a runway show on the subtle rhythm of the music by composer Willem Ardui, to a poetically intense dance performance by six dancers.
The renowned choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, created a piece emphasizing the story of the collection and lifting the moment to another realm.
For the finale, Jan-Jan wanted to surprise his audience with the 24 models lined up in front of the ancient frescos on the walls of the graceful Santa Maria Novella cloister, matching and blending the color palette of the silhouettes, merging the ancient and the contemporary.
Here the guests could have a close-up look, while absorbing live music and singing by the Japanese taiko player Tsubasa Hori underneath the open sky.
A rite of passage to a new chapter in the life of the Jan-Jan Van Essche collection.
Article: Jan Jan Van Essche
Photography: Jan Jan Van Essche