Wendy Jim’s designs are three dimensional paintings forming a visual dictionary of the contemporary - “There is this crack in the wall of the system and we have to jump through it and see what‘s behind“.
Let’s start by you telling me a bit about yourself. What introduced you to design?
There is a co-operation with a big Sportswear brand coming up, which makes it possible to produce affordable pieces and guarantees the distribution. Additionally, we sell more and more personalised pieces like Suits for Men and Women, Classic Shirts with our Signature as well as dresses. We also do consultancies and we teach students…which is great.
Helga: Since the beginning, misunderstandings. When I was a kid my mum was a couture tailor and tried to create a look for me that she thought was beautiful and not mainstream. I found it so ugly and suffered and couldn´t wait for the day when I could show my own style. This misunderstanding started the hunger for fashion.
Hermann: In my case, [at] the beginning [I] was more [focused on] styling than design. I discovered that I liked to wear my jeans different than my friends did. The interest in Design started by discovering CDG and Gaultier.
How do you see the evolution of your creativity and triggering Wendy Jim to become what it is today?
Helga: The steady question of looking for the NOW leads to a development, because what was needed to describe the year 2005, is not needed today.
Our newest interest is for mass taste and mainstream culture. High End and Low end and how it goes together. or not.
Do you have any significant figures or events that you see as motivators for you?
Both: Helmut Lang.
Can you explain your conceptual tendencies and how these developed, or even how these develop within themselves
Helga: We are bad decorators and often love so many different styles at the same time.
We need these ideas on top of the design in order to let the pieces fit together.
Hermann: For me, a concept is just the starting point of a collection or an idea [of] how to present the Collection. The theme is always the collection, but we ask, how does a collection look now? How did it look in the past? How will it look in the future? We are very much trying to focus on what‘s now, what‘s next, what‘s done, what‘s possible, what‘s design, what‘s styling, what‘s bloggerstyle…
The atmosphere and presentation style between your collections varies a lot, with your stylistic details maintaining your clear creative identity. The prints in ‘No One Likes Us’ (SS17) are very different to the delicate lace used in ‘Catwalk’ (SS18). What motivates these shifts?
If we don´t do something new we are so bored we can´t continue.
For some designers, each collection is a different chapter of the same story, while for others, a new collection represents a new creative horizon or fascination; for some it is completely different to this. How do you relate to each of your collections, and how do they relate to each other?
Helga: The starting point of interest is the solution for what we call the next level.
Hermann: I think, the key to all collections is the hairstyle
What inspired the beautiful prints used in HiVis?
The need to overdose and maximalism
So congratulations on your new SS19 collection! Can you tell me a bit about how this developed?
Helga:Thank you! While talking, we got crazy about the idea of 2D, of a complete flat backside, the vision of how these pieces hang on a hanger or on a wall and how they will develop when you wear them.
Hermann: It is also a little like having a painting and making a 3D Painting - the garment comes out of the Frame.
More and more designers are retracting from or refusing to participate in fast fashion. What are your thoughts on this?
Helga: This is the future! We have to leave all this old soot behind.
Of course the desire to show and to create and to present the new is there. We are spearheads of this new development. Showing regularly makes no sense anymore. Too much of everything killed the excitement. We show when WE feel a need to show and not when the industry and the system wants.
There is this crack in the wall of the system and we have to jump through it and see whats behind.
We have the feeling that now people are consuming all the time: it starts, when they open their eyes and stops when they fall asleep (or not). I have the feeling, that the system made a big menu, and people just order, because of their gusto, but not because they are hungry. And if people dont like it, they send it back to the kitchen… what a waste of energy, resources, money… But it makes no sense to blame it, we don t have the one and only solution; we left this highway to drive [down] a nicer road.
So what’s next on the cards for Wendy Jim?
Focusing on the future. On high and low.
courtesy WENDY JIM
interview KATE BISHOP
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