My name is Jessica. The name of my label is Form of interest. The dot is quite important because it is neither more nor less. Making fashion is only one way to have an influence on the world.
To cultivate bees might be more important !!!
I am a conceptual fashion designer, artist, teacher and heart fighter. The background of the label is based on the concept to see fashion as a kind of medium to visualize new constructs about society and humans. The collections are made for men and women but mostly for humans who want to express themselves.
The umbrella term „Unisex“ only describes my openness towards new forms of being. What is a typical human? Who do we think we are? The way we describe ourselves does not fit in my imaginary fantasy of being. Fashion is a form beyond other mediums to communicate.
This description gives me a lot of freedom to design for men and women — it can more be seen as a form of cultural study. Garments, images and videos are only the end results of my permanent search for answers — for asking questions.
I am like an academical childish dreamer with a great sense for reality directed by my heart. Concerning this Form of interest. is not only a fashion brand, it is more a way of making some impact on the small world I live in.
What are the challenges of designing for both men and women?
I think there are some technical construction challenges in making clothes, but they are not really difficult to solve. First of all — designing for men and women means you need to deconstruct totally what you think what is typical menswear or womenswear. I was never interested to mold the different bodies to emphasize the typical men’s or women’s body. I never understood the way of trivial sexiness, which is so important for so many people and designers.
The meaning of clothes besides their functional description was always shifting throughout the history of fashion. For me there are no typical men’s clothes neither women’s clothes. My way of designing is a more sculptural research on the human body no matter what kind of gender.
Maybe this is part of my personal experience - when I was interested to wear oversized jackets, trousers and shirts as a teenager. The way the fabric built new shapes was quite interesting for me and is my understanding of fashion design. Finding new shapes through deconstruction.
To design for men and women does not mean that men need to wear skinny jeans and women boyfriend jeans. This is not what unisex garments mean. Unisex in my perspective is characterized by neutrality towards everyone who wears the garment. My way of designing has nothing to do with turning the gender codes around — this way of thinking would be too easy. I am more interested to develop garments which suit men and women in a contemporary society. At the same time it is also a kind of cultural study to break up old role models of men and women.
You can be everyone every day, but mostly you should be yourself without the discussed codes of society’s perception of being a typical man or women. We live in a time when we are still forced to see horrible images about what is beautiful and sexy. My way of designing should build an opposition to rethink the classical aesthetics. It is entirely influenced by the Japanese understanding of what is beautiful and the way a garment sculpture is built. The garments mostly are oversized or asymmetric. This way of making cuts allows you to develop a shirt in the same time for a man or a woman.
However, not every garment in the collection is unisex. Unisex is about a heartily driven understatement of ego-driven personalities. We all are human and should not reduce ourselves by clothes and the first perception. Fashion should be a form of communication to describe authentically who you are or who you want to be.
What are your thoughts on the gender-neutral trend?
First of all, I believe it is quite important nowadays to call old role models into question, which are still part of our everyday Life. The gender neutral trend fits quite well in our contemporary time in which a lot of systems collapse to reform themselves. There is a new way of signification and empathy for humans which comes up. I am convinced we all have a female and a male side in us. But what concerns me is that we should not forget how important diversity is for societies.
Every trend is only good by thinking about it — and transfer it into real situations. In my everyday life, I experience, it is more important to be clever, to be dedicated, authentic. This should be what we learn about the gender neutral trend. It is not about making men and women the same it is about loyalty, about calmness, and strength for diversity. The main problem is not being a man or a woman — it is a question about power.
I think what we can learn about the trend is to ask the question why humans want to be better or have more power over other humans? From this point of view it is more of an ego problem to describe humans by simple constructed words. Individuality is humanity and implies diversity without the need for power. Power is the problem and not what kind of sex you are :)
One of your collections appear to be inspired by outer space, what would you wear on Mars?
The background of the collection is the theory of Paul Watzlawick and radical constructivism. Everyone is living in his or her own universe through constructing the world by experiences and the ability to think. The collection’s title “I am in another universe“ is quite philosophical. The deeper meaning describes the human ability of empathy to respect the universe and the beliefs, thoughts of other people. It is a statement for knowing that we all only can try to understand each other - and stand for acceptance.
If you are aware of your own universe, you might get to a point of calmness and what we call reality could be different every day — it is only a form of communication and construction. What is real and what is fake can no longer be distinguished. It is a form of freedom to accept different behaviors and perceptions of others in our life. Compared to a life on Mars — it might feel the same. A feeling of adventure of not knowing — so I hope I could wear a bubble of laughing and smiling on Mars.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for …
Can you tell us about exciting plans for the year ahead?
There are a few exciting projects in the making. Form of interest. As a conceptual label includes not only garments and collections for men and women. Over and above that — I am quite interested to work with different creatives to have an interdisciplinary impact. I no longer think that single disciplines are modern. The connection between different fields bring out new sense and spontaneous challenges which only can emerge by leaving the familiar path to loose and find yourself again. This kind of process is only possible by challenging yourself and your creative world in connection with others. There will be different projects with artists, bands, friends and graphic designers. For the label itself I am still in the process to strengthen my vision of my label, and my inner wish to have a new impact of seeing the fashion system form anew.