Fashion is constantly attempting to predict the future and rehash the past. Fashion is both a compass and a time capsule, highlighting both the familiar and the never-before-seen. While some choose to take a look back and some choose to exist in the now, Jessica Au seems to be looking ahead. Au’s JAU Label is a bazaar of futurological whimsy. Au’s JAU Label is unflinching and bold, daring in its ambition and skillful in its execution. We caught up with Au, and she was happy to chat about her inspiration and JAU Label’s humble beginnings.
How did the label get started? What is the story behind JAU Label?
It’s kinda funny actually, because when I finished university round about 2 and a half years ago, I decided to take a year out from fashion and just work. I became one of the managers of this boutique in East London (and still am), and one of my friends decided to take me to the 123 Store on Bethnal Green. I just made a website the night before, and I started chatting to one of the girls at 123, and ended up showing them my website who then asked to stock my graduate collection there. And from there, a year later, several more stockists, editorials and collaborations came up, and here we are now! I’m looking to move the studio out of my home, and into a studio soon, it’s not that great to be waking up in your work. It’s easy for artists and such to not be able to separate their personal life from their work.
The style you have created is unique, indeed–a brilliant mixture of “Zef style” and “neo-trash”. What trends/styles were the greatest inspiration for the JAU Label?
Thanks, it’s very kind of you to say so. It is hard to pin point the label to specifically one trend or style, I think of it as an ever evolving label which is a reflection of whatever I have come across as inspiring at that time in my life. Because it is still such a young label, it is particularly hard to say what kind of nuances I have in my designing, but looking over the SS11 menswear and SS13 womenswear, I can see some similarities. I seem to be drawn towards futuristic aesthetics, a strong focus on textures and alternative techniques to create them. I would say so, that my designs do have a little “Zef” in them in one way or another. It is a mix of poor, trashy design mixed with sports-luxe. It is like colliding two social classes to create a new one that is freer and less constrained.
Written by Akeem K. Duncan.↓
Akeem is our founder. A writer, poet, curator and profuse sweater, he is responsible for the curatorial direction and overall voice of Quiet Lunch. The Bronx native has read at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, KGB Bar, Lovecraft and SHAG–with works published in Palabra Luminosas and LiVE MAG13. He has also curated solo and group exhibitions at numerous galleries in Chelsea, Harlem, Bushwick and Lower Manhattan.