Label - C JEAN
Fashion designers have a key role to play in making fashion more sustainable
C JEAN is an independent designer brand founded by Chun-Yuan Jean. C JEAN’s designs explore stories of women and social issues, as well as contemporary art, architecture, and music. They are inspired by abstract metaphorical expressions of clothing and accessories. The contemporary contours and the Oriental introverted meticulous taste bring these issues to positive light through tailoring, structure, and colour. These designs make people reflect on issues and at the same time present unique brand traits. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, the designer talks about her journey, fashion in her country and her thoughts on current fashion education.
Fibre2Fashion: How would you illustrate your journey in the world of fashion?
Fashion design is a creative medium for me. I wanted to achieve something that makes real impact. I’ve worked for other brands in the past and I couldn’t have much idea or appropriation in the strategic direction of the brand back in those days. For instance, sustainable fashion, it’s not something that’s just popped up now, it’s something that I’ve always been exposed to when I was studying in London. I believe that C JEAN can gradually adjust its proportions and use more sustainable fabrics in the future, that’s our main target as well as the method we employ since beginning.
Fibre2Fashion: Where are you based and how would you describe fashion in your country?
I am currently living in my country, Taipei, Taiwan. In Taiwan, the textile industry was an important economic driver around the 1970s. In recent decades, it has successfully transformed itself from a low-tech, high-volume traditional textile industry to a high-tech, high-performance functional/environmental textile industry, exporting 70 per cent of the world’s functional fabrics and even becoming a favourite supplier of eco-yarn jerseys to the World Cup tournaments.
Fibre2Fashion: Where do you get your creative nutrition? What fashion do you follow?
The nature is always the best teacher. I love nature. Whether it’s the ocean, the earth, birds, insects, etc, I am amazed by everything in nature. Nature has all sorts of shapes and forms, like a huge database of colours and details. The subtle stimulation of the senses is an accumulation of energy. I also like to go to the seaside, where the endless skyline can give me relief from worries. The sea always has a magical power, as if it can swallow up all the unpleasantness. I think these natural sounds have a calming effect on my design thinking.
Fibre2Fashion: The name of your overall collection is very soothing! Do you have any story or reason behind such names?
C JEAN’s attention to global social and environmental issues is reflected on each season’s collection. The ‘Break’ series, which is designed to reflect the melting of highland glaciers due to the rising sea levels caused by global warming, the use of recycled wool to make flowers or rotting flowers to represent the melting of glaciers, or the use of splash jacquard to design exotic and colourful fabric flowers to represent the destruction of the oceans caused by human beings. The ‘Full Fathom Five’, where the destruction of the oceans has caused a qualitative change, or the ‘Lost Birds’, where the exploitation of habitats has left birds homeless and endangered species, are examples of how the diversity of ecosystems is an important factor in supporting us, but now we are losing biodiversity, which is an undeniable emerging environmental crisis.
Fibre2Fashion: How do you include sustainability in your fashion creations?
Our theme of SS22 is ‘Eternity’, which is inspired by the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s ‘Morning Glory’. The video we showed at the London Fashion Week SS22 is shot through the different forms of glass, which reveal the creator’s imagination of the life and gesture of flowers.
Fibre2Fashion: Is there anything you want to change in fashion education specifically?
Fashion designers have a key role to play in making fashion more sustainable, as the designers are able to influence and contribute to all dimensions of fashion impact (not only economic, environmental, but social, cultural etc)—both positive and negative. Fashion design education should be seen as a chance to make aspiring designers aware of the challenges and potential of design for sustainability and equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement sustainable fashion approaches.
Fibre2Fashion: Brief about a few trending things in the fashion industry?
Firstly, health and well-being is not only an important trend. For years, textile manufacturers and brands have been experimenting with the health-promoting properties of garments, for example by integrating nanocapsules to care for the skin and promote regeneration, or by acting as sensors, data conductors and power supplies for smart wires over large areas or to measure humidity, pressure points and temperature.
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