As for many others, the human collective culture remains an endless inspiration for Jan-Jan Van Essche to create new garments, each new design a genuine attempt to open up new perspectives and to push conflicting dialogues forward.
With every series of garments, traditional patterns from different ethno cultural origins are cautiously studied and subsequently interpreted in the designer’s individual pattern language; one speaking the poetry of simplicity.
Jan-Jan Van Essche mostly opts to remove all possible seams and minimalizing the details and cultural connotation, while maximizing the comfort for the wearer and therefore proposing an experience that works from the within. Unlike classic Western approach to confine and shape the body, Jan-Jan provides the body the luxury and freedom to shape the garment. His sincere and discrete designs are executed in carefully sourced, refined quality fabrics of natural fibres, all contributing elements inducing ones awareness and state of mind.
Contributing to this story of minimizing anecdotic connotations some fabrics remain un-dyed or even loom state, the colours are rather to the muted palette and the black colour with its endless shades is always present to rigorously accentuate the silhouettes.
Jan-Jan Van Essche continuously aims to develop new insights on contemporary yet effortless male and genderless elegance. His pieces are layered with subtlety, integrated into modern-day city life and into personal wardrobes, slowly and carefully playing their humble role in finding connection and acceptance. They see no boundaries, no limitations, no restrictions no exclusions. The conventional silhouette is amplified and each individual garment literally leaves room for interpretation, engendering openness.
The wearer of Jan-Jan Van Essche is a gentle soul in constant dialogue with one’s personal context as well as with the world as a whole. Like the garments the wearer is humble and is unrestrained.
Jan-Jan Van Essche is born in Antwerp, Belgium, where he has his design studio. He’s a 2003 graduate of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
In June 2010 Jan-Jan Van Essche launched his first eponymous label as an annual wardrobe. COLLECTION#1 – ‘YUKKURI’, Japanese for ‘take it easy’ or ‘slowly’. This title also became his intrinsic and conceptual approach to contemporary warderobes as a designer.
- COLLECTION#2 – SATTA AMASSAGANA (June 2011)
- COLLECTION#3 – IN AWE (June 2012)
- COLLECTION#4 – UHURU SASA (June 2013)
- COLLECTION#5 – INITE (June 2014)
- COLLECTION#6 – IN AWE (June 2015)
- COLLECTION#7 – AWARE (June 2016)
- COLLECTION#8 - 無 (MU) (June 2018)
The annual wardrobes received a counterpart in 2013 when, due to the well received previous COLLECTIONS, the designer decided to add the PROJECTS, autonomous series of garments designed and developed according to specific crafts or inspirations, taking the necessary time to cultivate ideas and undergoing the slow rhythm and pace of the hand. The creative freedom is preserved and ideas are enabled to flourish.
- PROJECT#1 – PROCEED (January 2013) - Research on Patchwork
- PROJECT#2 – REDEEM (January 2014) - Research on Sakiori weaving
- PROJECT#3– WADADA (January 2015) - Research on Rope Weaving
- PROJECT#4 – EACH ONE TEACH ONE (January 2016) - Research on Boro applications
- PROJECT#5 – ARISE (January 2017) – Pattern research Inspired by the Kesa garment
- PROJECT#6 - ONE STONE (January 2018) - Pattern research inspired by the AINU kimono