two + seven featured designer Jenny Lai‘s AW2012 collection is speaking another language, and we like what it’s saying. “It’s all about the relationship between the clothes and the wearer,” she says of the draped garments and striking color palette that comprise her latest creations. We caught up with Lai, who translated her inspirations and divulged her ideas about this striking line.
two + seven: Tell us all about your Autumn/Winter 2012 collection.
Jenny Lai: My initial inspiration came from the function of an overlapping pillowcase. I was interested in how a garment can be a closed form that the body finds its way into. The garment has no blatant entrances; there is definitely a feeling of unfamiliarity, of being lost within the garment, that NOT embraces. I feel like my clothes are a language in its own right. Each collection is a language the wearer learns to understand, even if they are just one in their own kingdom.
2+7: We’re seeing a lot of color in your collection this season, can you tell us about this palette shift?
JL: It’s actually unusual for me not to use color. My last collection was very monochromatic, but this one has earthy tones with a shot of intense red. A lot of it depends on my mood. My inspiration for this season came from the materials that I used. For this one, I started working with really subtle prints in rayon contrasted with power meshes and nets.
2+7: What’s the concept behind this season’s look book?
JL: I wanted to do something more dynamic this time around. I played with these zoomed-in squares on top of the photos in order to combine more information onto one image ( a bit of a cubist idea). Also, I paired the flat garments with the garments on the model in order to show how abstract and foreign the flat garment can look – and the surprise of it coming alive on the body.
2+7: Tell us about your brand NOT.
NOT is all about awareness. I want my brand to inspire a hyper consciousness of the experience of dressing. It’s not about vanity and laboring over choosing the right ensemble. It’s instantaneous and improvisational. My desire is that the clothes are transformative not just in it’s physical function, but on your perception. When you see my clothes hanging on a hanger, it may look like a foreign object, but when you wear it, you become the rightful intruder and you make it your own.
Photography Credits: Christian K. Coleman
Model: Taryn Fujita