French designer Florian Jayet acquired a love of the textile industry from a young age, spending a lot of time with his grandmother who worked as a tailor. Though originally his passion was science, he felt that there was a creative somewhere within him and landed a prized internship with the late Alexander McQueen, whom Jayet felt help realise his own visions and ideas. Florian spoke to Wonderland ahead of the debut showcase of his AW12 collection as part of London Fashion Week tomorrow, and offered us an exclusive glimpse of it.
Originally from France and studying in Paris, what was it about London that captivated you to relocate here?
I like the energy here. Fashion-wise, London is much more avant-garde than any other fashion capital. London gives newcomers in the creative industry the opportunity to start-up, more so than others cities.
You have a degree in biology. What made you want to change career paths and become a fashion designer?
I always wanted to do something creative. I always loved art and therefore, wanted to get involved in something artistic. When I was studying biology, I realised I wasn’t made for it at all. I don’t have a scientific mind but my way of working is very organic. When I started in fashion, I didn’t have a clue about the industry but as I began to do more research for fashion projects at university, it felt right. I just knew I loved it.
Would you say the clinical, floral and clean-cut appearance of your SS12 collection was influenced by your interest in biology and science?
My SS12 collection is maybe the least influenced by biology, but the plant kingdom is represented by the floral prints.
How will this forthcoming collection differ from your past three seasons?
This season is different, firstly, because for the first time I have done my own print, which brings a different feel to the collection. Also, there are blocks of bold colours that contrast to the look and texture of the fabrics. In my previous collection, the top half of the body was very structured with the bottom half looser and free. For this collection, it is the opposite – the bottom half is structured and worked in volume and the top half gives the impression of something softer – mainly because of pleating and draping.
Can we expect more colour and textures?
Colours and texture are definitely in this season. I am using strong shades of metallic blue, yellow and green, complemented with dark grays and navy.
Your grandmother was a professional tailor and pattern cutter. Would you say that she ignited your initial interests in clothes, fabrics and fashion?
She did it without being aware of it, but I initially got interested in fashion because of her.
You said that your debut collection was inspired by Betty Page and 50s pin-ups. Who would you say is currently inspiring and exciting you?
At the moment I would say Grace Jones for her strong and defined silhouette. But my main influence for this collection stems from traditional Himalayan tribes, their customs and fashion.
What would you say you’d learnt from your time working as part of the Alexander McQueen team?
Well it was a great opportunity for a student starting out in this business. I got to learn so many dimensions of the fashion industry, whether it be creative or business-related. It was an honour to work for someone at the top of his game and I’m sure his work will inspire both myself and others for years to come.
You’re showing on the Saturday of London Fashion Week. What can we expect from it?
Texture, structure and a little bit of drama thrown in for good measure!
Words: Shane Hawkins
Photography: Laurence Baroini
Headpieces: Rob Goodwin
Metal Rings + Choker: Elsa Smith
Hair Rings: Bjorg