Jayne Pierson’s biography is a truly attention-stealing read. Flitting between schools across the US in her youth, she mingled with the likes of Robert Smith and rose to attention with EMI-backed indie outfit, Gouge. Now a fully fledged fashion designer, Pierson sat down with Wonderland to discuss the dense concept behind her fall collection, Modrun.
When and why did you start designing?
I think I was very young. My mum was also a designer and went to art school in the 60s. When we moved to the US, I was ten and my mum worked for Saks Fifth Avenue doing in-house design. I was always interested in it and my mum taught me to draw very early on. I also made clothes for the band I played in during my twenties. At the time, it was a natural progression of what I imagined our music would look like if it were a style. I didn’t consider that it was called ‘styling’ or that I was doing anything specific. Back then we didn’t even have the internet or a website so our look live was very important to set us apart from other pop bands in the early ’90’s.
Explain the themes and concepts behind your fall collection.
It is about a character called Modrun. Modrun mourns the loss and fear of instability and change. She is blown backwards into her future. To keep nature at bay from her ruined city she must rebuild the skeletons of history. Her mind exhibits trauma, she is on the edge of technological transformation, beauty and horror. Inspired by organic shapes created with perfect symmetry and balance, she pays homage to nature as the ultimate architect. She takes on a brutal harmony, exploring the dark side of nature. Modrun balances her past by understanding the future. She evolves, displacing time and fracturing light. Fragments of fantasy become her reality, truth becomes fiction as she learns to love herself.
What collection are you most proud of?
It has yet to be designed! I am never happy with it!
You were in a band. How and when did that develop? Will you continue to explore music?
I had emigrated with my parents to the US and lived there for 10 years from the age of 10 so most of my schooling took place there. It was a real eye opener for a young person from a countryside village in Wales! We travelled from New York to Texas in a Greyhound Bus over 9 months and saw a lot of the country. My world had been turned upside down just before we moved by seeing David Bowie on Top of the Pops in the first ever video, “Ashes to Ashes”. The whole glam, punk movement had heavily influenced my older sister and I felt I had seen the light so it was a bit traumatising to move at that time to Texas, of all places. As I moved from middle school to high school to senior high school, music continued to play a huge part in my existence and it was always in my plan to get in to a band but while I lived in Texas with un-like minded people, that was never going to happen. Having met and spent some time with The Cure and Robert Smith in 1987, I felt inspired to move back and go to university in the UK. While studying BA(Hons) Drama at Kent University I met Tim, who studied philosophy and before that Marika, who worked in publishing, we all shared musical loves and we all inspired each other, so much we started writing songs together. That started the ball rolling in 1992 and from there we had 3 independent single releases before signing a 6 album deal with EMI in LA by the legendary Robyn Godfrey-Cass.
Finally, if you could design anyone’s wardrobe, who would it be and why?
I love, love PJ Harvey!
Words: Jack Mills