There are some designers that could have only emerged from London. Jylle Navarro is one of them.
Febrile, fertile London: the birthplace of many an eccentric designer or out-there fashion idea. Jylle Navarro, like many of her techno-coloured, rave-ready folk, exemplifies the capital’s best qualities when it comes to design: namely, its experimental, no-holds-barred approach and its willingness to get down and have a good time. We speak to the knitwear designer about the best city in the world.
How do you think London has defined you as a fashion designer?
I think with London it has both influenced my work as well as encouraged me to avoid the current trends and styles. With my larger more creative designs I don’t let it influence me but with pieces which I want people to buy and see as some they can wear themselves I try to think about what would work for them better.
Where do you go for inspiration?
For my inspiration I usually go with what I see is influencing people now in the world and then develop it into a more creative idea. At the moment I am very interested by Bowie. It’s a very good time for him and he fits in well with my latest collection which is heavily influenced by symbolic alien icons.
Who has been your favourite celebrity to dress or see your clothes on?
My favourite people to dress are McGaffE and My Bad Sister. These girls are amazingly talented and excellent performers.
Most played on your iTunes?
At the moment I’ve been listening to Bowie and Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ new stuff. Some Amanda Palmer and Evil Cowards.
How did you become a fashion designer?
I wanted to be a fashion designer since I was young so I kept going in that direction however my personal style and knit influence has only come about in the last few years.
How do you construct all your pieces?
I mostly use a knit machine and hand sew together however I also do, knit, macrame and tassel by hand also. Depends on the piece.
There seems to be a lot of engineering and experimentation involved.
Yes. I like think the process I use works which is to not completely know what the finished product will look like. I tend to change my ideas for a final garment halfway though making it.
Tell me about how you get from concept to finished product?
I start by an influencing idea. I then put together whatever yarns and materials I can find that fits. I have an idea of what I want to make in my head so I start to make it but it usually develops very quickly. Once it’s knit I sew it together and add extras if needed.
What are your favourite places to eat, hang out, go dancing in London?
I’m a big Sink the Pink fan. Those girls know how to have a good time. And Cult Mountain is a cafe, shop and gallery. They have the best new designers and artists and the best coffee.
What is your favourite street in London?
Tough question. I really can’t think of a specific one. I just love all of London.
Next thing you think will influence your next collection.
I think I might got for a John Waters style freak and fetish collection.I’m thinking grown men in knitted baby bonnets.
What do you plan on doing in the future?
I plan on creating a new print collection, dressing more performers, setting up an online shop, collaborating with other designers, and making some short videos.
Words: Hatnim Lee
Images: Daniel Keys