Jessy Heuvelink talks us through SS15, brand heritage and putting J Lindeberg back on the UK map, exclusively with Wonderland
Let’s start with the inspiration for this collection, where has it come from?
This season is called “Biotopia”. I always get inspired by nature, but this season it started where we left off last season, after the AW Stockholm show. It was the collection where I felt most confident and secure with and proud of everything that we had achieved. We really went back to our J Lindeberg roots — so like a more rock ’n’ roll type of feeling — but combined with a more contemporary tailored element, but really taking those rock ’n’ roll leathers back into the collection.
That was really well received. It also harked back to my personal style. I stood still after 17 years for a month, just enjoying that collection, which I’d never really done before. That for me was a sign that we were onto something, and I really wanted to keep that look, that moment we had created at that point.
Of course, we were moving into a summer season, so how do you transform something that was so dark and black and leather, into summer? I was looking for lightness and texture and summer feelings and colours, but I didn’t really know where to get that from. I came across this book from this Japanese floral artist who makes these three-dimensional sculptures of flowers…
Does he do walls of flowers?
Yeah, walls of flowers! It’s incredible!
I’ve seen it!
So that was like, Wow!We wanted to find a way to implement flowers. Putting them in a women’s collection is one way, but putting them into menswear is something different. We’re still a Scandinavian brand so it has to be practical. So I took a lot of flowers and I started to create patterns. It’s all black-based, so still kind of dark and the menswear is all shades of grey, shades of blue, shades of green, almost like a camouflage, but using the same pattern [featured in the womenswear].
So, although it’s similar it translates in a different way to menswear…
Exactly. There are small flower prints in the menswear, that from a distance almost look like a solid blue. Being from a brand where we’re known for our monochrome story — our shades of blue, our shades of green — I felt sick of that, I wanted to do something different without losing our heritage, of course. I wanted 50% of the rock ’n’ roll from AW14 and 50% colour. We started to literally colour block and move away from the whole monochrome story, so that was basically the whole starting point.
You on this, but how does J Lindberg reflect your personal style?
Well in the beginning I was much more in the background. But I think the longer I’ve been with the company — I’ve almost been here 10 years, and I’ve been Head Designer for almost four years now — the more I’ve put my stamp on it. My personal style reflects in the collection through all the leather, especially in womenswear Aw14.
Is leather your favourite material to work with?
Yes! I just love the smell of leather, it’s intoxicating.
What about the details in this collection that make it unique?
The signature details of this collection are the flower prints, but also the tailored silhouettes. Menswear blazers that we just size down to become slouchy women’s blazer. Men’s heritage through womenswear, is a main silhouette for us. For menswear, textures and fabric mixing are very important.
The silhouettes are beautiful. How would you sum this collection in a handful of words.
Sum up? Ooh…
I know, it’s hard…
It’s impossible. I would say…biotopic chic.
I like it. Lastly, what are your future plans for the label?
We have a very strong focus in Scandinavia, but I think it’s time to really spread our wings. So, really focusing on the UK market, the American market as well. It’s really time for us to spread our wings internationally. Hopefully next London Fashion Week, we’ll be able to do something for both men’s and women’s, maybe a presentation or a fashion show. We need to put J. Lindeberg back on the UK map.