In conversation with Jojo Ross in her workroom.
Meet the new designers shaking up New Zealand’s fashion scene from afar.
Each designer within this interview series is a multidisciplinary artist, maker and non-compromising force of creative resistance. At a time of socio-political uncertainty we are inspired by their journey, knowledge and understanding of the future. It reminds us to trust your art and believe in your values.
Jojo Ross’s exquisite tailoring and bold conceptual garments have featured in Vogue Italia’s 100 designers to watch and also has been named one of the world's top 100 emerging designers in 2014. The affable and multi-faceted Ross is committed to creating enduring pieces, which are highly considered in their creation and quality. This year Jojo Ross will be showing her highly anticipated AW20 collection at NZFW.
We asked our friend and designer Jojo Ross some questions below.
I think people want to know your story. Tell us a bit about your background prior to launching your label?
Prior to the release of my ready-to-wear label in 2016 my focus was conceptual fashion. These pieces have featured in Vogue Italia’s 100 designers to watch and in 2014 I was selected as one of the world's top 100 emerging designers by Not Just a Label to showcase my work in Italy. My ready to wear continues to take cues from my conceptual past with sculptured and structural designs a key brand signature.
Did you always want to be a designer?
I never considered being a designer until I started high school to be honest. Before that I was going for an FBI agent.
How would you define your overall aesthetic?
Future fashion for the curious and brave.
What's the concept behind the show and what can we expect in terms of the setting, music, and casting
My AW20 range “ Club Silencio” is inspired by David Lynch’s masterpiece movie Mulholland Drive.
The psychological thriller is an offense against narrative order, jumping from cutesy to just plain terrifying scene to scene. “Club Silencio” is possibly the most perplexing act of them all and is where the range is based in my mind. With an 80’s twist, my collection celebrates the confusion of the film and its intoxicating spooky mood.
In terms of the show I really was to heighten this mood with purple lighting, smoke and a heavy electronic mix - I was really lucky to have Friendly Potential pull this together for me. All my models are from N Management, Ngahuia has such an interesting pack and they are all such strong walkers.
Is it sometimes challenging to listen to your instinct in an increasingly chaotic industry?
I actually don’t find it is. I promised myself early on I would always listen to it within my ranges and for me my instinct is incredibly strong. Some of my best pieces have come from this even through it may have felt quite wrong to begin with. I think it’s so important to challenge yourself and to feel uncomfortable to create something new.
How do you envision the future of fashion
I just really hope to see the end of fast fashion. It makes me so sad going into massive chains and seeing all this needless waste. I have always bought very little, and each piece I buy is something I love and value.
Your thoughts on art/design in the digital age
It’s a confusing one! On one hand I love having such open access to everything online but sometimes I find all the content so cluttered and overwhelming. Things that should be so special and treasured can have such a fleeting moment in the digital world. I try and keep my social media use to a minimum and to observe as much as I can in the real world.