JOYCE ICONICS UNVEILS T-SHIRT PROJECT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CELEBRATED YOUNG DESIGNERS
Following on from last season’s Denim and ‘Le Smoking’ Tuxedo projects, JOYCE ICONICS leads a project to celebrate the t-shirt. Often overlooked, the understated piece forms the backbone to any wardrobe. Partnering with a new generation of brands, JOYCE seeks out young designers with a new take on an old favourite.
A total of five brands have been invited to exercise their artistic freedom, each designing and producing their own capsule series of tees.
¨ Charles Jeffrey
¨ Faith Connexion
¨ Wales Bonner
¨ JETPACK hom(m)e
The result is a series of t-shirts that often have an intimate story behind their design: comforting and informal, but always of personal significance to each designer. An authentic reflection of today’s youth culture.
JOYCE | FAITH CONNEXION
“I DON’T WANT TO MAKE BORING CLOTHES.
IT MUST NEVER BE SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN”
Interview and Text: Anne McManus
Photography: Filip Motwary
Videography: Brano Gilan
“Unchained from the traditional cycles of fashion” A somewhat broad-arching, all-encompassing statement - but one that perfectly sums up the Faith Connexion design collective.
A veritable ‘tribe’ of young designers and artists, the brand is buoyed by the creative community culture instilled by their four senior designers. No idea is too big, or noise too loud. Inclusive collaboration is the foundation of the Paris-based brand. The result is a cohesive tribute to pulsating urban culture.
Senior Designer Magnus Decker and Visual artist Vincent Dacquin discuss the importance of styling, artwork, what it means to be very ‘Faith’ and the tee shirt capsule collection specially designed for JOYCE.
Magnus, can you tell us a bit more about Faith Connection and the concept of the brand?
MD: In essence we are not really a conceptual brand – we don’t work around a concept every season. We are more of a platform for multiple designers and artists to really do their own stuff. It’s always a super mix, with all these influences defining the collection. We never define a season in advance, it gradually adds together. You can see this in the styling - it’s very over the top, stuff on stuff, mix and match. For me it’s a really interesting mix in the end. It’s very ‘Faith’ actually.
So you say there’s multiple designers. Who’s involved and do they specialize in anything in particular?
MD: At the moment we’re a team of four designers, but it switches sometimes. For example last season there were more of us. Everybody starts with a specialization but it’s not really strict. So one person does the denim, another does the knit but if we have ideas we try to include them. It becomes very free.
That’s quite a different dynamic. Do you think it’s this is responsible for the brand’s success?
MD: For sure, I think so. There are not a lot of brands that are organized like this from the core. It’s not like as a designer you’d say I’m good at designing jackets so from now on I only have good ideas for jackets – sometimes you have good ideas for other pieces too. With other brands you’re not free to do that and here you are. In the end, we’ll have the best ideas coming together and coming out. Our ideas complement each other all the time
Is there anyone who calls the shots or is it very democratic?
MD: We always design in looks. If you sketch, you sketch a look, you don’t sketch an item. From the start, as a designer, you should always have an idea for the whole look - the vibe you want to go with. Of course it changes along the way.
We style the looks together each season as a team. All being involved in this process works very well because we each get such a clear image. It totally makes sense and it’s quite fun.
Do you think there are any other factors that set the brand apart?
MD: The brand really spoke to me as a designer when I first went for an interview. It is unlike other brands in almost every way. You come to us for your whole wardrobe - if you want to go for the ‘Faith’ look. It’s not just one nice printed hoodie or a pair of paillette pants (which we do). It’s never very focused –it’s always really about the whole look and for me.
You mentioned the paillette pants which is the Kappa collaboration. How do you decide whether a partnership is right for the brand?
MD: That’s a good question. We never really think about it that way. It’s more if we love the work of the brand or person coming in, then it’s good. We work like this with all our designers, not just collaborations, so it’s just as we would work on a part of the collection. We don’t give them very strict [rules to follow] or say, “you can only use red this season”. They make propositions and we work together around it.
Vincent, what has it been like to collaborate with Faith Connection?
VD: It’s a new experience for me. I had ever collaborated with a ready-to-wear brand before. New projects are always interesting. It’s been a good experience.
Magnus, Is there a particular way you like to be described as a designer? Yes, it’s very much a team effort, but is there a way that you hope that people see your work?
MD: Well for me, and the main reason that I came to Faith Collection, is that I’m personally not about designing one type of garment. I like to go for the whole look and I love to do different groups within. I go for the whole image.
It’s quite hard to describe yourself - your style - but [for me] it’s always quite outspoken - it’s very outspoken, the silhouette and the fabrics… I don’t want to make boring clothes- it must never be somewhere in between.
Is there a particular way that you like to be described as an artist Vincent? How do you hope others view your work?
VD: What I do a lot of the time is hyperrealism with street art and pop art influences. I’m more or less a visual artist.
Do you mind telling us a little about the tee-shirt designs for JOYCE Iconics?
MD: The idea comes from way back when I was still working in Amsterdam. At the time, I felt, especially in Amsterdam, that I’m Dutch, but there are a lot of parts in Holland where I don’t really feel like I belong. I felt more like an Amsterdamer than a Dutch person. It’s something that almost everybody can relate to. You see this a lot in America. So printed it big on sweaters: “Amsterdam is my home town”.
I just printed some of the sweaters as a trial. I was wearing one in Faith Connexion and one of the consultants said to me that he loved the sweater, and we should do more. I was like yeah, why not? So we put it in the collection and decided we could just change the city. That’s where Vincent came in.
Vincent, how do you decide what it is that you are going to put on a garment?
VD: It’s not just me that decides, it’s a collaboration. With the designers and stylists together we come up with something that is coherent with the whole collection. It also must be consistent with me and my work that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with fashion. It’s a combination of all of this.
What about when it’s your usual work, outside of fashion? Is there an image that you come back to time and time again?
VD: My work is inspired by the everyday, by the world in general. So I think about the things that are recurring themes, that obsess me, that disturb me. It’s often linked to sex, money and death.