Monday, 16 May 2011


In regards to John Galliano's well- documented break down I keep wondering what the fashion industry is doing to our most talented designers right now in the name of globalisation and the ever important profit. Too powerful co- operations demand more and more output from their creatives which usually are very sensitive individuals who need space and time to creatively re-load. Is it necessary to do 4 shows a year, plus numerous side and special collections? Do we need to buy every week a new trend or set of clothes? Luckily, there are still designers out there who want to challenge this system like the Belgium designer Jan- Jan Van Essche who shows us a different approach to designing collections and to us a new way buy into his way and leave the fashion fast lane behind.

Firstly, Van Essche shows just once a year during Paris Mens Fashion Days end of June. The first collection was shown last summer and was named YUKKURI- which is Japanese for ' Taking it easy' and this is his approach. The reason to design just once a year is that Essche offers us a range of clothes which is not depending on the season either. From T- shirts to knitted jumpers from long trousers and leggings to hooded jackets. You can find all the stables for a properly equipped wardrobe in one collection. The colours a muted- earthy-greyish tones which can be combined easily with pieces already to be found in your own wardrobe or/ and can easily be layered and adjusted threfore depending on the weather. Something which I find idealy for the everchanging skys of London. The layering gets rid of the separation of between summer and winter clothes, yes take it it easy!
Secondly all his pieces limited and numbered which gives a certain exclusivity which we hardly even can get anymore with our also mass marketed luxury brands. Additionally all pieces are produced already before the first presentation. Again this plays into the luxury and exclusivity of his collections since the buyers can just buy what is there- the production is not depending on the orders coming in- means when it's sold it's sold.
The third point is that he also does not differentiate between the sexes and different body shapes. All his clothes are unisex and one size and again take it easy!

All pictures Jan- Jan van Essche's 2010 collection-  YUKKURI

 Now we are seduced by his second collection, again with an unusual name, called SATTA AMASSAGANA which means ' Give Thanks' in Amharic. The collection#2 will be launched 09th- 19th of June in Antwerb and can be viewed during Paris Men Days SS 2012 from 26th- 29th of June in Paris.This collection builds naturally on his first collection with it's voluminous loose cuts which results in a non-conform, liberated masculinity free from restricting and gender-specific cuts fashionable since the late 1990's Hedi Slimane day's with it's skinny trousers and school boy blazer worn two sizes to small. Again the use of subdued colours makes it easy to combine the two collections with each other without alienating any pieces of the earlier collection. The colours even compliment the first collection by using also more lighter shades of dove blue to cream, rusty redsand and some ecru. Again there is no summer or winter for Van Essche- the collection creates the atmosphere of an urban warrior in a capital desert. Always ready for life and combat on the streets of modern cities. I think his approach to designing and especially marketing his collections is something new and fresh in a time where we must realize that the ' conspicuous consumption' is not sustainable anymore and the speed of fashion starts to destroy it's creators and the environment. I take my hat off in awe for Jan-Jan Van Essche and his 'simple' but very sophisticated way of dressing the modern man for the 21st century.

All above pictures from Jan-Jan Van Essche collection#2- SATTA AMASSAGANA


  1. Thanks for sharing this Raj! His approach is nice and fresh and exactly what we've all been calling for. SLOW DOWN! I wish him all the best!