I was kindly invited to the in-store launch event for JUDE, the Fitzroy based artisan fashion house, which just launched their newest A/W18 collection titled Tourmaline. Something I’ve learned about true Melbournians is their respect for quality; passion for supporting local where possible and minimalist fashion. The JUDE label is a sustainable and ethical business conceived out of a mission to put the handmade and artisan aspects back into fashion.
JUDE’s newest collection was created to be trans-seasonal and also gender neutral; the latter being something that’s not only sweeping the fashion industry but also the beauty industry! Whilst I was unable to attend the launch event, I was lucky enough to do a Q&A with Jude Ng, the designer himself. So without further ado, let’s jump straight into it!
I have also listed some of my favourite pieces at the end of this post.
Firstly, congratulations on your new collection launch. When did you launch the label and what was your inspiration for the brand?
Thank you! We launched our label about 4 years ago. It all happened very organically, with a mission to do what I love to do in Fashion, and my idea to put the personal, tactile, handmade and artisanal qualities back into Fashion. I believe strongly in supporting the local garment industry and to create a quality product in limited editions, for our customer’s exclusivity. Very much the antithesis of the fast fashion movement which has taken the world by storm, and has caused major problems for our environment.
The concept around the new collection is really fascinating – to quote you, “a harmonious narrative between angular and soft, dystopia and comfort, strength and vulnerability”. How does the creative journey start?
I have always been fascinated with the idea of contrast, and putting things together in an unlikely way, to create a narrative which makes the viewer or customer take a moment to stop and think. I am inspired by so many different things-It can be a film or documentary on the natural world, art or fashion, a visit to the gallery or museum, the flamboyant characters I meet in the creative scene, or even the amazing street art and eclectic architecture around my Fitzroy store. I love to immerse myself in my immediate environment, and take inspiration from even the most simple daily activities.
How long does each range take to build from start to finish?
Each range takes around 2 months for design, patternmaking, fabric sourcing and sampling, and another 2 months for the production process. Each piece shouts quality and looks like it would last a lifetime if cared for properly.
What’s the best fashion/care advice you ever received?
Thank you! I am a huge fan of Vivienne Westwood and her revolutionary ideas for fashion, and I am a huge believer of her famous statement – “ Buy Less and Choose Well”.
What is your best seller and why?
If I had to pick one, it would be our Cortez Pants, which are a staple for many seasons now. We love how comfortable, stylish and unisex they are, flattering many different body types.
Who is your role model?
My parents – as they have always believed in what I was trying to achieve, no matter how hard the struggle. They only ever offered me their support and encouragement. They are also both creative people in their own ways, my dad being an art and antiques dealer back in the day, and my Mum always being a fashion fanatic ever since I could remember! I have always admired their work ethic, which has been instilled in me from a young age, and is a strong foundation for what I do now.
Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer?
I have always wanted to be an artist. From a young age I was always drawing, painting and crafting handmade things. I studied fine arts with a major in painting. Fashion was always an interest as well, but this only really came to life for me while studying fine art, when I began combining art and fashion to create ‘wearable art’. After studying fashion formally later on, this passion eventually developed into what I am doing today. It was definitely an unusual journey!
What’s your favourite thing about Melbourne?
Everything really! The creativity and culture, the galleries, the food, meeting all sorts of people from different backgrounds, the many creative events which happen almost every day. It is such a lively, buzzing city, but with a warm heart.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee! Double shot Soy mocha to start the day.
What drives you?
The act of creating, and feeling fulfilled when people like what I make.
What’s been your proudest achievement so far?
Venturing out to start my own fashion label and opening my own store – it has been a long journey with a great deal of hard work!
Thank you to Jude for taking the time to answer my questions. Here are 3 of my favourite pieces from the collection:
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Go check out the new collection online now at designbyjude.com