Second nature: sharp silhouettes and sculptural still lifes collide in Jaeha’s latest collection
Having studied under famed Central Saint Martins professor Louise Wilson OBE and trained at Mary Katrantzou, designer Jae Kim was well primed for an intellectual approach to design. Having launched his own Jaeha brand in 2014, the Korean-born, London-based designer’s intriguing new lookbook sees his A/W 2017 collection unfurl in an array of architectural looks and sculptural still life shots. Captured by photographer Janneke Van Der Hagen and styled by Alex Carl, the powerful new Jaeha silhouette is presented against beautiful and almost alien plant life and mineral forms, while Janina Pedan conceived the set design.
Kim describes the 1980s-inspired off-kilter finish of his shapes as a kind of ‘refined awkwardness’. ‘It’s about making unexpected adjustments to familiar forms,’ he says. ‘To stand out, our woman makes adjustments in her wardrobe that might look accidental and appear awkward but are actually anything but.’ Such awkwardness is achieved by clashing heavy herringbone tweeds with patent pig skin and with unusually placed twisted seams, mid-calf ruching on a pair of trousers and a little bit too much sleeve.
Jaeha’s A/W 2017 collection is presented alongside correlative organic forms
The result is layering of an architectural kind, as stylist Carl explains: ‘The idea was to build the pieces around the body as sculptures – all inspired by feminine and empowering shapes. They’re very organic, not hard; the fabrics are incredible on the body.’ It was this fluid and organic nature that inspired Van Der Hagen to mirror each striking pose and shape with a corresponding still life arrangement. From fragile poppies redolent of an Irving Penn photograph to the heavy, bulbous traps of a monkey cup plant, each object reflects the hang or drape of the ensemble overleaf in a subtle, yet playful, manner.
‘The still life objects were chosen with the clothes in mind. There were certain shapes that I wanted to emphasise,’ explains Pedan, who worked to establish a biological connection between both plants, the human body and clothing. The images, and the relationship between the creative team who produced them, flourish together in fine form.