HOME & HAND MADE
By diverting, customizing, creating patterns, playing with combinations and accumulations, a new identity is given to vintage clothing or end-of-line items destined for destruction.
The time spent on each piece is a guarantee of meticulous, conscientious, and quality work.
The result is a committed collection of unique pieces and limited editions.
Timeless”, which no longer follow a fashion but create it.
Vanity Teen interviews designer Jessica Ruth and we made photos with 4 pieces of the collection: SWEET SWEAT MIKE BRANT, CHUPA PULLOVER, SHORT REINE D’AGOBERT, and BLING CASPER PULLOVER with models Marti, Misha Natali of Uno Models.
You can find the pieces of the collection on their SHOP!
Vanity Teen: You mentioned that people made fun of you at school because of your big curly hair and that you expressed yourself through fashion. How important was fashion in those years and how do you think that affected your vision of fashion as you see it now?
Jessica Ruth: I was born in the late ’80s when fashion was in a rock n roll mood, with eccentric clothes and colorful makeup. Also, Madonna gave us a special mood with her messy hair and I think it would have been easier for me to go to school at that time! In the ’90s fashion completely changed. My favorite singers were Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, so cool but so different from me. And it’s at this moment, maybe around when I was ten that I understood I couldn’t follow it, and I had to create my own. Fashion can’t be universal and must be adapted for each person.
VT: Could you tell me what called your attention to fashion in the first place? Why fashion and not another medium of expression? And which is your story with art?
JR: When I was young, my parents subscribed, for a few months, to various satellite channels and I discovered FashionTV, MTV, Pimp my Ride… The American dream started in my mind! I loved everything that was shiny. I was really very shy and I think art, in general, is my favorite medium of expression. I played violin, I danced, and Aikido, a Japanese martial art, for twelve years. Later on, I had to choose and I graduated with an Interior Architecture and Design diploma. During all that time, fashion was always with me, but maybe I was afraid of failing, so I always left it out or just did it like a hobby, organizing photo shoots, doing the hair and makeup for girls, and later posing myself as a model. Everything was fine with me until I needed to talk!
VT: As a slow fashion designer, what importance does it have for you to be a slow fashion designer and what can you tell us about this way of creating in contrast with fast fashion?
JR: I really love Earth. I find it too well made to think that it is only by coincidence. Each flower, each color, and perfumes have a sense for me, and when something is beautiful, I think that we must take care of it! Over-consumption damages this painting that is the landscape and that I consider a work of art. Also, when inspiration fails me, just a little moment in nature works for me to get it back! For all those reasons I try to give thanks, in my way, using vintage clothes, fixing and taking care as much as I can. Moreover, it is quite usual that the quality of the fabrics of the vintage clothes is much better and needs just a small repair. That’s the reason why I choose working with a slow fashion vision.
VT: Your brand is named “La Poupée à Papy” which means “Grandpa’s Doll”, I guess because it relates to you somehow. Why did you decide to start your own fashion label? Could you tell me more about the name and the process of the creation of the brand?
JR: Yeah, that’s what my grandpa used to call me because I looked like a collection doll with my curly hair and my wise personality. I was literally the opposite of the bold and crazy little girl. I started remembering those little girl memories when I had my own kids. Fashion has always been the art that always accompanied me when I was down and when I was bored, so I realized it was time to start with what I always loved.
VT: La Poupée à Papy was created for bold people who look for eccentric, colorful, and cheerful fashion that attracts the eyes. What’s your creative process? How do you come up with all the ideas?
JR: It’s very simple: there is no process! I can be inspired first by a song, by an insect, by a cartoon. Another time, I find an old pullover with a fabric that I love and I think about how I can make it shine. I love to transform one basic idea to put a smile on people’s faces and to impress their spirits, so I mix various items, often playing with contrasts, like my “Spirit Jessica Rabbit” for example, and I know it’s successful when people remember those pieces!
VT: In your first Prêt-à-Porter collection you used vintage clothes and fabric remnants to make new pieces. How is that possible? What’s on your mind when transforming old pieces into newer ones with improved designs?
JR: This research phase is one of the longest phases of the creation process because I try to make sure that we no longer distinguish two different elements that are the vintage piece on one side and the customization on the other. I like that the final piece is harmonious and that we see it as if it had always existed that way. Then, I find beads, stress, and blings; I put on my best playlist, and I start embroidering in a trance mood! Et voilà! It’s like being pregnant and giving birth to a new baby.
VT: You say that it’s important to assume our own identity and to be proud and confident about it. Which message does your brand promote and which message do you wanna send to the world through your style and your personality?
JR: My brand promotes that being different is so cool! I feel good when I walk down the street with my oversized red coat among people dressed in grey. But again, if we rise up and look at the street from the sky, can you imagine everyone expressing themselves freely? Not dressed in black to go to work, but dressed as their real personality. I’m sure I would feel better seeing a lot of color points like a Vincent Van Gogh pointillism painting. So I think we are all actors in this giant work of art, and we have to be really proud of it!
VT: To conclude, what does the future hold for you? What do you expect from this year and the near future? Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?
JR: We are in a crucial time, everything is moving, and our generation is here to change outdated rules. We need more joy, light, and colors in this world! One may wish me to help more people to shine brighter, both outside and inside so that every day is a party! So more bling and love!