The Fashion Folk S03 ep3 : Jasper Conran, Conran Fashion, [London]
Interview with Jasper Conran
The son of design guru Sir Terence Conran, Jasper Conran was literally born (1960) to the world of design. At 19, when he produced his first collection, it did not really surprise anyone. Of course, at that time, he already has a degree in Design from Parsons School of Design (1977) and had already worked at Fiorucci (New York) and Wallis (London). The British Design Council has called him a "classicist" and had awarded him the much coveted British Designer of the Year Award in 1986. He also designs contemporary crystals for Stuart. For his work at Stuart Crystals, Jasper Conran quoted: "When Stuart invited me to collaborate on a collection of contemporary crystal, I approached it in the same way I approach designing clothes - use the best materials and keep it simple."
I see myself more as a craftsman. I like the act of making clothes, I like working with the cloth, I
like moulding it and shaping it. It’s difficult because I have to live in the world of fashion as it
were, but that’s really not the way I think of myself.
It’s sort of saucy sexy sporty, I wanted the idea of couture corsetry beautiful but sort of sporty
I did a whole collection of black last season so I thought you know this is now going to do it sort of
fresh and light and airy.
I just use what I know and what I’ve got and that’s what I do really. I wouldn’t be so cheeky as to
call it art. It’s maybe it’s artistic.
I’m thrilled with this one … I’m absolutely thrilled, I think it’s in the most fantastic space and
really, really happy where it is.
I suppose it’s a lot more sophisticated now, when we started with, it was quite sweet and gentle,
not very professional really. But I’m very happy with where we’re at now.
To a certain degree it’s become a lot more about money and the more it becomes about money the
less I want to do it you know in that way, but strangely as I’ve got more successful I feel I’ve
actually got more creative so there you go, that’s the freedom of having money.
What the people don’t see is days and nights, and nights and days of endless work you know you
see the dresses, you don’t see us, you see 1% of it, it’s good work but it’s very hard work.
A lot of what I am is identifying with where I come from, with my heritage, with my you know
with what is around me, it’s so rich and extraordinary so I feel very privileged in that and I use it, I
use it to my advantage. I draw a lot from my heritage, I draw a lot from you know the historic from
you know whatever it be, whether it be Elizabeth I, whether it be the Georgians, whether it be, I
draw imagery from it and I’m inspired by it.
Probably what you’re reading is the craftsmanship of making clothes, there’s elements of that in
which is corsetry you can make any shape around a corset so it’s a very sort of help and what I
think I’m trying to do is to defend something that’s disappearing, to keep that handmade quality to
it. Which I love.
We have a freedom, we can’t possibly be as grand and as slick and as marvellous as those LVMH
companies, but we can do what we like.
Kostas: Why aren’t you doing the really over the top stuff?
I don’t do that because that’s not what I do, it’s not my thing. Believe me I can do it.
High life is my life in the country, when I go home to my house and my dogs and my everything
you know, chill and relax.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Jasper Conran, Conran Fashion, London