The Fashion Folk S03 ep6 : Jaton Jacob & Anthony Pittorino, Jton Fashion, [Melbourne]
Interview with Jaton Jacob
Brides often confide in Jacob Luppino and Anthony Pittorino, the designers behind the couture label J'Aton: they tell them that they never expected to get so many compliments from men. "We're coming from a different angle being male designers," explains Luppino. "We dress women the way men want to see women dressed." These two hard-working designers launched their label in 1995 and since then have won many awards for their contemporary couture. Luppino recalls the early days: "We started this business with no financial support or backing and when we sold a dress we'd buy what we needed: sewing machines, equipment and so on." Both Pittorino and Luppino come from Italian families and similar backgrounds. Their excellent ability to understand each other has also translated into perfect business sense over the years. Their first Melbourne store opened in Ascot Vale, their local area, and then moved to Prahran five years later where they aimed to broaden their client base. And they've certainly done so. Their celebrity clients are the who's who of Australian television and music: Delta Goodrem, Tara Moss, Ada Nicodemou, Sigrid Thornton, Megan Gale and Holly Brisley have all worn their gowns. Their design process is part of what attracts Australia's elite, a process that ensures that every bride feels like a star when her dress designed by J'Aton.
When we were studying back in ’89, ’90, we came up with the name Jaton because it’s the two
names being put together so it’s Jacob and Anthony combined as one.
We studied at Melbourne College of Textiles. We did a clothing course back in ’89 and it was a
three year course at the time.
Initially, once we’d finished the course, we both ventured out, did our own thing, but then you
know we just found that I was you know getting so much work it was almost like too
overwhelming for a one man show so we thought hey let’s combine this together and you know
become a duo.
Our eyes are both the same you know we kind of like the same thing, we see the same faults, we
know where something can be improved if need be, so we’re quite fortunate in that area that we’re
complimentary to each other.
I’m really amazing at hand sewing so if Anthony’s draping a gown on the mannequin he knows
that he’s going to pass it over to me and I’ll be the one who is going to hand sew it for him.
Whatever you see here, and whatever leaves our premises, goes through our hands. We have a very
small team on board but at the end of the day it’s myself and Anthony who are the creators and
sometimes a whole gown will need to go through our hands only so we don’t have that luxury of
having you know 10 skilled dressmakers and me and Tony just sit there sketching, but that doesn’t
I always had a pencil in hand, my favourite subject at school was art. Love the arts, love the
drawings, architecture, interiors but it’s probably through our mid-teens when I thought hey I
really want to do fashion so for me it was all very new because I had never put a you know hand to
needle in my life but once I began the course it kind of came very natural for me.
We’re very visual so whether we’re talking fashion, whether we’re talking interiors or a building,
whatever it is, so we start at the … we’ve had a very long career in that and you know we hope to
have longevity with that but also I think we’re ready to tap into other areas of the arts.
It’s purely haute couture, there has been a lot of requests for us to be doing prêt a porter. I think
eventually we will definitely go down that path but we don’t want to lose this side of the couture
because that’s what we love, that’s what we’re passionate about.
So if we look at the world of fashion today everything is kind of being thrown back to you know
the New York high society the celebrities from LA to New York and I think it’s those kind of
endorsements that can really take you somewhere. We have Kylie, we have Dannii you know we
love them dearly we’ve you know developed such a beautiful bond with the girls and the family
you know they’re very special to us.
We get to know the client, their personality and how far they’re willing to stretch you know the
creativity with us. From there the process will be to go out, research fabrics, bring all the fabrics to
her, show them, wrap them around the body, see what’s working. If it’s for us, it can either be a
design that we just thought in our mind and we’ve sketched and we think yep this kind of fabric
will look incredible and we’ll go out and research and see what’s suited for this gown. But we can
be inspired by a pair of shoes, we can be inspired by a roll of fabric that’s sitting there and think,
this design’s going to work with that fabric.
We’re being very self sufficient with this Australian market up to today but of course we’ve really
developed a strong following in the UK, once again knowing you know Kylie and Dannii, they’re
based in the UK, they’re, especially Dannii is always wearing our gowns and whatever function
she has so we fly there once or twice a year and we see clients, and that’s also happening now in
New York as well having dressed Keisha Whitaker at the Oscars last year and once again I think
that’s why we’re ready to kind of branch out and start seeing what the response is.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Jaton Jacob & Anthony Pittorino, Jton Fashion, Melbourne