A TALK WITH JAMEI CHEN

Interviewed by Sanza BULAYA, translation by SJ

 

Clothing is the moving scenery of a city; each person’s outfit reflecting their attitude towards life.

By extending each of them it would be enough to build up a landscape of the city, even to form a reflection of the city’s cultural literacy.”

JAMEI CHEN.

 

The brand founder and lead designer, Jamei Chen, started the brand in 1987 using her name as the brand label. In 1994 JAMEI CHEN began to design and organize bi-annual fashion shows, synchronous with the international fashion industry. In 1995 JAMEI CHEN was invited to participate in Paris and New York fashion shows. In addition to the design and production of haute couture, JAMEI CHEN gradually began developing a Ready-To-Wear collection as well. Moreover, in 2002, JAMEI CHEN began offering Custom-made gowns. In 2006 the brand extended the designing concept to the market of corporation uniforms such as the design and production of uniforms for the Taiwan High Speed Rail, Mercedes-Benz Taiwan and Xiamen Airlines. To further extend her concepts, JAMEI CHEN not only expanded into a soft home series, an at work corporate uniform series, but also established in 2007 an independently dedicated leather crafting department for the purpose of designing and producing all kinds of design inspired leather goods.

In 2011 opened ” JAMEI CHEN.MAISON ” concept store, presenting a complete spirit of the brand. In 2014 “Dialogue” an Italian restaurant was opened in the JAMEI CHEN concept store.

JAMEI CHEN陳季敏,是台灣設計師中的極簡主義代表,作品風格優雅俐落、細緻簡約,善長在極簡的設計中勾勒出藝術性的服裝表情,其優雅俐落的剪裁與線條,細緻頂級的質感與素材,奠定了品牌獨特的形象。

自1994年即開始舉辦個人服裝發表會,呈現優雅精緻的時尚設計概念。隔年1995年,更受邀參與巴黎時裝展,隨後也應紐約時裝展之邀出席。2007年秋冬發表會以「行走‧記憶」為主題與攝影家郭英聲開啟了跨領域合作的序幕。這是一場結合時尚與藝術的舞台劇,有別於傳統概念中制式化的服裝展示,透過顛覆、解構與重新組合的過程,陳季敏過往二十年的作品轉化成為截然不同的面貌。從此JAMEI CHEN,不只是時尚,不只是影像,在表象之下蘊含著更多關於人、關於情感、關於態度的豐厚底蘊。

 

Picture 2 Talk.

Q&A

What is it your definition of Peace?

你對和平的定義是什麼?

Peace is the opposite of War, I believe that everyone is searching for inner peace.

Compared to other countries, in Taiwan we have different ways of thinking of living and surviving. Until now, identity is still an issue in Taiwan that could possibly lead to War.

和平似乎就是戰爭的反面字義,我相信每個人都在追求自己內心深層的安靜。 相對來說處在我們現在的國家環境與其他地方比起來,對於生活或生存的思維不太一樣,我們始終有一個認同的問題,是個隨時可以引導你到戰爭的邊緣,對於現在生活在台灣的人來說也算是一種必要的課題。

 

How do you create your own “peace of mind”?

你如何讓自己心情平和?

Reading, listening to music, watching old movies and traveling can make my mind at peace, can let my mind rest, and allow me to think and to have some introspection. By doing this, I escape from the daily routine and then I create my own peace of mind.

閱讀、音樂、即使再看一部老電影、一趟簡單的旅行讓自己內心可以平靜、沉澱、思考、反省,也能暫時忘卻周邊每天需要處理和看見的事情,也可以整理自己。藉由這方式來轉換環境,讓視覺聽覺做不一樣的思考。

 

What is spirituality for you?

靈性 對你而言是什麼?

Spirituality is enjoying fresh white asparagus in Paris in May, or listening to a Bach plays by Cleen Gould in any place that I like.

五月份可以在巴黎吃到新鮮的白蘆筍,或著在一個我喜歡環靜聽到顧爾德(Cleen Gould)彈的巴哈.

 

In fashion design, how do you see Peace as an inspiration?

從時尚設計的角度 你怎麼以和平作為靈感?

Every season we have a theme concept for the clothing collection that is provided my Art Director. Basically, we based our concept on a memory or image for the seasonal concept. Apart from that seasonal inspiration and clothing color tone, the main focus is also the clothing itself: it has to be wearable. I mean people need to have some good feeling when wearing my garment. The priority remains to feel comfortable and peaceful in what you wear. To be honest, so far we haven’t yet used Peace as a full fashion design concept.

我們每一季都會有個主題概念,由品牌的藝術總監提供一個故事、一個理念、或是一個記憶、與影像來做為當季的設計概念。在設計的過程中,除了展現當季主題的調性特色,最主要的還是注重於設計出來的服裝能帶給人自在、舒服與平靜來做為設計上的第一考量。 目前我們還尚未以和平作為

裝的設計主題。

 

If Peace was a product, in which kind of shop you would like to buy it?

如果和平是一個產品 你願意從什麼樣的店去購買他?

I always like old-style building or refurbished premises. If Peace was a product, I would like to buy in a reconstructed shop. In Taiwan, from south to north there are a lot of refurbished buildings where we can find great stuff. Or, maybe you can simply use some coins to buy Peace in a automated Peace distributor in a the street. A kind of Peace ATM…

我一直很喜歡把一種老宅、或是古蹟重新在利用的一種空間概念形式。像是過去的時代裡面,台灣從南到北留下了許多漂亮的老房子或許經過新的設計給與它新故事。或是你用零錢就可以在路邊的自動攤販機購買到和平,哈哈。

 

What is more important than Peace for you?

對你而言 有比和平更重要的事嗎?

Being and feeling human is the essence of life. Eventually, this is more important than Peace.

人的本質吧? 當一切都消失後,你變成一個分子在你所不知道的氣場遊蕩時,相信那時候甚麼都不重要了。

 

Who is for you the most inspiring peacemaker? Why?

對你來說 誰是對和平最有啟發的 ?什麼?

Gandhi.

Dalai Lama.

They have used non-violence concepts to promote Peace. Their acts as peacemakers have spoken boldly.

甘地、達賴喇嘛。他們不以暴力、戰爭、流血去推動和平,從他們的演義、文獻、歷史資料、紀錄影片證他的行為模式。

 

For you, “Peace & Love” refer to….

對你而言 「和平與愛」 是指

When I wake-up in the morning, “Peace & Love” to me is:

The smell of a warm coffee…

The sound of the toaster…

The sound of the boiling water for the poached egg…

The sunray of light crossing the window to caress the cat…

Your lover body smell…

Your lover body temperature…

Starting from this kind of wake-up, your day is full of love, peace and happiness.

就好像當早上醒來咖啡機煮出的一種咖啡香味,吐司麵包從烤吐司機跳出來的聲音、滾燙的水正在煮雞蛋的聲音、或是早晨的太陽透過窗簾撒在床上的貓咪,也有可能是身旁伴侶的香味與溫度,一切都充滿幸、和平與愛的開始。

 

In Art, what is for you the most representative artwork about Peace? And why?

在藝術上 最能代表和平的作品?為什麼?

I haven’t found it.

我到現在還沒有找到一個作品是可以很直接的給予

和平的感動.

 

Special thanks to Sherry Lu

 

Picture 3 Talk