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.”
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.
What is it your definition of Peace?
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.
How do you create your own “peace of mind”?
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.
What is spirituality for you?
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.
In fashion design, how do you see Peace as an inspiration?
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.
If Peace was a product, in which kind of shop you would like to buy it?
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…
What is more important than Peace for you?
Being and feeling human is the essence of life. Eventually, this is more important than Peace.
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?
They have used non-violence concepts to promote Peace. Their acts as peacemakers have spoken boldly.
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.
In Art, what is for you the most representative artwork about Peace? And why?
I haven’t found it.
Special thanks to Sherry Lu