Jigsaw: in the name of style and truth
You won’t find anything ripped from the runway on a Jigsaw hanger. Anchored by the belief that the world does not need yet another disposable fashion brand, Jigsaw are in the business of making clothes that last, not wear-for-one-season-only pieces that simply fall apart. That means more timeless collections that are cut with integrity; crafted from high quality fabrics made to stand the test of time.
This season is no exception. Commissioning British artist Marcus James to create a set of printed artworks for their spring summer collection, Jigsaw’s current offering encompasses giddy florals, raw textures and a contemporary take on geometric prints, cut in sweet sorbet shades.
An exploration of two fascinating mathematical theories – ‘the golden ratio’ and ‘chaos theory’ – the collection inspires both curiosity and inquisition.
To celebrate Jigsaw’s latest drop, we spoke to the brand’s senior designer Charlotte Marsden-Abraham on style, art, and the parallel stories that inspired the current season.
JONES: How long have you been designing with Jigsaw?
Charlotte Marsden-Abraham: I’ve been with Jigsaw for 5 years.
J: Jigsaw is dedicated to sourcing the best fabrics, whatever the cost. What unique fabrics will we find in your Spring/Summer 2017 collection?
CMA: This season we used a variety of different fabrics from silks, cottons and linens combining a multitude of textures. We used a hopsack linen which adds a contemporary texture to the collection, sourced from Baird Mc Nutt, an Irish linen supplier. Another unique fabric is the cotton blend seersucker used in tailoring and shirts.
J: Favourite part of your job?
CMA: My favourite part of my job is at the start of the season; working on concept and colour, pulling together research and starting the journey for the season.
J: The principles of style and truth have always been important to the Jigsaw brand. Tell us how this translates to each collection?
CMA: Style and truth is integral to our design team, we use this principle when choosing fabrics and deciding on both manufacturing and sourcing. We try to use the best quality noble fabrics and yarns that we can.
J: The brand boasts an in-house artist who creates exclusive hand-drawn works, motifs that are then painted and translated into the embroidery and prints featured in each collection. What’s it like working with an in-house artist? Do you feel like this allows for greater creativity?
CMA: We’re very lucky to have Lisa as our in-house print designer, she’s a wonderful painter and artist. It really helps us to create a unique print handwriting and to experiment with numerous techniques. Yes, it definitely offers more creativity as we can work with Lisa to create prints within our own concept, instead of buying from print houses.
J: What does an average day in the Jigsaw studio look like?
CMA: Days vary widely, depending on which point in the design process we’re at. Today for instance we’re working on the summer 2018 buy in the morning, plotting the AW18 pre-collection and then working on our concept for the AW18. This week we’re also travelling to Antwerp and Amsterdam for inspiration for the new season.
J: For Spring Summer 2017, you explored two of the most fascinating mathematical theorems ‘the golden ratio’ and ‘the chaos theory’, bringing a clear divide between our world of Order and Chaos. Could you tell us more about these stories, and how they defined the collection?
CMA: For order, we looked at the golden ratio and how these perfect proportions can be applied for pattern cutting, creating the perfect proportions in our collection. We created the range with clean lines in simple silhouettes, featuring fine stripes and checks.
The chaos theory is a study in mathematics that examines the behaviours and conditions of dynamical distress that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. We applied this to the collection looking at deconstructed typography, as well as fluid prints that have a scribbled feel. We wanted the collection to have a tough edge with casual styling and asymmetrical features.
J: This season, Jigsaw commissioned British artist, Marcus James, to create a set of printed artworks for your womenswear collection. What was it like working with James?
CMA: Working with Marcus was a great pleasure. We briefed him on our concepts and he went away and worked on the prints. We then came back together to go over colour ways and placements on the garments. The hardest thing was editing out his prints as there were so many to choose from; always a good situation to be in.
J: Who are your style icons?
CMA: Georgia O'Keeffe and Charlotte Rampling.
J: What are your three favourite pieces from the Spring Summer 2017 collection?
CMA: Our Louisiana linen trench; a versatile piece that can be styled as a piece of outerwear or as a dress. Our Feather suit; a contemporary unlined suit in a silk cotton blend. And our Hoxton White jeans, one of my wardrobe staples!
J: What can we expect to see from Jigsaw in 2018?
CMA: For spring/summer 18 we have looked at the foundations of our collection, aiming to elevate our process. Cloth, colour, cut and composition were our starting points. We want to create future classics that will remain in our customers’ wardrobes indefinitely. Fashion is becoming increasingly more disposable, we want to design pieces that are stylish and have longevity, celebrating the Jigsaw DNA.
You can shop the Jigsaw spring/summer 2017 collection instore now at David Jones.
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