Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,
Jackie Villevoye has been creating unique and handmade accessories under her label Jupe by Jackie since 2010. Formerly an art collector, photographer and interior decorator, the designer learned the high craft of hand embroidery in India before opening up her own atelier. Distinguished for the painstaking needle artwork put into each silk tie, bow tie, pocket square and scarf, Villevoye’s brand has since expanded into womenswear and is stocked at illustrious retailers including Colette, Dover Street Market and Barneys.
In the following interview, she reveals what family photograph sparked her passion for ties, adding identity back into the world of fashion and why all her designs should be worn with a smile.
What first sparked your fascination with ties?
A tie for a man is the same as a (neck) jewel for a woman; it peppers and brings the colours of shirt and suit in balance. Moreover, a tie makes a man more interesting.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
My main focus is to work on a proper symmetrical or correctly proportional design in the right colour combinations. Overall I am a colour freak.
What was the inspiration behind your latest designs?
What makes a bow tie such a crucial part of an outfit?
A bow tie is a fun accessory, giving a young , fashionable and ‘intellectual’ character all in one (the tuxedo bow tie excluded of course).
What is your favourite bow tie of all time and what is the story behind it?
There is a photograph of my children at the beach where they were all dressed up for a ‘family shoot’. My youngest son, Julien is dressed in white with a classic yellow/navy silk mini bow tie, making him more cute than ever. That was the moment where my love for these accessories started.
In your brand’s statement you mention the importance of individuality. How vital is this aspect of fashion to you and do you think that in a world of mass production this idea is still achievable?
Walking through big streets such as as Oxford Street in London or Kalverstraat in Amsterdam and seeing all people dressed as one big black crowd makes me sad. Designers should educate on a daily basis that a colourful world is a more happy and interesting world. Hopefully each Jupe piece I sell will add a little bit more ‘identity’.
Having learned the craft of needle artwork, how important do you see the relationship between a creative vision and artisanal ability in design?
In my brand this is of MAIN importance!
Do you find this craftsmanship aspect is perhaps neglected in the fashion industry, i.e. in machine-made designs or sweatshop production?
Unfortunately, the fact is that there is only a small group of people who want to spend money on clothing, and understand the ‘art’ of how to dress. For this reason, it is logical that machine-made clothing rules the market.
How do you see your womenswear collections as an expansion of your brand?
The skills of the hand embroidery put into a Jupe by Jackie piece are executed at the highest possible level, making the dresses special and rare pieces. The uniqueness make them precious. I do not think of the word expansion. I just love making them, together with these great artists!
What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully I can continue doing this for a long, long time. I love what I am doing and trust that I can make people happy with a hand embroidered piece — and have them wear it with a smile!
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