Friday, 13 January 2023

Jan-Jan Van Essche Rite A/W23 Project #11

Written by Sebastien de Brito
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With his Autumn/Winter 23 fashion collection, Jan-Jan Van Essche contemplates the present to stimulate creativity while opening up newly divergent paths without expectations.

Jan-Jan Van Essche A/W23 collection or Project #11 is a "Rite" of passage, a new phase rooted in history and wrapped in comfort.

Looking back and finding strength in one's fundament to slowly keep on building a future rooted in history. From this transition, a new perception of freedom arises... a new phase... a new rhythm.
Listen to the drum beat.

About The Collection: Project #11 Rite by Jan-Jan Van Essche

A substantial core of existing styles is reinterpreted.

Sensible materials that have proven their value are again selected by the Belgian designer to soothe and comfort from the first hint of touch.

Ample winter coats and capes envelop the silhouettes in rich yak wools giving room for layering loose-fit kimono-inspired suits, while jumpsuits and individual utilitarian elements are added to ground the ephemeral and to emphasise the workwear influence in carefully constructed garments.

The oversized yet fluid pieces in Jan-Jan's Autumn/Winter 23 collection carry references to the ‘boubou' and chemise Arabe, expressing a laid-back elegance and taking the overall mood travelling to distant places.

A range of tunics and shirts in lightweight wool chiffons and silken winter cotton work as perfect layers to accommodate the various winter temperatures around the world. Chunky knitted sweaters and hand crochet beanies in French merino d’Arles linen blend for colder regions. 'Shibori' pattern woollen cloths – hand-dyed by skilful masters – come from Japan, highlighting the meticulous resist dye craft and bringing a mysterious depth to the draped silhouettes.

Artisanal Touches

Waxed garments, made from cotton cloths by Halley Stevensons, are added to the Winter collection evoking new emotions and sensations in the Jan-Jan Van Essche sphere.

The handwoven series in the A/W23 Project are once again fully handcrafted in the Jan-Jan Van Essche studio by artisan Lamine Diouf.

These unique pieces keep on demanding their place in the wardrobe and they complement the collection by narrating the story of the slow pace of the hand.

A series of vegetal tan leather McKay boots are handcrafted by the brothers – Ryo & Sotaro Ogino – of Petrosolaum based in Tokyo.

An ongoing collaboration since the A/W20 season, which has been timelessly sharpening and grounding the Jan-Jan Van Essche signature silhouette.

A new collaboration with the Austrian werkstätte Mülhbauer resulted in beaver and rabbit fur felted hats in their natural shades and hand-moulded on custom-made blocks. Their softness and subtle lustre absorb and reflect, shielding the wearer from rain and rays.

Jan-Jan Van Essche's Debut Show

With his debut show, Jan-Jan Van Essche shares his philosophy and approach to contemporary fashion through a triptych presentation. Taking the audience from a runway show with the subtle rhythm of the music by composer Willem Ardui to a poetically intense dance performance by six dancers. The renowned choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, created a piece emphasising the story of the collection and lifting the moment to another realm.

For the finale, Jan-Jan wanted to surprise his audience with the 24 models lined up in front of the ancient frescos on the walls of the graceful Santa Maria Novella cloister, matching and blending the colour palette of the silhouettes, merging the ancient and the contemporary.

Here the guests could have a close-up look while absorbing live music and singing by the Japanese taiko player Tsubasa Hori under the open sky.

A rite of passage to a new chapter in the life of the Jan-Jan Van Essche collection.

Dive into the soothing world of Jan-Jan Van Essche online.

Dance choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Music: Willem Ardui
Live Japanese taiko music: Tsubasa Hori
Styling: Cong Peiyang
Casting: William L’Hoest
Production coordinator: Alice Morelli
Look book images: Pietro Celestina
Portraits: Wannes Cré

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