February 17, 2019
words Cyril Vinchon
interview Stefan Howarth
She’s got everything it takes to be one of tomorrow’s most influential creators. Having already proved her worth alongside Peter Pilotto (among others), Paula Knorr can now boast having made a sensational entry into the fashion industry in 2015. Her growing fame and sheer talent have not gone unnoticed by the British Fashion Council, who awarded her eponymous brand the NEWGEN subsidy, a prestigious sponsorship program for emerging designers. In the run-up to the London runway shows, Sacrebleu! brings you an exclusive report on the 2019 fall-winter collection by this designer who plays it by her own rules.
Describe yourselves in three words.
Obsessive. Intense. Devoted.
Describe the JORDANLUCA, the brand, in three words.
Irreverent. Provocative. Intellectual.
Jordanluca has a lovely beginning as a joint-venture between two friends, how does the design process work between both parties?
We come from very different design backgrounds; Luca worked for big fashion houses in Milan and London for many years and understands the whole journey of design from sketch to hanger. I (Jordan) made hats for 10 years for myself and other milliners in London and work much more sculpturally. We design together and map out collection together but we tend to fork off into different detail.
Paula Knorr is renowned for using extremely elaborate fabric draping and cutting techniques that lend her creations their own unique style. In 2017, she presented her first spring-summer collection in the official London Fashion Week calendar, and has come back to what she does best for fall-winter 2019. The collection promises to be as awe-inspiring as Knorr’s signature evening wear, combining casual wear and chic garments for the ritziest evening galas. It’s the association of lavish materials with flowing and elastic fabrics such as lycra or jersey that gives her designs their singular character. Add to that a bold and flamboyant color palette, figure-hugging cuts – even asymmetrical in some cases – breathtaking drapes, and you have the Knorr look in a nutshell.
The brand has received some great press since starting in 2017, what do you think has contributed to this success?
JORDANLUCA started in 2017 with our first UGLY/BOYS campaign which caught on really quickly and the reaction was amazing and we’re really grateful for the support from the press and the platform it gives us to communicate.
With a growing reputation as one of London's most exciting and talented designers, what are your plans for the future of your business?
Are you allowed to give us any clues on your next collections? What can we expect?
This season we started working on full looks rather than individual pieces that get styled together which is completely new to us and it’s really pushing towards runway which is coming this year. For this coming collection, SS20, we wanted to look a bit at what and where we come from and pull out some of those personal references and for me that means suburban punks and illegal raves. I’m not sure about anyone else but for me, digging up the past, no matter how glorious can often bring up trauma but it’s always good to embrace that and see where it takes you creatively. We’re looking more at shapes and pushing those silhouettes and details we’ve created over the past seasons into something much more uniformed.
Your Fall/Winter 2019 collection was inspired by sex and psychosis which is an unusual inspiration, where do you draw your creative ideas from?
L: We’re naturally drawn to social phenomena and the human psyche and this is the big driver for our inspiration. We look at subjects in hyper reality and always start from people. AW19 was inspired by a guy I met once in Milan who’d wear a Zegna suit to and a bra and panties underneath. Imagine!
The brand has been described as street-wear, is street-style a big influence of yours?
Streetwear has become of a bit of a dirty word in fashion as it’s always so linked to an interchangeable social climate and can be too politicised, also I think you tend to associate streetwear as a genre with innocuous slogan prints on hoodies. Streetwear is reactive urban fashion but there’s a million ways to do this. We look at what people are wearing and try to react to what we see and whether that’s suits or sweatpants it’s all part of daily life living in London.
Your collections are produced in Italy to a luxury standard, but given a London style edge through your designs, are you concerned that with Brexit on the horizon, you may have to alter your current business model?
Yes absolutely. It’s full of uncertainty and nobody truly knows until it happens how it’s going to pan out. We have a premium product with a high value so the idea that would have to shift because of extra duties on imports doesn’t make business sense. Just as long as we don’t have to get married.
The Knorr woman’s wardrobe is an unalloyed amalgam of elements that seem incongruous at first glance. Therein lies the strength of the young German designer: by some unknown and magnificent magic, she transmutes metals into gold and sublimates the most basic materials. The women who wear her designs will feel special; special because she will be wearing not just a unique garment in terms of its cut and composition, but also in terms of the message it conveys: the Knorr woman wears freedom inside and out.
You are currently primarily a menswear brand, would you conside building on your success and launching a collection of women's wear pieces?
Definitely it’s coming in the future but we both come from design backgrounds where we spent years making fancy things for lovely ladies so at the moment we’re really enjoying the challenges of menswear and how to reinterpret tailoring for a vibrant new market.
Do you have a motto in life?
Don’t be late.
jORDANLUCA SPRING-SUMMER 2019
Version française ici.