Creative Director, Jessica Gebhart spoke to Petrie Inventory about her love affair with the desert, the way she develops her stories, the artists who inspired Las Casas most, and how moving to a new house indirectly shaped the new collection.
Thomas Hawkins:Las Casas translates as Houses. Tell us more about the name.
Jessica Gebhart: “Where things come from” was a key start point for the new collection: investigating the processes at play in studio settings and how clothing and art respond to and rely on one another. The relationship between studio space and domestic space and living within one’s work also had an Influence. The fusion of domestic settings and creative space, and ultimately, what clothes best suit these conversations are points of Interest for me.
Having a home studio is something that I’ve always wanted and we’re in the process of putting the finishing touches to our new home out in the sticks, which definitely played its part in the shaping of the story.
TH: I AND ME is seasonless and genderless. Tell us more about this approach.
JG: “Good things go with good things.” This really feeds into what I am trying to achieve with I AND ME. The clothes are appropriate for all seasons, they are not defined by seasonal trends because they are functional, well made, they layer well and sit among a wardrobe as staples. The collections are predominantly key wardrobe staples complemented by statement pieces. The collections are standalone, but are designed to blur into one another, from the colour palettes to the silhouettes; my aim is to build individual collections that fit within a much bigger story.
…this comes back to “Fabric, Function and Form…”
JG: As always, the fabric choices were the base of the design process, which define the collection: “workwear” as a concept, and letting It shine through in its most simplistic functional form. This was the aim, both aesthetically and functionally.
The new Japanese selvedge wide leg shape is the key jeans staple in Las Casas. With a mid-rise and loose-leg, it is the perfect shape for the changing seasons. Raw, breathable Italian selvedge linen mix fabrications in loose silhouettes allow for movement and in time it will wear down into softer versions with unique fades. Layering pieces are a great way to tackle the ever-changing elements and as always, they are designed to work across all collections.
The “worker” inspired pieces are up-specked with styling details built for function. The ‘sun bleached’ indigo colour pays homage to the relentless heat of the desert. The beautiful, unique violet indigo fabric and the soft, battered and worn feel add to the story the garment.
I love the idea that pieces get better with age. The fabrics running through Las Casas were all selected with an eye on precisely that. This reflects back to the brand’s mantra: “Buy Less, Buy Better.”