Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Interview - Jessica Dance, accessories designer and all-round creative-type person

This interview was originally done for fab lifestyle site Running In Heels.

Despite only just graduating from The Arts University College Bournemouth, Jessica Dance, 22, has already had success with two quirky jewellery and accessories collections. Her latest, called 'Couture Creatures', is available to buy from Kabiri. She was awarded winner of this years Per Aquum Creative Marketing prize at London Graduate Fashion Week and her delightful blog is well worth a visit if you'd like to see what else this creative star of the future is up to.

Have you always wanted to be a designer?

No… I wanted to be a vet when I was 6, but that was short lived. I think I have always known I would not work in a 9-5 job, my overactive imagination meant that I would definitely work in the creative industry.

How did you get to where you are today and would you do anything differently?

Persistence! And always being confident in my work, my work is an acquired taste so it’s so important to really believe in what I am creating.

How did you get started as a designer?

I studied fashion at university. When I started uni I had no idea what I wanted to do. I didn't find my place of study inspirational and I felt I didn't fall into this category of 'fashion'. My way of working seemed to confuse people. I created my own little world; in my mind handmade rabbits lunching in the garden with a picnic set was humorous, endearing and exciting; and that to me was a fashion shoot, is it not? There were quite a few people who advised against my way of working, however being stubborn and probably a bit naive I shunned this advice and this drove me to work harder and inspired me to design my own collection.

How would you describe your overall aesthetic?

My props and accessories are very often playful. I love tactility so my pieces take on a three-dimensional form, inviting people to touch and interact with them. I always make my props and accessories by hand and I always make them myself. I suppose I'm a bit of a perfectionist but I think this is reflected in the overall quality and personality of the finished pieces.

Couture Creatures from Rob Francis on Vimeo.


Fantasy stories and vintage craft books.

Do you feel British or European?

British, I love old fashioned English eccentricity and….tea.

Who are you listening to at the moment?


Jewellery trend for this season?

Tactility, handmade and a return to time consuming craft.

What couldn't you live without?

That’s difficult it’s a tie between animals or all-in-one suits.

Dream purchase?

Electric blue silk, Kenzo Jumpsuit.

Favourite movie?

My favourite film seems to change from month to month…. My current one has to be Fantastic Mr Fox. The attention to detail is meticulously perfect.

One piece of jewellery every girl should own?

Everyone needs to own a little Happet brooch from my current Couture Creatures collection!

Favourite European city and why?

Poland, I love all the little cellar bars and interesting shops.

Desert island book?

Fluffy by Simone Lia.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I never really know where I will be in 5 days let alone 5 years…. I like to think I'll be working in my own studio making ridiculous props and accessories for a variety of projects from music videos to fashion shows.

Can you run in heels?

No I can barely walk in them. But I own vast amounts.

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