By now you should know that I’m all about fresh fashion and designers that challenge and push the boundaries; that are innovative and bring something new to the table.
Drop it low with structured silhouettes and turn up your minimalism collection with designer Jason Hewitt‘s Like A Baas collection.
In design we learn that the in order for a design (be it an object or image) to be successful it is important to incorporate the basic elements and principles of design; and manipulate it order to create one’s own masterpiece. Since I learnt about these concepts during my first year of study, I’ve always placed emphasis on them when analyzing garments – as essentially that is what makes a designer powerful.
One such designer is Melbourne local Jason Hewitt, who is a former South African-Hong Kong and Sydney native. Before Melbourne, Hewitt resided in the remote areas of Tasmania and when it came time for furthering his studies, he took that chance and moved to Melbourne. Hewitt’s educational background includes a year degree and honours obtained from RMIT. Hewitt explains that from these experiences, the different cultures and places have helped make who he is today.
When he was younger his dream was to own hotels, however after a trip to a retrospective on Gianni Versace his career path was decided. Stating that he can’t pin down any one person or field that inspires him, as it changes as new ideas come along.
The Jason Hewitt brand can be described as challenging and pervasive. With aesthetic values varying, but is often drawn to brighter colours, patterns and prints. A key principle of design is repetition, which helps strengthen the design elements and creates consistency and rhythm within the design – this obvious in Hewitts’ collection, as all materials have been hand painted and hand dye.
The target market isn’t specifically designed, as the products are produced
in a responsible, ethical and sustainable manner. A Jason Hewitt item is produced for the individual that takes the time to care and actually appreciate their clothing. With all items produced in small quantities and by hand, which ensures that craft and skill is of the highest degree. At the end of the day it’s about respect.
With the goal being creating a self-sustaining business that gives Hewitt artistic freedom.
So what makes a brand and what separates his garments from the crowd? Hewitt states it’s all about the marketing and public perception – it’s an intangible concept and one that you can only try to control, not fully create on your own terms. In this day and age it’s hard for 100% originality, but what separates him from the rest is the fact that he pays attention to the materials he uses – by hand painting and dyeing them – and the approach in which he views the body is different.
Strategically combining colour, texture and pattern not only creates surface interest for the designer, but when altered and manipulated into a particular silhouette or form is when the real fun begins. With additional design lines and cutting into the fabric, the pattern becomes more abstract.
The inspiration behind the Like A Baas collection was based on two key ideas. The first one being the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, and the way in which she uses pattern and colour to create environments, and secondly; was how the environment could then interact with the body. “It was kind of like I was creating a reverse camouflage – hiding the wearer inside a cocoon of over the top print.”
Currently underway Hewitt is working on the second collection for his online store, with the first collection used for testing the waters and delivering good results, he is optimistic that the second one will do even better.
With the brand meeting his personal expectations, he hopes to continue to branch out and explore different avenues so that his production line doesn’t stop.
With the fashion and textile industry known for its cut-throat business, in order to survive and succeed Hewitt explains that a lot of people have said that one needs passion and inspiration and all sorts of things to succeed. But the thing is; you just shouldn’t care what anyone else says or thinks. You should do what you think works and is right and it will work because it’s yours.
Hewitts’ definition of success; “Being happy, if that’s because you have a shed load of cash then good for you, for me it’d be more of being able to do something without having to stress out too often.”
A normal day in the life of Jason Hewitt begins at 7 am when his boyfriend leaves for work, a coffee in bed, walking the dog and hitting the studio by 9 am. Like any business owner his day is divided into work and play; consisting of running errands or catching up with friends. Deciding to finish up the day when production levels are running low or sometimes bringing work home – there never seems like dull moment in this designers life.
View the entire collection here.