A few months ago, I took to twitter to make a little promise to any Swedish readers, that I would do a little something for you guys (Yes, I see you lot and I love the support! Thank you), unfortunately, my original plan which will remain under wraps, didn't work out so I thought up another one, typical of a little genius! *laughs*
Have you ever heard of Jenny Grettve?
I'm guessing that unless you follow Swedish fashion or music, you are probably clueless as to who or what that is! And it is to [the clueless] and the fans that I write this post for (couldn't I just have said everyone?)Even though, I say this was plan B, it was always an original on its own.
Jenny Grettve aka JG, as I have abbreviated it, because I'm a teenager and we are too lazy to say our words in full, is a mother of three, Swedish designer as well as a musician (GENRE: House and Techno) who has a brand of the same name, which was established in 2010.
When I found out about Swedish designers, yes, I was once ignorant, I started researching and found a few that were interesting *watch this space* JG was one of the many, I am not extremely familiar with, so I thought I'd present all who are interested in Swedes, an in depth cover of JG! Therefore, I present to you, Jenny Grettve in collaboration with lostintalent: the talk.
Her Fashion Beginnings
I have a master in architecture and worked as an architect for a while. But I had always dreamt of working with fashion and studied pattern making while I was home with my first child. I realized fashion was something that was perfect for me and the way I wanted to express myself. I love the fast design process compared to architecture. You work with at least two collections at the same time and when one is over you are straight away thrown into the next one. I am also so lucky to have studied architecture while doing fashion, it gives me a different angle and perspective.
Run us through all the Jenny Grettve collections, what were the inspirations behind each of them?
My first collection that I showed last April was inspired by a chemistry teacher I had as a child. She was French, Mme Chat (Mrs Cat, that actually was her name) and she always dressed as the image of a French Mme. Suits and skirts, classic and with high heels. I wanted to make a collection that she would wear, but also something that I would wear myself.
My next collection was all about the material. Again it is a classic theme in the design, but all fabrics are “technical fabrics” normally used when making sports wear. They are wind and waterproof but still very easy to take care of. I liked the idea of mixing simple and classic lines with technology.
The collection I am about to release is again quite classic but with architectural pattern making. I have used fake fur and wonderful cashmere wool to create a luxurious feeling. I've also worked with jersey but in a more formal design and the result is a fantastic dress and a pair of pants that you can wear for work, evening or every day.
Who is in your head when you begin the whole process?
I am trying to design for everyone, I don’t like the idea of designing for a specific group e.g. 20-30 year olds. Who am I do decide the age of my customers? My dream is to see a student as well as her granny in my clothes. I believe that in every collection there is at least one garment that could fit anyone.
A typical day in the Grettve studio
I start sketching and looking for inspiration at the same time, often the inspiration comes from architecture or art. Then I start to group my sketches together to see what road I am about to take. When I have a better idea of the collection, 'sample making' begins and that is what takes most time, but a normal day in my studio is probably consisting of paper and computer work. Not what I had in mind when I first started my business.
What do you want your designs or clothes to give your clients?
I want them to be classical and there for last longer. I believe that is what the fashion industry has to do now. It is not a sustainable way to keep mass producing trendy clothes that people where once or twice and then throw away. But designing classical clothes does not mean they have to be boring, I am always trying to make them very updated with details, material and pattern making that is in a way futuristic.
Well, as I mother of three it is almost impossible to wear anything else than jeans and a t-shirt. But, I long for dressing up more and I think Swedes in general could do so. I have never followed trends very strictly though and I made a lot of my own clothes when I was in school. When something is trendy it is on my “not-to-wear-list” for ever. Probably a bit stupid, but it is just something I can’t bear.
What is the most exciting or surreal experience that you’ve had in your career as a designer?
I must have been when I received my first collection from production! That was fantastic!
*Project secrets unveiled*
I am making my new look book as a design magazine where I have invited other artists, designers and musicians to show there work as well. I was so tired of working alone that I had to do something creating with people I have around me. It is turning out really interesting and the magazine will be given away during fashion week in Stockholm.
Grettve has received very good response in Sweden! I have had a lot attention and I guess a lot has to do with the fact that I am in a way not designing typically Swedish clothes if you compare me with other big [Swedish] brands, plus I think today's consumers are becoming more interested in buying clothes from small brands where the quality and design is extremely well worked through.
But I am working on getting my label big enough for me to live on, but no bigger.
Work hard, and then work a little bit more. If you work hard enough you will succeed.