Belgian-born menswear designer Jan-Jan Van Essche graduated from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts before embarking upon his fashion career. He launched his eponymous label in 2010 with his first collection called ‘Yukiri’. He has taken the industry by surprise, presenting a strong vision clashing with the classic western approach which confines and shapes the body, instead he decided to let the body shapes the garment. His collections were released annually for the first three years, he later inserted a research collection every Autumn Winter allowing him to explore different crafts such as Sakiori weaving and rope weaving.
His collections are effortless and elegant, offering seamless draped garments to maximise the wearer’s comfort. Jan-Jan Van Essche tries to minimise the details and cultural connotations from the pieces to focus on the construction and freedom of movement. His muted colour palette evokes harmonious poetic landscapes, through the use of earthy tones, soft khakis and black dyes on organic fibres. Together, it creates soft layered silhouettes as refined as comfortable.
The look book showcases a couple in an effortless wander through their lands. Grandiose yet humble they pass across soothing landscapes, dramatic forests and picturesque flower fields. It showcase the freedom of movement and suggest a peace of mind experiencing the garments from within.
The intricate handmade fabric used such as Japanese made linen and twill blend emphasises the clean and elegant volumes of each piece. The looks are subtle yet very direct, a delight to have some flair while staying comfortable.
“I would say it’s a story about comfort and freedom. I don’t want to feel ‘obstructed’ by clothes but rather liberated.” says Jan-Jan Van Essche in an interview with Zsuzsanna Toth.
Jan-Jan Van Essche shirts are a good illustration of his craft. The designer rejects the idea of letting the garment dictate a posture, instead the wider shapes of Jan-Jan Van Essche shirts allows the body to shape the garment. Often oversized with dropped shoulders Jan-Jan Van Essche shirts embody the term ‘relaxed fit tailoring’; Made in Japan or in Italy you can expect the highest quality on the market. Always bringing new fabric blends to his craft Jan-Jan has experienced boiled wool, brushed linen, gold wool, linen twill and many more.
The Jan-Jan Van Essche Kimono is long and voluminous and possess a nonchalant elegance. The kimono is a perfect representation of Jan-Jan work in creating timeless clothing inspired by the worlds collective culture and offering a sense of freedom.
From the smart coat to the parka all Jan-Jan Van Essche coats are delicate and unique. They feature complicated detailing made seamlessly to look simple and pure on the outside. They feature gathering at the cuffs, belts or drawstrings at the back or side pockets in order to create a clean, uncomplicated look.
As pretty as they are convenient most of them feature an oversized hood and rain resistant finishing. The rest of the outerwear that isn’t weather resistant is hand-made out of custom blends rare fabrics to offer you an even deeper dive into comfort.
Jan-Jan Van Essche pieces are a must have in any wardrobe to compliment mid-season and deep winter looks.