NEW YORK, USA: For a recent graduate of New York’s F.I.T, fashion illustrator and designer Jessica Repetto already has an impressive resume. She has spent a year and a half as an intern at Marc Jacobs, contributed to Italian and Greek Vogue, styled photo shoots for Supreme Models, and assisted photo shoots for Rolling Stone magazine. As Jessica embarks on a new direction as a menswear designer, she speaks with FAULT about her love of artistic expression and what the future holds.
FAULT: For the last two years you have produced fashion illustrations for Vogue Italia and subsequently contributed to ‘Seduction’, an exhibit held at the Museum at F.I.T. Is illustration something you’ve always been passionate about?
Jessica: have always been interested in anything that I could do with my hands. Illustration is something that makes me feel free, it takes me to another place. I am also very much into sculpture and painting, painting on a canvas, as well as painting on clients furniture and walls. I am interested in anything that is tangible, any nothing that can be something else after manipulation; it becomes a release, an expression. Art is so personal.
FAULT: Which artists or fashion illustrators do you find influential?
Jessica: I love the work of Marlene Dumas; her paintings are extremely powerful, seeing what she does with color I could never imagine. I like paintings that are not static per say, paintings in motion; this includes artists such as Francis Bacon, Adrian Ghenie, and Allison Schulnik etc. I also love Dali and Marc Chagall for distortion of shape. I find film just as influential any artist or painting, from contemporary artists such as Ryan Trecartin or Paul McCarthy to Fellini, Godard, Antonioni, and Lang. This list is infinite. I also feel like writers such as Baudelaire, composers such as John Cage and Erik Satie, and film stills from Jean Cocteau can paint pictures just as well as any other painter or fine artist.
FAULT: You are in the process of producing your first menswear collection. How did this come about? And why menswear?
Jessica: I can credit my Father for being an extremely influential person style wise. For as long as I can remember I was always very interested in men’s fashion. My father was born and raised in Italy so I grew up seeing quality design, fabrication, fit, and color. We would receive clothes sent to us from family and when we frequently traveled there I was so inspired. I also have two brothers, who furthered me to appreciate men’s clothing, I most likely wear it more than womenswear. I studied womenswear for 4 years at university and on my own I continued to study the art of tailoring, and menswear. I get pleasure in making my brain scream, challenging myself, figuring things out but not at all really. Menswear is so refined; every piece has to be well thought out, an investment, with the perfect fit. Divide and conquer.
FAULT: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Jessica: I could never describe my design aesthetic, I would feel hypocritical. It’s something that I am surely unable to put in words, it’s voluntarily placing yourself in a box. It is black, or white. My aesthetic is me, my work, what you see, what each personal processes and pulls from my art. It can be different for each and every person, but it is well recognized. It is sensory.
FAULT: Which fashion designers do you admire?
Jessica: I admire Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen, Ricardo Tisci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alber Elbaz, John Galliano for Dior Haute Couture, and Vivienne Westwood for not only building her own extremely stylized aesthetic of geometrical ease but also for being active, aware and progressive. Today there are just so many designers that it is easy to get lost into the abyss of a million names, what is important is those who are changing how people see. That is which becomes pivotal. Actually feeling something from the garment or the look is rare, but from those designers who actually do have that effect, it becomes this beautiful explosive release, an exchange of cause and effect, and effect and cause.
FAULT: You have experience in illustration, design, styling and art direction, are there any further areas in or outside of fashion you’d like to explore?
Jessica: I’ve always wanted to be a trauma surgeon so maybe?
FAULT: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Jessica: In five years I see myself living on a boat with 4 million 6b pencils.