Style File: Jason Lingard

Style File Jason Lingardv

Designer Jason Lingard. Image supplied.

Jason Lingard launched his eponymous fashion label at New Zealand Fashion Week 2014 and is known for his cleverly draped garments that convey his neo-gothic aesthetic. The designer has long had an eye for design with stints as an art director and graphic designer before returning to finish his fashion design degree at AUT several years ago. We were captivated by his transcendent NZFW 2017 show that featured contemporary dancers performing in his garments instead of a traditional show.

We caught up with Jason to find out more about his brand, what inspires him and what he can’t live without.

Tell us about your latest collection?
It was really quite process-driven; I decided to focus on a fluid way of working that best suits me and makes me the happiest when designing. I decided to not draw or pick a theme, nor do any traditional drafting. I decided to drape every piece onto the dressform and work organically. I wanted to create pieces that move and transfigure, that work for multiple genders, ages and body shapes. The theme came concurrently with silhouettes derived from Japanese folklore, arts and crafts and the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, and my personal travels through Japan.

What made you become a designer?
I’ve always loved fashion from a young age. I used to be obsessed with the 80s cartoon “JEM” and I’d design outfits for her, I also used to make little dresses for my He-Man figurine! I’m sure my Mum was worried, haha. But in all seriousness I first knew I wanted to be a designer in 1995, I was a teenager growing up in small town NZ and had absolutely no creative influences around me, but I used to spend a lot of time in a local bookstore that had imported UK magazines such as Dazed & Confused, iD and the now defunct The Face. These magazines were quite underground at the time and I was so excited every time one came out and I’d pour over the pages obsessively; in retrospect I really miss how in those days fashion was something that was exciting and hard to discover, things are just so immediate and diluted in the internet age. Anyway, it was in the pages of The Face and I discovered an article about Alexander McQueen who was new on the scene and doing amazing things. I loved his dark, conceptual aesthetic and theatrical shows. It was the first time I realised that fashion could be art and I knew then that was what I wanted to do.

Style File Jason Lingard

Look from Jason Lingard’s Chaos collection for Spring/Summer 2017/18.

What inspires you?
I’m definitely inspired by darker more Gothic themes and that’s generally what informs my design; I’m always looking at photography and fine art and listening to music and watching films. At the moment I have been inspired by the Japanese erotic-grotesque artist Toshio Saeki and have also been reading about Japanese folklore.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My personal style is a lot more toned down compared to what I design, but still you’ll hardly see me in anything but black and grey. I love wearing loose pants and my Rick Owens trainers, so my personal style is kinda sporty-Oriental-Goth, if that’s a thing! haha.

What is your all-⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠time favourite purchase?
I assume you mean fashion. I don’t really buy much clothing. I actually buy a few pieces a year and hang on to them until they fall apart. I get far more excited collecting objects and artwork. My favourite purchase would have to be a photograph by my friend Louise Clifton, it’s a strange shot of two hot-pink, costumed figures with giant heads embracing in the forest. I never get tired of looking at it.

Style File Jason Lingard

Look from Jason Lingard’s Chaos collection for Spring/Summer 2017/18.

What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
Every item in your wardrobe should be an investment. It should be made and designed to last, and should have thought and passion behind its creation –then it’s a real investment– something that doesn’t last, has been copied or mass-produced is not worth buying.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Yes. Always cut a garment in a slightly different way. Why do something that has been done a million times? I want garments to have a piece of me in them.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My first solo show at NZFW springs to mind, but honestly I hate that attention and PR bullshit, it just makes me anxious. To be honest the highlight was my first road trip selling my range. I flew into Queenstown and bought an old station wagon for $1500 and spent two weeks driving all the way back to Auckland sleeping in the back with my collection and visiting all 20 of my stockists. Being alone with that amazing scenery is so moving. I also loved meeting all the beautiful people who own or work in the stores I sell at, they are all such interesting people with big personalities who really view clothing as an artform. It was inspiring. By the way that old station wagon has since broken down and been scrapped!

What can’t you live without?
My partner Alby. He’s such a caring, loving, creative person. He’s a level-headed architect and really balances out my daydreaming, all-over-the-place personality!

Images supplied.

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