So let's talk about what matters in fashion. It will of course be different things for everyone, but to me it's the following: beauty, functionality, imagination, ethics, fair labor, natural textiles and fibers. Not in that order.
As I get older, I find that I rarely get tempted by famous brands and almost never by fast fashion. I want fewer things, but I want them to be exceptional. And I do like meeting people who make these exceptional clothes.
This is all to say that I was slow in finding INAISCE but once I did I fell in love: the subdued palette of charcoal greys, black and whisper-whites, the nubby wools, the cuts that are tailored and relaxed, luxe yet austere, spoke to me on the emotional, aesthetic, and tactile levels. The fact that the clothes are made in NYC from luxurious fabrics from Italy and Japan locked me into the obsession mode: I had to see these clothes in person; and I had to meet the person who made them.
Lucky for me, Jona Sees - the designer and mastermind of Inaisce - was kind and available. His atelier space is located in a renovated church building in Brooklyn, and it is gorgeous: hardwood floors and wooden beams, soft light, the smell of clean pine... I mean, perfection. And this is before I even saw the clothes!
Most recent collection is a great amalgamation of past and new silhouettes and fabrications - cozy knits and structured jackets and pants in textured wools and high-tech cupro, gorgeous capes... I could go on. The past collections were also there, spread throughout the closets. It was basically a fairyland. If there was Narnia in one of those closets, I would not go and stay with the leather skirts and swishy woolen dresses.
Anyway, see for yourself!
And what of Jona? It is always a pleasure meeting a creative mind; sense of humor is a bonus, as well as a warm personality. I also appreciate the designers who wear their own clothes. Jona is pretty far from a typical fashion person, but similar to my favorite designers: passion and conviction and curiosity about the world is something they all have in common. They also design for themselves, which I think is important: most of my favorite designers are women for that reason. They design with bodies and bra straps and humans sitting down in mind. Male designers that I do like usually skew unisex (JW Anderson, Haider Ackerman). Jona ' s clothes are definitely in this category.
He also has an almost Zoran - like understanding of fabrics: good textile speaks for itself, something I appreciate greatly. I saw the same understanding in Izumi Hongo of VanHongo, Titania Inglis, Daria Razumikhina, Kate Wendelborn of Protagonist, Lilia Litkovskaya. It is not coincidental then that all of these designers choose mostly natural fibers, ethically made textiles. I see a theme developing.
So yes, I bought a gorgeous piece from a previous collection (grey wool dress - sleeveless jacket) and pre-ordered another. Here're some pics of my new acquisition, worn with VanHongo velvet pants and basic black turtleneck. I tried for a few different angles to show the geometric complexity of the cut that results in a beautifully streamlined silhouette. Basically, magic!
It is always exciting for me to find another clothing brand I love; it is doubly so when it embodies all the things that matter in fashion so well.