Poepke Projects: Jodie Boffa
July 26th, 2017
Jodie Boffa has been designing clothes both here in Sydney and in London since the mid 1980’s. Over the years, numerous trips to Japan for work helped to forge her love for vintage kimono fabrics, of which she amassed a number. Finally the time was right for her to put her hand into designing a capsule collection out of these vibrant fabrics, giving them a new lease of life. Poepke is proud to be the exclusive stockists of her range, as part of our Projects at Poepke, an initiative which heralds the work of Australian designers. We sat down with Jodie to ask her about how it all began.
What drew you into designing clothes and how long have you been designing for?
I’ve been designing clothes since the mid 1980’s but wanted to be a designer since I was four years old. I worked locally and then in London for Jasper Conran. After that I started my own business in 1989. I built up a label that was known for being minimal (very 1990’s) using the highest quality fabrics from Europe and a team of skilled makers in Australia. I have always loved my job but as my business grew I started to hate the fact that I could only operate in the established channels of the industry. So I closed it in 1998 after taking over as the designer for Jets Swimwear.
What is the inspiration behind the collection for you?
The inspiration came directly from the fabric. I love the fact that you can see the individuality of the fabrics and how the ikat style weaving has so much life. The colours are so rich a way that prints aren’t. I looked at them over and over and wondered how I could make them wearable while honouring each fabric ( the fabric is only 14 inches wide) to make something precious, fashionable but not trend driven or throw away. I also liked the idea of reinventing fabric that exists and not using more resources.
Your collection has a beautiful array of fabrics in different vintage silks. Where do you source your fabrics from?
I used to travel to Japan each year for my business and over more than a dozen visits I started collecting kimono fabrics from markets and dealers just because I liked them. The more graphic designs are Miesen Silk which were produced to meet the demands of a new trend drive “ready to wear” market in Japan between 1912 – 50. It was not popular or manufactured after 1950. The others are Tsumuji, which are plainer and more like suiting made around 1950. The Acetate is Japanese and the Cotton Poplin is French.
Do you have a particular person in mind you want to dress when you design?
The person I have in mind is someone who knows their own style and is intelligent about the way they dress. Someone who has an understanding of the cycles of fashion and buys well, who holds onto their favourite things forever. Someone who loves quality and good design but wants something different. Someone who is starting to become interested in where and how their clothes are made.
Tell us about your favourite piece or aspect of the collection.
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My favourite aspect of the collection is that the garments are very wearable. I like the fact that they are are unrepeatable so you won’t see yourself at an event or walking down the street. Also, the fabrics feel great. My favourite piece is one I have a called “Scribble”. I love that the design is nuanced like a drawing.
You can view Jodie’s collection here.
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