Having spent her first few years producing one-off designs, Jojo Ross has launched her first ready-to-wear collection titled A Brave New World. Ross is known for her complex and sci-fi designs, landing her a spot in Vogue Italia’s 100 designers to watch, and also an opportunity to present at the Not Just A Label showcase in conjunction with the Origin Passion & Beliefs exhibition.
A Brave New World follows the same narrative of Ross’s previous work, with a strong focus on the technological advances of virtual reality. The collection as a whole is a story revolving around the intersection between physical and virtual realities, exploring themes of what reality means and how it is changing.
“I start with a clear narrative in mind, but I develop a lot of my collection in the toiling process. This can take you on a bit of a journey in itself which may not directly come from the inspiration, but I think it’s really important just to run with your design process and see where you end up,” said Ross.
Grey and white suiting alongside metallic silver and graphic PVC are some of the fabric stories that run through the range, combining classic and futuristic textiles in an undoubtedly digital colour palette.
“Being my first collection to wholesale, production was a huge challenge. I had never worked for a fashion company before so everything was new to me. The collection is very detailed, so there were a lot of different processes in the manufacturing to get my head around. I certainly learnt a lot of what / what not to do’s.”
The collection was sourced and produced in Auckland, with Ross heavily involved in the manufacturing process leading to an incredible understanding of the work it takes to transition an idea into a retail product. In total Ross spent ten months working on the collection, with plans to decrease the turnaround time as she learns.
Cotton, wool and silk blends make up the majority of the collection. However, PVC detailing brings in the futuristic narrative of the range. Polyester knit is used for its texture and pattern alongside heavy fusing in the jackets to allow for the moulding and production of interesting silhouettes, one of which is the Digital Love Jacket – a personal favourite of Ross’.
“It’s very sculptured and certainly was a challenge - It took so many toiles to perfect, but I enjoy that process. It speaks directly to the inspiration and who I am as a designer.”
While there is a heavy focus on futuristic textiles and construction, the collection still comes across as accessible and is a strong launch into the ready-to-wear market.