|Jaclin Chouchanas creations are
dynamite. Clean, graphic lines, sexy and geometric; people instantly respond to her
clothes and swimsuits, and are captivated. While over at our photography lab getting
Jaclins transparencies processed, her designs almost started a riot -- with both the
men and women. Everyone wanted a swimsuit or outfit for themselves or for a wife or
girlfriend. We could have set up shop right there!
Designing her own label for just 4 years, Jaclin Chouchana has taken off big time. Her designs are sold at Barneys New York (4 stores nationwide), Harvey Nichols in London, Colette in Paris (the hottest shop du jour), all over the South of France, throughout Australia, Southern Asia and the Pacific Rim. Her swimsuit line is even younger, this is her second collection, and its renown has just skyrocketed. She has received great response by the fashion media, and in a very short period of time has joined the pantheon of the great swimsuit and ready to wear designers.
Using double-layered jersey in both her ready to wear line and her swimsuits, the beauty, luxuriousness and stretch of the fabric creates a liquid and sculptural silhouette. Jaclin is very conscious of the variety of sizes women come in, acknowledging the fact with an array of choices of leg cuts and necklines for the one pieces, as well as for the bikinis, which can be bought as separates in different sizes
We spoke to Jaclin from her studio in lovely Perth, Australia. Warm, charming, energetic, and very creative, we had a great time talking with her.
FF: Tell me a little bit about where you grew up, and your early influences.
Jaclin Chouchana: I grew up in Perth (Western Australia). Architecture has always had a big influence on my work. Ive always been interested in architecture -- and cinema. Theyre probably the two things in the background.
FF: And what sort of architecture caught your eye early on. Was it something local, or things that you saw in books?
Jaclin Chouchana: Yeah. Id say it was sort of very much Fifties, Sixties and Seventies architecture really, like really simple neutral colors and a minimal sort of feeling.
FF: And any particular architects?
Jaclin Chouchana: Philip Johnsons glass house was really important. And obviously Frank Lloyd Wright. Alvar Aalto, I think hes great. I think those sorts of architects.
Editors note: Alvar Aalto, 1898 to 1973, was a Finnish architect, regarded as the best exemplar of 20th Century Scandinavian architecture. His style of design stressed informality and personal expression as a departure from the geometric designs common to the early modern period. Aalto was said to "express the spirit of Finland." A friend of Arp and Brancusi, Aalto was said by a Swiss art historian to have dared "the leap from the rational-functional to the irrational-organic." His buildings stand in countries across the globe.
Jaclin Chouchana: He had an exhibition at MOMA a couple of years ago when I was first in New York. He does like -- hes on bricks and hes on tiles, and hes really clever. Ive got a beautiful Alvar Aalto vase. Hes really amazing.
FF: And as far as cinema, what would you say -- what kinds of movies? Any particular movies?
Jaclin Chouchana: I like John Cassavettes.
He did a lot of movies in like the late Sixties early Seventies, I think till he died. And his wife, Gena Rowlands, played the lead, and she always wore like -- Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurant and things like that from the Seventies. So that sort of thing really influenced me.
FF: Yeah, I remember some of those movies he directed her in too. They were really good.
Jaclin Chouchana: Yeah, yeah theyre great. Gloria was amazing.
And have you see it?
FF: I have.
Jaclin Chouchana: Yeah -- do you like Gena?
FF: Very much and ...
Jaclin Chouchana: I love it.
FF: I also liked A Woman Under the Influence.
Jaclin Chouchana: A Woman Under the Influence is fantastic isnt it.
FF: It really is.
Jaclin Chouchana: Opening Night -- have you seen her Opening Night?
FF: No, I havent seen that one.
Jaclin Chouchana: Opening Nights fantastic. Yeah.
FF: Oh Ive got to watch that one.
Jaclin Chouchana: Ive seen every film he made; hes incredible.
Editors Note: John Cassavetes was a pioneer of American cinema verite fiction. His most famous directorial achievements included Faces and Husbands. Cassavetes believed strongly in improvisational acting. He acted as well, and played leading roles in The Dirty Dozen and Rosemarys Baby.
FF: Thats an interesting person to mention as an influence -- Cassavetes films, because theyre sort of gritty and glamorous at the same time, and usually people say, oh Audrey Hepburn, or something much more obvious.
Jaclin Chouchana: No I was -- I like Gena Rowlands.
And her hair. Its like she wore great clothes, but her hair, every time he shot her he shot these big mottled blond curls like hanging over the front of her brow. And every time she had like big black eyeliner and the cloggy mascara. Was always like really, sort of manic you know.
FF: I know.
Jaclin Chouchana: Yet she was always wearing like THE most beautiful sort of clothes you know -- really conservative sort of clothes, but she was acting like a madwoman.
FF: Right exactly. But I always was really amazed by her hair also.
Jaclin Chouchana: Were you really?
Jaclin Chouchana: Every time he shot her, these masses of blond curls cascaded into the camera. Amazing.
FF: I know. I know. Its funny.
|Next, Jaclin sneaks through the woods to Philip Johnson's Glass House, and other adventures|