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Jaclin Chouchana: Okay, so you know Philip Johnson’s glass house.

FF: Sure.

Jaclin Chouchana: It’s in Connecticut. I’ve been to see it you know.

FF: Oh you have!

Jaclin Chouchana: I snuck -- because it’s his private home, right? I met this friend of mine, Seth, he’s a lawyer in New York. And we drove out there one day and we snuck onto the property and we took all these great photographs of it. And all of a sudden these two husky dogs with like gnarling teeth came tearing out of the house and chased us off the property. And we nearly got bitten. Oh we jumped into the car and like drove away and it was really funny. But I’ve got the pictures showing his house. We were really feeling really brave.

FF: You were brave.

Jaclin Chouchana: Yeah we drove off back into Connecticut into like the main street. I’ve never been there before. Obviously you know it. But we found this great Italian restaurant and went in there and drank several bottles of red wine.

FF: Oh, that sounds great. And so tell me, what did you study in college or in school after high school? Did you study fashion design?

Jaclin Chouchana: I actually did one year of design college, but I left after one year so I didn’t complete the course at all. So basically I haven’t had a lot of formal training. But you know that was enough for me. And then I sort of studied along with a friend of mine, just you know being really wacky and creative after design college and -- and just having a great deal of sort of freedom, and -- and doing like whatever. You know, not thinking of a retail level at all; just being really creative. Which was really important, I think, round the beginning to sort of have that freedom.

And then after that I went to live in London.

FF: And when you were in London, what were you doing?

Jaclin Chouchana: I was working for a company there called View, and it was a boutique in Hampstead, and we were doing our own line.

FF: Oh, sure.

Jaclin Chouchana: And yeah that was it. I didn’t really like London a great deal, but then I moved to Paris and you know I was free-lancing there for quite a few different people. I actually was sent to Paris for work with the company View that I was in. And I went there for a weekend and I literally knew that I always wanted to go -- that was always my dream to go to Paris. So just had a friend of mine send all my stuff and I stayed there. And yeah -- so one thing led to another and time passes and three and a half years later I realized that I’d learned enough from Paris, and decided that it was time to go back to Australia and do my own thing.

FF: How nice.

Jaclin Chouchana: Yeah it’s a good background you know. When you’re from Australia to go and live in a place like Paris it’s really -- it’s what you’ve always wanted to do sort of thing; so you learn a great deal. That’s where I discovered all those great John Cassavetes movies.

FF: And are there any French films that you feel that way about, or is it mostly American films?

Jaclin Chouchana: It’s actually mostly American films. And I mean I love Wim Wenders as well. I mean you know I could talk about directors, cinema directors all night because I mean for me like it’s not only like -- it’s not even the costumes that I’m interested in cinema.

FF: And so what made you decide to come home and start your own label?

Jaclin Chouchana: Oh basically I think it was because I just missed my friends and family and the sunny weather.

FF: Yes, yes.

Jaclin Chouchana: It’s so beautiful being based here in Perth.

FF: So you have lovely weather all year round?

Jaclin Chouchana: Yeah. It’s beautiful weather all year round you know. It’s just -- you get to live in like a beautiful place. I live in a huge house overlooking the river. It’s a swimming pool and the whole bit. And it’s just like costing me you know four hundred bucks a week or something. That’s equal to -- I don’t know US like a hundred bucks -- hundred and twenty dollars a week US -- that for a huge house overlooking the river with a swimming pool.

I’m really lucky to be born in a place like this.

FF: Right that’s true. But what makes you more interesting is that here’s somebody in Perth and ...

Jaclin Chouchana: Yeah in the middle of nowhere. Still persisting away with like the huge fashion world that -- you know if you don’t go out there and visit these -- and that’s the thing. I mean that’s another thing why I travel so much. Because I live in a place like this, it’s imperative to go away so often and see what’s going on in the rest of the world. That’s why I do London, New York and Paris twice a year.

FF: Absolutely. And would you say -- is that one of the reasons why you started out doing just swimsuits?

Jaclin Chouchana: No my background is ready to wear.

FF: Right.

Jaclin Chouchana: So it’s predominantly jersey when I started my ready to wear collection. It was predominantly jersey. In fact it was a hundred percent jersey, and it was all black. That was my first collection -- all black jersey. So I’ve always kept like the jersey component of the collection really strong; when I started four years ago, jersey was sort of you know being rediscovered I guess.

FF: Right.

Jaclin Chouchana: And now we’re moving on from jersey so you know percentage-wise the component is probably only twenty five percent. But it started off as being a hundred percent four years ago. You just have to go with the times, but I love jersey.

I’m really big on sculptural sorts of skirts like woven things that sort of stick out and make shapes, fabrics that make a shape rather than being soft like jersey skirts have always been -- always really soft.

So I’ve done really sculptured skirts and really soft jersey tops. So to me that makes a lot of sense because you still need to like -- be able to move a lot. And in woven tops they can be quite restricting. You know like things that haven’t got any stretch in them where you need to move your arms and stuff, I think jersey’s so much easier on the top of your body. And then -- yeah you can get away with doing loose sort of sculpture shaped skirts with flat shoes and stuff.

I’m using like really technofabrics like transparent plastics and ...

FF: Oh gosh

Jaclin Chouchana: ... yeah they’re really completely different to the previous skirts. I’m sticking with the jersey flexibility. So yeah, it’s being really creative on the skirts and being really practical on the top.

Next, swimwear, origami wear, and other Chouchana originals