Jan-Jan Van Essche’s spring collection, appropriately titled Zeal, is a feat of fabric.
Sumi linen blends meet handwoven Kasuri cotton ikats for a range of textiles that are as delightful to look at as they are to touch.
The pieces are incredibly structural while maintaining a wearable liquidity – one of Jan-Jan’s most impressive skills is his ability to take a single, exquisite piece of fabric and craft a garment with just a few cuts and minimal seams.
The collection is overall neutral – olives, tans and creams dominate the palette – however the addition of a flowing waterfall blue takes the delivery into an elemental territory.
Upon closer inspection of this intriguing textile, the intricacy of its weave takes hold.
Rather than printed, it is created by the Kasuri technique, an ancient Japanese form of ikat where each fiber is individually dyed and carefully interlaced to achieve this ebbing pattern.
Recently highlighted as Pitti Uomo’s featured Designer Project, Jan-Jan brings fluidity and essential concepts to the forefront of the industry.
This project, which marked the label’s first formal runway show, was Jan-Jan in full form.
As described by Lapo Cianchi, the communications director for Pitti Uomo, Jan-Jan Van Essche represents “[a] model of elegance and naturalness…an idea of freedom.”
Pitti Uomo is a biannual gathering of retailers, editors and menswear enthusiasts held in Florence, Italy.
Each season, this massive endeavor hosts a number of special projects, such as capsule shows and large-scale brand installations, in addition to an all-out runway show featuring a hand-picked designer. Its unique, global mix of creativity, craft and culture makes it an incredibly sophisticated, front-row seat to not only the upcoming trends, but the contemporary heartbeat of fashion.