Friday, April 20, 2012

Preview: Juliette Hogan Spring 12/13 at Blue Sky

Juliette Hogan one of my go to local designers for considered, elegant and relaxed clothing - be it her knitwear, silk dresses or fantastic trousers and coats. Her clothing transcends age and is a dream to wear. She's also so incredibly down to earth and fun to have a yarn with - attributes that I thank come across in her collections. Hogan will be presenting her spring collection this tuesday night at Blue Sky, but in the meantime I got to have a look at the collection (admittedly my second look) that we'll be seeing next week.

What are you exploring with your collection for this Spring? 
 I am really excited about this collection, I think it’s my best yet. Its loosely nautically themed but more about the feeling of enjoying champagne on a deck and listening to Yacht Rock (the collections name sake), ‘so bad they’re good’ smooth tunes from the 70’s and 80’s. 
How do your spring collections differ from your winter collections (other than the obvious seasonal, practical differences)? Do you explore different ideas or moods? 
Every collection needs to be new and different I think this one in particular marks a shift in my ascetic but not so far removed that I loose who the JHo girl is. Summer is a little more delicate in the choice of fabrics – floaty silk georgettes, drapey crepe de chines and cotton based laces. Whereas for winter you can have a much darker and heavy approach to the fabrications chosen.

Juliette's Spring 12/13 range

Are there any exciting fabrics or exclusive prints in the range? 
 We designed our beautiful animal print silk - it’s a continuation from the leopard silk that has sold so well through winter. I think its even more sophisticated and a looser interpretation of the idea abstractly reference animal, interpreted in a graphic and new way. We also developed our own polka dot, and have confined a couple of textures and cotton prints for our use exclusively.
Do you have any particular favourite pieces from the new range?
 I love the drawstring pants in the black and oyster, they feel like you’re wearing next to nothing. I’m loving wearing more pants at the moment. They are just so easy to wear. Paired back with a v neck cashmere sweater and a pair of chucks they are my perfect go to outfit.

Storyboard in the workroom

Are there any muses or reference points you find yourself returning to when you design? 
There is this girl that I always have in my head when I’m designing. She’s not real. But she encapsulates what the JHo girl is for me. I know her so well (what she likes to do in her down time, the books she likes to read, the music she listens to, where she eats out, her attitude towards current events, her ambitions etc– and she’s my point of reference each season. Does that make sense?
Do you have signature pieces that carry through from collection to collection or that you are well known for? 
People seem to love the full length skirts, I think our customer pulls them off so well worn casually with sneakers or sandals, they have always been beautiful. I wanted to make sure we had something with the same drama in our summer collection but we cut it in a vintage shape from our silk print, I think it’s a bit different but true to who Juliette Hogan is. And perfect for partying on boats!

Spring basics

Do you find yourself drawn more to a particular season when it comes to designing (or shopping for yourself)? 
Winter is great in that you can design whole outfits layer upon layer and make great use of textures. Whereas summer you can be a little more whimsical in your approach. I’m really loving designing for both seasons at the moment.
How has reception and sales of your winter collection (which is in stores now) been? 
So great. People are loving it. The Carrie dress is just the most beautiful cut in a dress, the leopard print we did has all sold out, our Morton coats are divine…. All of it is just so beautiful really.
Have you had any particularly exciting media coverage or new stockists lately? 
All our media coverage is exciting! The launch of our online store a couple of weeks ago was a huge step for us. And we are really excited about how well it’s doing thus far.

Does your location have much impact on your design or business? 
Only in the sense that I get distracted by popping by so easily. Or are you meaning Auckland? I’m sure I’m influenced subconsciously by our temperature and what I feel is best for each season. How could you not be influenced by the people and places that surround you?
If you could describe your typical customer in a short sentence what would it be? 
Someone who is a picture of composure – a little bit naughty and a whole lot nice.

What are your thoughts on having a runway show option of Blue Sky at this end of the fashion calendar?
I’m enjoying it - it’s always different designing when I know it’s going to be seen on the catwalk. I haven’t had a chance to show summer like this before, this season is so much based on music and a mood I’m so glad I get to represent it with all its elements.
What are you most looking forward to with Blue Sky? 
Being able to enjoy my show for what it is, since it’s not during Fashion Week I don’t have that added stress.

How has the label grown and developed (aesthetically/economically/logistically) since you first started out? Its changed so much! 
Ask Murray. When I first came to see him I was making sweatshirts with sequins on them. I think the last two collections that I have designed have been my best. I just feel as though I know what I’m doing now. Don’t get me wrong – I like what I have designed in the past. But there is just something about the last two that just resonate with me. You are continually defining your design sense and approach to fashion each season. And I think it makes sense that your aesthetic develops as you come to learn new things and broaden your knowledge base. Also you just learn from your mistakes. I’m really loving what I’m doing right now and how the business is tracking along. I’m in a really good place.

Swatches, buttons and inspiration

Thankyou so much to Juliette for taking the time to talk about her collection and business. 
Juliette will be presenting her spring collection at Blue Sky this Tuesday night along with Alexandra Owen and Salasai.

You can enter my Juliette Hogan Giveaway here.

All images were taken by myself in Juliette's workroom.


  1. Beautiful! I love her work. <3

  2. Love love LOVE the palette of blues and greys, and cannot WAIT to see the new animal print! x

  3. I can't find where her online store is on her site??

  4. great interview, plus I always love seeing shots of designers/artists work spaces. thanks emma!


  5. Hi Kat, just click "shop". here's the link though: