Joeleen Torvick traveled to both New York and London to obtain a greater amount of knowledge for fashion. Having such creative and driven people around her helped make the process easier to launch her line 2010. She has always experimented with softer tones in her previous collections, but for her spring 2014 collection she used colours and shapes we normally don’t see from her.
Joeleen was given a book called Wonders of the World that had some inspiring pictures from the City of Arts and Science in Spain. The art from the museum inspired Joeleen to experiment with shapes and colours in this collection in ways she hasn’t done before. I had the pleasure of speaking to her about her new collection and the inspiration behind it.
With your previous collections you used softer tones and more flowy shapes. I see that with your new collection you experimented more with shapes and colours and the fitting. Was that something you wanted to try? Or do you feel that is a new trend we’ll start to see for spring/summer?
Experimenting with different shapes and colours is something that I wanted to try. My colour palettes in the past have really been neutral colours. You can never go wrong with a good black or white shirt, but I wanted to evolve and push myself out of my comfort zone and add more vibrancy, while still maintaining a confident and sophisticated look.
I think this spring/summer we will be seeing a trend of somewhat tailored and classic silhouettes, with a touch of bold. The boldness I am talking about is coming in with pops of bright colours and metallic fabrics, but in keeping with classic silhouettes, the lines will be clean.
Describe your new collection using 3 words and why?
Clean, fresh, and versatile. The lines I created with my fabrics are anything but fussy. The pieces are easy and lively; they are great to wear to work, and going straight from there to a night out with friends.
How has the colours, shapes and fabrics played a role in the theme for this collection?
I was inspired by the Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe in Valencia, Spain, also known as the City of Arts and Science. The museum consists of multiple buildings with amazing architecture, all of which is surrounded by pools of water. I mirrored the brightness, boldness, and shapes off of the colours (silver, white, black, and blue) and architecture of the different buildings.
I used a metallic hand woven fabric as well as a cotton sateen that have a stiffer hand, without actually feeling heavy, which lent me the ability to give the garments a bit of structure. The pools surrounding the museum also give a light and fresh feeling, which made me bring in some soft silks to create that hard and soft contrast.
Why did you choose to move back to Minnesota after working in one of America’s leading fashion cities- New York City?
The main reason on moving back to Minnesota had to do with family reasons. At the same time, I thought it would be great to be a part of and help grow the Minnesota fashion industry. By moving back to Minnesota, I also have the ability to focus more on my own clothing. I look forward to becoming more involved and shaping the Minnesota fashion industry.
How has your design upbringing helped you with your brand today?
I would have to say that my design upbringing is just as a part of my brand today. I attended a great school that gave me a strong background in the production and the technical side of design. My education/internship/work experiences in New York and London opened up another creative side to me, as well as gave me amazing life experiences. My parents and my husband are entrepreneurs, so I grew up learning and continue to learn a lot from them. I would have to say all of these have attributed to making up the backbone of what I have put into my brand.
A lot of creative people tend to be inspired by hobbies that they have. Are there any routines or hobbies you have that helps inspire your designs or the way you design?
I grew up always thinking I was going to be some big executive and having my own office in some corporation. As I got older, that isn’t what I wanted anymore, but I tend to imagine if I were to be doing what I thought I was going to do, what would I wear? Knowing how my life is now, I design for that woman, the woman who is working at a desk, or maybe not, but is always on the go and needs to look great all day.
Is there a piece in your collection that is your favourite or that you are particularly drawn to the most?
This season I designed this shirt jacket that is tailored and zips up the back. I love that particular piece because of the beautiful fabric. The fabric is hand woven in India by artisans, in which their particular textile making is becoming a dying art. I also love the top with the asymmetrical drape and the paneled sleeves and hem. It is easy to wear and flattering for many body types.
What is next for Joeleen? Are you looking to design a winter or summer collection? Or are you sticking with spring and fall?
I have always focused on designing tops, but for my fall collection you will see a wider range of products. I will be going into dresses, skirts, pants, etc. Although I have only created spring and fall collections, in the future I plan on expanding into resort and pre-fall collections. More than anything I am looking forward to expanding and growing my business overall.
This article was written by Jonika. You can follow her @JonikaJun.