When Yume sent me the DVD of her selections of backstage photos from
fashion week, I quickly flipped through them all. It was the usual
fare…. makeup, hair, rehearsal, lineups, smiling (or bored)
until I came to Jenny Fax. On the runway, we saw sweet dresses and
coquettish girls curtseying in what appeared to be fashion made from
100% pure saccharine. But the backstage revealed that there was a dark
side to this collection as well, and it delves into many, many layers
of Jenny Fax designer Shueh Jen-Fang’s own memories. When you put the
dark side of the backstage together with the cutesy-wootsey outward
performance, you have an edgy, mature collection that delves deeper
into fashion and the human experience of interpreting it than any
other collection during Tokyo Fashion Week I had seen….

It appeared to be some kind of ceremony going on backstage. Was Jen’s sister
the victim of some kind of model cult?! I had NO idea what was going on.
I couldn’t just put these photos up without getting the story straight
from the horse’s mouth, so Jen met me for coffee recently to talk
about her whole collection.


そう思っていたら、Jenny Faxの写真になった途端手を止めてしまった。ランウェイでは、フリフリでスイートな、完全に甘ったるいドレスのラインナップが披露されたJenny Faxだがバックステージでは打って変わって、ダークサイドを映し出していた。このダークサイドには、デザイナーShueh Jen Fangの幼少時代の記憶が克明に刻まれている。そしてこの記憶や、デザイナー自身の経験を深くまで掘り下げたこのコレクションは、今回の東京ファッションウィークの中でも最も印象に残るものとなった。ということで、もうちょっと深く私も理解したいと思い、デザイナーのJenに直接会ってお話を聞いてきました!



M: Can I just say that your models looked scary here. One of the girls
was threatening your sister (who flew in from Taiwan to model in the
show) with a mop?! Was this on purpose or was everyone just bored
backstage and playing around?

J: No, it was on purpose. It’s part of the show. I wanted to show a
contrast because when the models are on the runway they look so “nice”
and “pretty” and “perfect”. But backstage, you see this other side of
them and it *isn’t* so pretty… they are actually “bullies”. But you
know, this goes back to my memories of growing up because I was in an
all-girls boarding school and girls at that age can be really, really
MEAN. I was never one who was bullied or who did things to other
people, but when I saw it happening I felt helpless.

M: So you decided to add the bullying element as part of the performance?

J: Yeah, and I originally wanted to do it in the actual catwalk show.







gang up

M: (laugh) Really?? What happened??

J: Well,  my show director…..he’s uh…. (laughs) he’s quite
handsome. He didn’t really understand why the contrast of the pretty
girls with the bullying was important. I was told that maybe since he
was so good-looking that he had never experienced bullying before so
he didn’t get it. I pushed for it really hard! But in the end we
compromised by doing it backstage (laughs).

M: (I’m laughing really, really hard now)…ha,ha,ha….pretty boys
don’t get it. But, so…why your sister???!

J: It all comes back to the talk about this collection being about my
memories…especially from childhood. I dearly love my sister with all
of heart. But when you love someone so much, it can inadvertently veer
towards hate at times. It’s natural….it’s also symbolic.

M: And she was OK with this and went along with it?

J: Um, well…actually she flew into Tokyo just for this show and I
agreed to have her be a model in it as it was kind of a dream for her.
And it was last minute since she was working at her job back home so
it kind of slipped my mind to tell her….


M:本当に?(笑) 何て言われたの?






puttng it on

M: Omg, she didn’t know?! so this ended up being a social experiment!! What happened??

J: Yeah..and she doesn’t speak Japanese so I don’t think she had any
idea what was going on. I felt awful!!

M: And then you made her go walk the runway for the first time in her
life. She’s got my respect. It’s so weird I didn’t see this part of
the show reported in the media though…

J: I think it’s because fashion people…you know, they are only
concerned with the fashion fantasy and they don’t want to face any
kind of fantasy-as-reality. I have even had some trouble finding
sponsors for makeup or whatever for my next show because of rumors
about it. But you know, this was just a performance and it all ties
into my real memories. I can’t just erase those! I wish I could be
more clever and come up with more abstract concepts from simpler
things, but in the end it all comes from my memories…

M: It’s so rare to hear a designer speaking so passionately about her
vision, even if not everyone agrees with it. I think you had one of
the most fascinating shows of the entire week and many of the guests,
such as Susie Bubble, listed you as her favorite.

J: I’m so pleased!




M: でも最終的に立派にウォーキングをして夢を叶えたのよね。私、彼女のこと凄いと思っちゃった。でもこの演出ってあまり日本のメディアでは取り上げられてないのよね…





 oops! Just kidding about that scary stuff!
Look out for Jenny Fax again this season!
Tokyo Fashion Diaries by Japan Fashion blogger misha janette | ファッションブロガーのミーシャジャネットの東京ファッションダイアリー