Saturday 16 December 2017

Jordan's girl - the buzz about Zoe at London Fashion Week

Coat, €2,368; skirt, €414, both Zoe Jordan main line. Knit, €450, Zoe Jordan Knitlab
Coat, €2,368; skirt, €414, both Zoe Jordan main line. Knit, €450, Zoe Jordan Knitlab
Liadan Hynes

Liadan Hynes

At London Fashion Week for this season, there was a buzz around Zoe Jordan. Fashion finally turned on to her style - a mix of street-urchin-with-a-nod-to-punk and subtle femininity.

When we speak, it is Zoe Jordan's last day at work before starting her maternity leave. As a mum, Zoe knows all about the need to have a wardrobe flexible and hardy enough to take you through everything from cereal spillages to meetings to school runs to some sort of social life. "Things are nine-to-nine now," she reflects, "rather than nine-to-five."

Zoe used to work in finance, so she is very aware of the sartorial requirements of a professional woman. "There used to be different looks for work and different looks for home," she recalls. "I'm just trying to bridge that gap a bit. To create a collection that you feel confident in, and can be taken seriously in, but at the same time it's got enough edge that you still feel in the game."

Zoe Jordan is desired by women whose wardrobes are built around lifestyle rather than following trends. "I think that real life can be inspiring too," says the designer, who reflects that her confidence in her approach is growing. As a result, she is producing easy-to-wear, hard-working clothes, rather than reinventing the wheel each season. "I feel that these last two seasons I've really concentrated not on the industry and what's expected of me, but what I really want to wear," Zoe says. "And I'm definitely seeing better sales off the back of it."

"There's so much going on in the fashion world, there's so much noise," she continues. "I find myself paring it back, picking out pieces that will fit in with an easy-to-wear wardrobe. It's about wardrobing and separates. I want my girl to be able to wear pieces from all my collections together." This strong sense of what her girl's life requires makes Zoe's clothes practical in the best possible sense."My girl has an easy confidence," she says. "She doesn't want her clothes to be overpowering, but empowering."

Her mother, female friends and family are a huge inspiration in Zoe's life and her designs. They were a starting point when it came to her knitwear line Knitlab, and modelled for her in an early campaign. The Knitlab line, worn here with pieces from her main line, typifies Zoe's approach to design. It's for real women who want to wear a classic fashion staple, cashmere knitwear, in a modern manner. Knitlab has a basics collection with some new looks added each year.

Autumn 2016's main line, called 'Off Road' was inspired by photographs taken by her mother on trips to Africa. "That sense of adventure; a girl on a road trip on a motorbike," Zoe says. The main line is a subtle take on this theme, with earthy colours and touches of animal print, full of functional touches. The girl in these clothes, says Zoe, has "a quiet confidence, rather than being shouty and loud." Just like Zoe Jordan herself.

Photography by Alex HUtchinson

Styling by Courtney Smith

Words by  Liadan Hynes

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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