The 360 on 360° with Jodie Ruffle
Catwalks, presentations, campaigns, lookbooks, images, films. A change in how clothes are being presented is long overdue. With a few exceptions each season, most designers give over to the norm – to showing their clothes on a certain number of models, walking po-faced up and down a room full of important people. Why does it seem so impossible to break away from a century-old idea that’s far from exciting? Trust the young London designers to answer this question.
Cue Jodie Ruffle, a recent Middlesex MA graduate and teacher of fashion textiles, who decided to show her second collection in a way that connects fashion and technology with results that are far from being gimmicky. The collection was inspired by everything circular – her ragged reverse embroidery is styled atop 1980s sporty silhouettes, unisex boxy cuts felt completely new,fresh and without pretension. “I used couture handcrafting techniques in creating a new kind of sportswear so I knew that a showroom or a catwalk definitely wouldn’t be a right fit. Then,we had the idea of doing a film that was a bit more abstract,” she says. In collaboration with filmmaker Emma Hamilton and her Middlesex colleague Matt Ryalls, Ruffle created a 360° short fashion film showing her own immersive universe. Shot in a friend’s Hackney Wick studio that Jodie frequently uses, the rebellion is palpable in every scene – the high level of experimentation both in creating and showing clothes easily makes her one of the exciting new fashion names in London.
Inspired by her innovative fashion, we decided to chat to Jodie about all things 360.
A still from the 360° video
Q: If you could go and watch any film in 360°, which would it be?
A: Scarface. I love that film anyway, but I feel like it has so many big panoramic things going on, like those scenes in big clubs and lots of them are mirrored. That would be pretty amazing in 360° view.
Q: Is there a fashion show you wish you could view that way?
A: I was working at McQueen when he did the Horn of Plenty collection, and it was a sort of retrospective of his previous work. It had a mirrored floor and there was a massive pile of his old props which had all been sprayed black, representing a pile of rubbish. It was amazing to watch the show but the installation was blocking everything, so if there was a 360° camera on the top of the pile, you would be able to see everything!
A still from the 360° video
Q: And if you were locked into one room and you had to choose only one textile to surround you in 360°?
A: Definitely not mirrors!I guess it would be embroidery. My work is always embroidered from the inside out so all walls would be inside out too. Because there’s always bits coming off of it, there would be nice things to play with on the wall. So, I guess it would be like that, something that was really textured that you could be playing with that didn’t feel the same all the way round.
Q: If you could spend 360 minutes with someone, dead or alive?
A: Grayson Perry is a really big idol of mine. I would love to meet him and have dinner with him. I think he is aesthetically incredible, and I think his brain is just so beautiful – breaking loads of stereotypes. I just love the way that he has got these two different characters, yet it feels like he’s saying: “Yeah, I’m a bloke but I’m in a dress.”. He also has really beautiful taste both in womenswear and menswear. I was recently listening to his lectures – he’s so intelligent but there’s no pretentious ambience to him. And then you remember, he’s actually a Turner Prize winner yet he hasn’t got any of the arrogance of the art world.
Jodie Ruffle Collection 2; photography by Richard Dowker
Q: If you had to spend all your money on 360 metres of one fabric, what would it be?
A: If only I had enough money to buy 360 metres of fabric! At the moment I’m really obsessed with Tyvek, but maybe I’d rather choose denim because I tend to wear a lot of it and you can do a lot of different things with it.
Q: Is there a song you could listen to 360 times in a row?
A: So when we filmed, we played the song “Words” by Lady Neptune every time we were filming and we were doing it for 6 hours so we probably heard the song over 100 times. I had it stuck in my head for a week. I have a bad habit of downloading albums and just listening to them over and over again until they drive me crazy, and then I move on. Maybe a classic like “Purple Rain”? I think I could listen to that one for 360 times.
Q: So what’s next for you in the following 360 months?
A: That’s almost my whole life over again! I hope I can keep designing in a sustainable way that I can cope with because I don’t have loads of money or backers. Hopefully I can get someone that can help me grow the brand. I want to try to break some rules with fashion and how it’s being presented. There’s definitely more important things in the world that should change in the next 360 months, for example the people in charge. But at the moment, I’m in my little world, thinking about how I’m going to grow this.
Find out more about Jodie Ruffle via her website jodieruffle.com. Visit her pop-up showroom on the 8 December in Studio 42, 270-276 Kingsland rd, London E84DG,
Interview by Dino Bonacic