Finding, Creating and Sharing Beauty
By Meredith Corning
Jordan Crowson is an Arkansas based fashion designer with a knack for exuding sophistication in his pieces on his own terms. Crowson, who recently appeared on Rihanna’s new series ‘Styled to Rock,’ is not swayed by anyone in his opinions on what defines beauty in a modern world. He rejects the idea that designing for the times means somehow being risqué or providing shock value to his work. Thus, Crowson continues his passion fervently and without hesitation expresses that what exacts allure is far beyond what we see on television and the runways. His work radiates an international flair and captures his own works of art. Hear what Crowson had to say about his accomplishments so far and his views on design.
What is your educational background in art and fashion?
I have a bachelor’s degree in apparel studies from the University of Arkansas. My greatest education I have received has been the private mentoring of Valerie Cooper and Gene Hatfield. Valerie Cooper schooled me in sewing and draping in her private studio while I was in college. Gene Hatfield has guided me through figuring out my own take on painting.
I see some European and Japanese references in your design aesthetic. Are you inspired by these cultures and where does that come from?
I have no idea where it comes from. I have loved all kinds of beauty all my life. Since I was a child I have been looking at books and watching anything that would reveal or get me closer to my desires. My grandmother decorated her home with a mixture of both European and Oriental elements.
I know you are an avid painter. What do you like to paint and do you incorporate your art into your designs?
I am a surrealist painter. I paint from my subconscious. The subject matter is constantly changing. I would assume that surely the artist shows up in my fashion designs. Truly it is very much the same thing. When I sit down to sketch a collection of clothing I am trying to convey the image or emotion in my head. I do the same thing when I am painting. It is all the same approach. After leaving the show [Styled to Rock] I sketched out a brand new collection. I have shown it to no one. I have made a few samples from the collection. They are completely new. This collection is my best work yet!
You have something very unique on your resume pertaining to some custom colors and fabrics you designed in China. How did you accomplish that?
Actually, I made a contact in China over the internet…took the next flight out. Upon Landing, I started looking for silks mills with the assistance of my contact and the rest is history. None of my sketches actually have any color on them which I think is ironic since I am obsessed with color. For me, fashion is both color and shape. Both are equally important. I took my sketches to China and worked with the mills on site to create the exact color I had in my head. You see it is best to determine the color while in the process of making the fabric. If you lay a watercolor down on an initial sketch – you spend all your time trying to match the watercolor. Once I started working on fabric, I made some watercolor swatches to assist in getting the color process started, but really I just do it all in my head. By leaving it to cook in my brain I can make sure the silhouette/sketch determines the color. Through test after test we finally are able to create the exact color I had originally imagined. The only guide is a silhouette and a color description at the bottom of the sketch…oh and my brain.
What is next for you and your line?
As far as fashion design is concerned I would like to work in French Haute Couture. I would love to have my own label in the couture or work for the best at Chanel. Currently, I am fine tuning my painting and I enjoy sketching fast line drawings to be made into paintings someday. When I was living in Miami, I sketched out over 500 line drawings, so I have plenty of paintings to work on.