With the recent departure of Dressamp’s original designer, Toshikazu Iwaya, the label has been re-helmed by fashion favorite Marjan Pejoski—the first non-Japanese designer to be named successor of a Japanese house. Pejoski recently unveiled his much anticipated first collection in Tokyo, a marine-themed vision inspired by the sirens of mythology as well as French artist Théodore Géricault’s famous shipwreck painting Frigate de Meduse. Styled by Shun Watanabe of Vogue Hommes Japan, the collection was a nautical fantasy of cute, femme sailors and the sexy, coy sea creatures who were their concubines. Following the success of this debut, Pejoski sat down with JC Report to weigh in on the runway experience and tell us about working organically, managing multiple labels and the thing that makes his work worthwhile.
JC Report: Congratulations on your first show. How does it feel?
Marjan Pejoski: Great! But I’m exhausted!
JCR: How so?
MP: We didn’t really plan on having such a big show. It was just going to be a presentation. But as it turned out everything just came together and everyone thought “Why not?” It was very organic because that is how I work.
JCR: Was your decision to take the position also organic, or did you accept right away?
MP: I did not agree right away. I needed time to think about it. I already do four collections a year, so it’s not something I would run into, but then I came to Japan and started meeting the staff, and the
director, Shinichiro Hosokawa, is so great, and things just materialized. Then I knew I could do it.
JCR: How did you go about jumping into designing the new Dresscamp? Did you take into account the aesthetic it has had until now?
MP: No. I mean I looked at the archives, yes, but I am now injecting a bit of youthfulness into it—my interpretation of youth for the brand. After jumping on the train for this, I wanted to bring something new, fresh and open, but continuing the essence of Dresscamp.
JCR: Can you expand on what your concept for the collection is?
MP: It’s about a shipwreck, the story of Ulysses and the Sirens, and an intimate underwater world. That is why I had the show in a small
salon, so it would be very personal and private. I imagined a ’20s
brothel in Paris. I wanted the menswear to be more polished, however—I insisted on a monochromatic look, with lots of black and white. I have to say, the models did really well—for some, it was their first show, and yet we asked them to act like they were in an old boudoir.
JCR: How do you plan on continuing to design for a Tokyo-based brand and what will you do now, Dresscamp or otherwise?
MP: Like I said, I work very organically. I will come to Japan a few weeks at a time to design. I also have good staff to support me while I’m here and when I’m away. I want to push Dresscamp even further, to open it up
more. In a few weeks I will head to my atelier in Bali and then to
London, to work on my other collections. Sometimes I am in my atelier
so much I am in a bubble. But seeing people have fun wearing my
designs inspires me to keep going.
This interview was conducted by Misha Janette