The traits of professionals consist of many similarities when examined through the looking glass. There is always a unilateral appreciation for fine tuning when you take the time to observe an array of fashion designers. But what truly appeals to the designer-psyche, are the efforts to create pieces that are both valiant and unique– with the power to impact the industry. Luminosity of the mind transcends into laborious hours of dedication, along with the hope that it will all come to fruition by the end of the show…
Lima Jordan is a German-born Fashion Designer, most recently displaying her Creation of Imperfection collection at Vancouver Fashion Week this passed March. Lima has a worldly perspective in regards to fabric and pattern. Between the uplifted and recycled fibers that make up the fabric, and the intricate detail inspired by tribal cultures– Lima’s skills and talents have been harvested by the growth and understanding of wandering societies. We were glad to have the opportunity to ask Lima a few questions about her background, ideologies, and perspective in a designer based industry.
What was it like going to school for Design in the UK?
I believe going to University in England and graduating with a Design Degree in London, was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. It opened a door for me, right into the international fashion industry and didn’t demand that I had to stay in Germany. I graduated with a BA in Textiles Fashion and Fiber at the Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton). It provided students a perfect combination of intense tailoring knowledge in garment/textiles technology, and the ability to implement our own creativity as well. I loved my days at uni. Being surrounded by like-minded people and developing creative ideas into reality, can really broadened a person’s horizons. We also received sound advice from well known designers from London who we respected as tutors to our own creative development. An exchange semester at a partner university in Barcelona, made it possible for me to get involved with sustainable fashion and natural dye techniques, which I was inspired by, and developed further, back in the UK. I wrote my Bachelor Thesis on sweatshops in Bangladesh, and in my final collection, my thesis was brought to life.
From your experience, what separates a ‘good’ designer from a ‘great’ designer?
Here’s the difference. Great designers are innovative and clever with the direction they take. They have a story behind their work that captivates a person, and they tend to swim against the mainstream to develop new designs that don’t exist yet. They are the ones who set the standard for ‘good’ designers, who might find them inspiring and learn from them. Often ‘good’ designers will begin to copy the big brands, while a great designer develops their own techniques that thrive off of originality. As a great designer you can provoke and challenge the norm, but in a way that still upholds respect for the culture. As a great designer you are the Lead- and it’s important to stick to yourself. Don’t give away too much, be smart, and think outside the box in the right direction so others won’t be able to look inside the depths of your mind. Legendary designers to me are people such as Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Boris Bidjan Saberi, Rick Owens, Vivienne Westwood and of course, those behind the Chanel brand.
We first met at Vancouver Fashion Week last season, and to my knowledge, you and Jamal Abdourahman (Founder of Vancouver Fashion Week) are really good friends. How did your relationship with Jamal come about?
My friend Jamal Abdourahman spotted my work online a couple of years ago when I was living as a backpacker in Australia. He gave me a huge opportunity and I am very grateful for it. We became pretty close friends and talk regularly. With his help and the help of another sponsor back in Australia, it eventually became possible to showcase my work and my latest collection. I am looking forward to many more shows in the future, and found that Vancouver Fashion Week was a fantastic platform for new brands and aspiring designers to get a jump start in their careers.
In your most recent collection entitled “Creation of Imperfection”, I hear your designs are largely influenced by Nomadic people in Mongolia. How did that become the focus of your artistry?
I chose Mongolia because it is a country surrounded by lush nature and fertile grassland but little of it is understood in our modern society. I fell in love with the modest lifestyle of Mongolia’s indigenous wanderers, and how they valued and respected nature. They waste nothing- as everything will be re-used for their essential needs. I was also inspired by the cuts of their traditional folk costume. I tried to set a strong statement with my collection at Vancouver Fashion Week, with intentions to fight for more sustainability, fair trade, and fair working conditions in the textile industry, and labor involved in dreaded sweatshops. The whole collection was made out of natural recycled fabrics and second hand leather in honor of slow-fashion. It had a meaningful impact on me as it represented my purpose in becoming an eco-designer. I often take my inspiration from nomadic and forgotten cultures because it seems they all have something the modern world can learn from. When you wander, you don’t waste anything, and appreciate what you have to survive. You think, act, and wear the shelter that protects you.
What inspirational advice would you give to a classroom full of aspiring Fashion Designers?
STUDY BUSINESS AND MARKETING, and learn how to BRAND YOURSELF. Knowing how to start your own business and how to introduce it to the right market is crucial. Be aware of social media, as well as basic knowledge in web design and graphics. Have a goal. Have a plan. Be patient and use your time wisely. Be sure to study the arts of Tailoring and Pattern Cutting in order to get the right fit for a garment, then it will only be your creativity that will change those basic patterns into eclectic designs.
So what is your next strategic move pertaining to your collection(s)?
Unfortunately I recently had to leave Australia which has been my home for the last couple of years, but I am planning to collaborate with different NGOs and other sustainable brands from Europe to donate money for factories in countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia. I was invited to the Perth Fashion Week, plus fashion week’s in Portland and Vancouver. I also plan on visiting Nepal in the near future.
Lastly. What article of clothing should every lady own?
The little black dress by Coco Chanel!