After literally picking up my mouth off of the floor at The NAUTILUS while viewing The Emerging Designers Series, I approached Sea Jasper Designer Virginie Fallon Romier about interviewing her on her stunning collection. I sat down with her during the total eclipse, in her North Miami home and found a beautiful soul looking to impact the lives of women who only wished to design on runways.
Environmental changes reflect that people are starting to become more conscious about saving and preserving the planet. That's one of the many reasons i found Virginie’s line so innovative. It makes a bold statement that says we can be glamourous and keep design sustainable. This designer had a lot to say about the planet.
PQ - What was the inspiration behind the name “ Sea Jasper”?
Sea Jasper is a stone and you can find it in Madagascar, in the ocean. I like natural energies. It comes from the planet and i really loved the idea of the stone coming from the ocean. The ocean is like a forest. It represents life on earth. Water is so important for us as humans. Without water we wouldn't be here. The connection behind my brand is trying to save the planet in ways that i can. Just by myself I cannot save the planet but I'd love to educate more people through fashion on how to be aware. The planet is alive, at least i’d like to think the planet is alive. People take that for granted.
PQ - We forget that, we really do. We think we own the planet.
We don't take care of the planet and she gives us a lot and we don't give her anything. (She caught me with that statement. I was bold, yet very genuine)'
PQ- What was the inspiration behind this particular collection in comparison to your previous one?
I like to walk in the mountains in France and the Crocus flowers, everything started there. From the colors; the different shades of purples, pinks and yellow. I started playing with colors with the natural dyes to get these specific colors into my garments.
PQ - How does this collection differ from the other collections? I noticed the others were brighter and darker in color.
At the beginning I didn't have a sustainable idea so i started using material I could find. After working with stronger dyes and I won a contest based on sustainability. I decided I had to keep going deeper in that direction; the path of being sustainable when designing with the materials I'm using. When using the flashy colors, or darker colors, especially with black, the color fades and you can't get it back but that is exactly why i like natural dyes because colors have life and they change. They don't stay the same and so with using the natural dyes, you cannot always get the same colors, which makes everything created UNIQUE.
PQ- Have you faced opposition?
No, not really. I go where i’m going and follow the direction of the cause. Even when I’m using these natural materials. I'm always keeping the planet in mind to keep focus on my mission.
PQ- How long did it take to design such a feminine, yet modest collection?
Six months, especially doing it all by myself. It was a long yet creatively patient process.
PQ- What is your vision for Sea Jasper? How far do you see yourself taking this line and future collections?
I want to help women in other countries...poverty stricken cultures. The “third world”. They aren’t always as lucky as we are. I believe this approach towards fashion can help them. I want to create a place where women can work in fashion production and with the fashion revolution movement this is an idea! You know, in certain cultures, it is tradition to do the weaving method that i use. So i’d really like to teach my method and have the weaver make it uniquely their own. It can maybe give them a second chance at doing something meaningful and enjoyable through education. You often have women in the streets with no place to go so i’d like to create a place for them to learn. I’d like to associate each piece with the weaver in the tags, maybe tell their story and the person buying these clothes will see the story of that woman, with understanding behind the designers story.
PQ- That is awesome! I love Fashion with a purpose and you definitely are purpose driven. May I ask, Why Miami as a starting point?