jasmin shokrian photographed by daniel trese
An interview with Jasmin Shokrian,
an artist and designer based in Los Angeles.
An interview with Jasmin Shokrian,
an artist and designer based in Los Angeles.
Jasmin is known for designing strong, architectural shapes that play on texture and form. Her love for architecture and space has inspired a unique collection with clean lines that move and flow in an organic way.
From an early age, Jasmin Shokrian has been immersed in the pleasures of handcrafted clothing and in the gratification inherent in the philosophy of fashion as art. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she counts her mother, who learned couture methods in Iran, as her first and primary influence. In 2008, Shokrian introduced a line of Luxury basics called Draft No 17.
I chose to go to Art school to get a more dynamic view. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago was right for me because of its conceptual and multi-disciplinary program. I went there initially for painting and eventually grew very close to filmmaking as a process. I was making work that involved film and painting, which eventually led me to sculpture. I found that the process of installation and thinking about a spatial starting point was allowing me to utilize all the mediums I was interested in in one place. This beautiful process eventually brought me to using fashion as a medium. The school taught me to think more conceptually on a larger scale, and has since shaped my view of how to approach anything that I'm making. This process is very much how I think in terms of the collection and my brand now.
+ what inspires you?
I tend to look at a lot of art and take inspiration from everyday life. I find that really magical things happen all the time, especially when I’m looking for it. I also have an interest in making a social commentary throughout my work as well, which comes from those observations in everyday life. I am inspired by strong, interesting women that I know, and I tend to be inspired most by those who have their own sense of style.
I’m excited by the colors in nature, by sculpture and architecture, proportions (especially exaggerated proportions), clean lines as well as distinct, yet subtle and very refined details. I find myself also being inspired by uniforms and their function as an aesthetic. I love to think about the process of making art, and developing something new and unfamiliar. One of my greatest loves is of interiors. I love to be inspired by the way people live. I often design from the perspective of a given space. Sometimes it’s like a photographic point of view. I tend to imagine the form and function of the dress or the way someone will look and feel moving and wearing it in a space. I tend to be somewhat cinematic. I like using imagined narratives - studying film has had a major influence in that aspect and has naturally had a hand in my process as a designer and artist.
+could you describe a typical day?
I tend to wake up with one eye open to check emails around 6 or 6:30, but I try to not to do that because I am pretty sure that it’s really unhealthy.
Every day I love to be able to wake up and go for a walk around 7, which awakens my senses and prepares me for the day ahead. I typically will take my camera with me on my walk, so I take a lot of photos and that acts as my sketchbook and provides a nice visual reference of what inspires for the day. Sometimes I like to begin the day with yoga or meditation as well.
At that point in the morning I am ready to go to work. I work really hard and I play really hard. I come into the studio and depending on the day I may have meetings, check on the sample room and make sure that progress is going as planned. There are a lot of moving parts and I feel pretty lucky to be so hands on.
We sometimes welcome private clients by appointment only to the studio to see the entire collection. It does not all make its way in to stores so it’s nice for some to see the entire story.
I don’t get to focus on the design process as often as I feel I could! It is certainly my favorite part. I feel very lucky to have many friends who are artists, and it’s so great when they will come to the studio and we’ll talk about my work or what they’re doing, which can be really inspiring for me. The purpose of my day is to really get inspired and excited, and I do whatever I can to make that happen.
+ favorites spots in Los Angeles
Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena: The collection is amazing and so is the building that houses it! It is covered in beautiful Dark Brown Heath Tile and has a great range of work. The garden is a wonderful place to sit and draw.
365Misson : Laura Owens and Gavin Brown’s Space. Great place to see shows, performances and visit Ooga Booga, an art bookstore.
AXE in Venice: I love to sit outside in the back at night. I also really love Salts Cure. The food is sublime.
Cookbook: A wonderful and beautiful little produce market in Echo Park. I visit every few days for fresh organic vegetables, meat and delicious food.
MoonJuice: My favorite juice spot when in Silver Lake or Venice, and Beverly Hills Juice when in the middle of town. My mom used to take me there when I was a little girl and it is still a favorite.
LACMA, MoCA, The UCLA HAMMER Museum, and LEADAPRON, an appointment only art bookstore run by my friend Jonathan Brown. He has the best books ever on both emerging and contemporary artists and it is the most inspiring place to visit. Serious collectors only!
The Long Beach Antique Market: Still my favorite market.
+ favorite magazines, books, and music?
I love books and magazines, and they are still a huge source of inspiration. There is nothing like sitting down with a cup of tea and a stack of books or magazines to get the brain thinking and the inspiration flowing. I have a great library in my studio with books on my favorite artists, like Richard Tuttle, Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, and Karla Black. I also have a great rare Aurbock book that a dear friend lent me (years ago) that is an endless source of inspiration. That friend is the best.
Magazines I love and collect: A Magazine, which is curated by a single designer, O32c, Purple, has always been a favorite and I have all the old issues, I-D, POP, Dazed and Confused, and French Vogue. I collect past and current issues of The World of Interiors, Artforum, Flash Art, and Frieze are some of my favorite Art magazines; they are my go to for looking at what’s going on in different art communities. As for music, I tend to listen to Classical music sometimes in the studio or I’ll listen to anything that really gets me going and energizes me. Last season I was listening to 60’s Persian and Turkish music and that really reflected the style of my collection. For books, I like to keep it classic. Some of my favorite writers are Joan Didion, David Sedaris, and Murakami. I like to have their books on hand when I just want to relax and escape into their worlds. They never disappoint!
+ what are your summer essentials?
I love a really great t-shirt that goes with everything. You can also never go wrong with a really great cover-up for the beach, I love my Eres bikini, Rodin lip balm, my Je Par Habiter artist canvas bag completes my days at the beach. I always like to have my all vegan natural sunblock on hand; also Nars Casablanca lipstick is great if I need a bit of color and is perfect for summer. Sunday Riley is also a great skin care line and I adore Komenuka’s Bijin's hair conditioner for those long days in the sun. I am in love right now too with my Celine Trio bag, it’s light and fun for the summer months, actually I just love anything Celine… I tend to wear my hair up a lot because it’s so hot and I’ll be seen wearing Sylvain Le Hen hair clips that I bought at Colette in Paris originally, but I am a huge fan and I’m so happy to know that I can get them more easily now in the states. Lastly, I can’t go anywhere without my sunglasses, and my absolute favorites right now are ones by Anne et Valentin. I tend to drink Fresh Cold pressed Juices daily from Moon Juice, dinners with friends and beach days and getaways on the weekends.
+ what's on your wish list?
I feel a bit of wanderlust at the moment. One thing that would make me really ecstatic would be a vacation to the Greek Islands and Turkey. I’d also absolutely love to see Stockholm and stay there for a while. There are a lot of great places to visit, but so little time. Experiencing new culture, food and scenery sounds fantastic to me. Oh and almost anything from Anaise.