By Jane Vick
Good morning, loves! How is everyone? May this Wednesday be sweet and surprising. I’m home in Oakland, finally, and yours truly is very grateful. Though there’s a whisper in the winds about a trip to Thailand soon…
On to this week’s “Look”!
As some may know—and certainly will know after reading the North Bay Bohemian feature—the once-postponed North Bay Fashion Ball is back, featuring a lineup of inspiring local fashion designers. I had the pleasure of speaking with one such, the 21-year-old Janet (@7anet7ackson), on their inspiration and creative process. Read on.
Janet—whose work is inspired by Japanese designers like Jun Takahashi and made from entirely second or third-hand material—is a designer and photographer born and raised in Sonoma County. Janet attended high school at Rancho Cotati, where an inspiring teacher, Mrs. Bee, encouraged them to continue with their art. Without her, Janet says, they wouldn’t be here today. After high school, Janet spent a brief period of time at the Santa Rosa Junior College, before deciding in 2020 to commit to their craft full time. They picked up sewing and haven’t looked back.
Janet’s fashion is playful and dimensional; an impasto-like line featuring beanie babies, fabric scraps and bright colors. They are inspired by making the best out of what they have in the moment, and transmuting the harm that’s been done to the planet into something potent and wearable. Janet’s work process is also a form of meditation and healing—a way they’ve survived extremely challenging experiences in the past, including a Temporal Lobe Epilepsy diagnosis which, when undiagnosed, was causing extreme symptoms.
“Sewing,” said Janet, “Helps me piece everything together and heal. Especially the style I’m beginning to cultivate. It’s very reflective of what somebody who struggles with metal health and spiritual hardships might be going through.”
Janet sees an alchemical quality to their work. Repurposing garbage, “transforming the lesser into something hopefully greater” is a lead-into-gold sort of process that they hope inspires other people to do the same in all areas of life.
Janet’s work—unique, spiritual and environmentally conscious—will be on view at the North Bay Fashion Ball May 28 at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. Don’t miss it!
Looking phenomenal, everyone.
See you next week!