DESIGNER INTERVIEW: Jannah Miftahul, Creative Director of Tulle and Batiste about her new collection- This Is A Love Song.
BBF: Hi Jannah, great seeing you again! How are you?
Jannah: Absolutely wonderful. I feel blessed, exhausted but also very excited now that we have launched our new collection!
BBF: Congrats on the launch of This Is A Love Song! What did you want to achieve with your latest collection?
Jannah: What we wanted to do with this collection is to stay true to the essence of our brand but at the same time put out a collection that showcases bold floral prints in a captivating way. To do this I experimented with many colors as a foundation to the collection and settled on a palette that includes dandelion, pink blossom and also khaki. I felt that these provide a strong contrasting backdrop to the floral patterns that are also equally bold, eye-catching and absolutely gorgeous. So it’s a double punch of color and beauty! Of course, we also wanted to stay true to what Tulle and Batiste stands for. Creatively my collections always try to draw on vintage French fashion that captures the bohemian spirit. This means capturing the feeling of a place where we can choose our own path, where we can be free and love one’s own life. I try to design my collections this way so that they always feel whimsical, charming, relaxed, comfortable and free-spirited!
BBF: And the inspiration behind this collection?
Jannah: Like other collections, I am inspired by Bali. It is the island of the gods but also the island of beautiful flowers! I also get inspiration from nature, the blue sky, the mountains and beaches of Bali. I get inspiration from so many sources. Indonesia also has such a rich cultural heritage, it is a country where we have such rich artistry in patterns, motifs and designs. I love to mix and connect these influences with vintage bridal dresses and French fashions from the 19th century. So yes it is a bit eclectic, but that is what the bohemian spirit is all about.
BBF: Yes true! How are the pieces constructed?
Jannah: We rely a lot on lightweight and very fine netting so that our designs feel light and flow with your body when you wear them. This also makes it comfortable to wear in our climate. We don’t feel that fashion should be restrictive, instead it should help people express their own individual spirit and beauty. We always believe that a woman expresses herself through fashion, meaning it should flow with your body and with who you are and not force you to be something that you are not.
BBF: And versatile too! What we love is how easy it is to transform an item with some accessories from day to night.
Jannah: That’s right. My designs can be worn to the beach with flats and an over the shoulder bag, and then with some heels and a clutch to a fancy dinner. Poof, like magic! (laughing)
BBF: What type of woman did you have in mind?
Jannah: I would hope that women from all ages and all walks of life would want to wear my designs. The patterns and designs we create are made to flatter a woman’s body, no matter if you are young or old, a little short or taller, or if you carry some weight or less weight on your body. We are all perfect in our imperfections.
BBF: Tell us about how each of the items are made at your factory and the people working there?
Jannah: I own and operate three factories in Bali where we handle everything from design, sampling, spec grading, printing, sample production and full on production. In our main office we handle the sampling and QC. Our team consist of a healthy mix of men and women, from both Bali and Java with a mixed background of cultural values and religious believes. Most of our staff have been trained by myself instead of employing people with a formal education. I believe in offering opportunities. In return you will find them to be very loyal. Happiness is when you are given the opportunity to make others happy. It’s so rewarding to be able to support the people and families who work with me. For me my team is like family. We will never produce Tulle and Batiste anywhere else than in our own factories. We will never go to China for production to chase a cheaper production price. Success is in the details, in consistent quality and in great personal relations and customer service. In giving back to the people in my team. By designing and producing all styles ourselves in a controlled environment I can guarantee our team members work under the best possible working conditions, in a clean workspace, at proper working hours and with financial reimbursements very well above the average wages. Unlike most other labels, who have their ranges produced by third parties in undisclosed factories and locations, our factories are always open for inspection by our customers. We believe in offering full transparency.
BBF: Running three factories and your own label, how do you keep going?
Jannah: I am very fortunate that I have in my life 3 wonderful kids, a caring husband as well as 15 dogs and 5 cats. They key me grounded and true to life’s principles. I work hard to create a better life for my family and my 3 children and to take care of all my four-legged children! My dogs and cats have all either been rescued from the streets of Bali or have decided to call our house and factories home. I also feel it is important to give back to Bali. It is the place I call home and it has given me so much, so I try to be grateful every day and never stop dreaming.
BBF: Thanks Jannah!
Jannah: Thanks Black Book Fashion!