This lovely lady's work needs no introduction on Etsy - Chanel's Junk Prints can be frequently found in the front page Treasury. Chanel, an independent fashion designer and artist from Brooklyn, NY, is the mastermind behind Junk Prints - her line features a stylish and ecceltic blend of modern apparel, vintage imagery, and the digital arts, including an awesome variety of dresses, jackets, skirts, t-shirts, bags, hoodies, & more. Her bold and inspired designs will take you fashionably through the concrete jungle in killer style. Chanel was kind enough to take the time to interview with me and allowed me to feature her excellent works here at Lova Revolutionary! Get the scoop below:
Chanel, you have an awesome storefront at Etsy called Junk Prints where you sell your original fashion designs collaged with your incredible graphic designs and photo illustrations - What made you inspired to blend the two mediums and could you describe a little about your creative process?
In the beginning (of junkprints being a clothing line). The garments and accessories served as a catalyst for my art work. Pretty much like making my own forum to showcase my work. Through the process of creating garments and bags I've come to appreciate the textures lines and various characteristics of the medium. I'm a savager and duplicator who is super fascinated with propaganda and how we as people relate to our social environments. I start off by hoarding stuff (anything from vintage fabric packaging, news paper clippings, magazines, zippers etc.) in categories, do some research and then remix the topic. Sometimes the best execution is through photography or collage or Illustration or a combination of all three, For me they all serve as visual tools. I can't do any of them for too long without feeling like I'm gonna pull my hair out.
Your work is modern, original, urban, & colorful; the definition of what I might expect to see people wearing in a cityscape - Are you a Brooklyn native? and What do you love most about city life?
I'm actually a BK transplant. I've been living in Brooklyn for about 3 years. Before BK I lived in Toronto and had the opportunity to study Photography and Graphic Arts at Ontario Collage of Art & Design and Ryerson University. Before TO, I was in Denver, CO and I spent most of my 'formative' years in Pomona, California. I love large cities. They are vibrant and seem to attract very loud personality types. What I love most about cities in North America is the social make up. I don't personally consider myself to be a minority and living in Brooklyn seems to support that notion. I guess cities are my comfort zone.
I've read on your storefront that your Mother named you after the famous designer Coco Chanel - Do you have any favorite designers or artists, famous or not?
I'm inspired by so many designers/artists past and present and find that my inspirations and admiration are just as juxtaposed as my own work. My mom is such a fashionista but my faves tend to be on the design and photography side. The following creators are def in my top 25 (at least for today) Hannah Hoch, El Lizzitsky (the king propaganda), Eduardo Recife, Mr Cartoon (love his tat and car work), Jeff Staple (Staple design is my Saatchi and Saatchi), Ben Watts, Malick Sidibe, Jamel Shabazz, Pieter Hugo
How did you get started sewing and how long have you been creating your own designs?
I found this sewing machine in the trash, had my special man friend bike it home for me and started sewing my booty off. Well that's the short story. After the sewing machine made it home it collected dust for a few months. Then I fixed it and it collected dust for a few more months. About 2 years ago I taught myself how to sew. It's kinda ironic that I taught myself to sew because, my mom use to design clothing, but I was convinced that I was going to make cartoons so I never wanted to learn. The thought of cutting out a gazillion pattern pieces before even hitting the machine was not of interest to me, I guess I just needed more instant gratification as an 8 year old. Maybe I was just honing my design skills at the time and sewing was destined to come later.
I know you specialize it digital arts and designing, aside from sewing, are their any traditional artistic mediums that you enjoy?
I draw alot and that's where all these ideas start some just begin to take various forms and move away from line art.
Much of your work functions as social commentary as well, which I don't feel we're getting enough of in these difficult times, Are there any particular issues that are important to you and how do you feel about the current state of affairs in the US?
Generally I think that we have more options than we exercise. I don't believe in settling. Cooperation (in the real definition of the word) and working together for a cause is one thing, but just accepting foolishness is absurd to me. That's not the behavior of a thoughtful educated nation. I try and create work that's relevant, and inspires me and the viewers to do better in the way that we relate to one another and our environment. The US is all fucked up, but this isn't new. We're just experiencing the repercussions of band aids for issues that needed resolutions. I think our nation's issues need a lot more than social commentary. I'm just expressing what's on my mind.
Your work features some vintage style designs and retro imagery - are their any fashion eras or time periods in history that you interest you the most?
Idealism and the notion of perfection fasinates me. The 50's and early 60's epitomizes these notions and the ironic part is that I just don't fit those ideals so when dressing the part it's like a twilight zone version of history.
Do you have any new and exciting projects or designs in the works?
Please tell me 3 more interesting facts about yourself!
1. I'm half Belizean
2. I wish I had come up with Hello Kitty and Pantone Color guides
3. I've never broke a bone in my body (except for a chipped tooth) Does that count?
Find Junk Prints on the Web:
Junk Prints Official Website
Junk Prints @ Etsy
Junk Prints on Flickr
All images courtesy of Junk Prints.