This season, we’ve teamed up with super talented designer Jenny Mort to bring you our new and exclusive Liberation Trench Coat. Born out of the desire to liberate the contemporary woman to live handbag free, it’s been designed with loads of pockets on the inside so you don't need to take a bag out with you. All of Jenny’s designs are beautiful collectable pieces, to either make a statement or stand alone, and are based on a neutral colour palette with simple, clean lines and great quality fabrics. Jenny recently invited us to her beautiful converted school house for a cup of tea, to find out more about her work and what inspires her designs.
Our Inspiration: Introducing Jenny Mort
What’s the story behind the Liberation Coat?
“The need to simplify and organise our busy lives to be more organised and clutter-free inspired me to try to find a solution in what we wear. I wanted to produce a product that was simple and pared down but which could somehow contain the essentials to enable a woman to learn to live handbag free. It needed to be practical, hard-wearing but also feminine, hence the slight shaping in at the waist. Following on from a theme of ours at Jenny M. for labelled products and always keen to add an element of surprise, I created a secret lining, made up of labelled pockets, to contain only the essentials.
The collaboration with FatFace came about after Anthony visited my studio. He liked both the concept and the cut and feel of the coat, and felt it would make a great trans-seasonal piece in the FatFace range.”
Who inspires you?
“One of the influences was my respect for Beryl Smeeton; a British ex-debutante born in the 1890's, who in her early twenties reinvented herself and became an extraordinarily brave, strong adventurer. She was independent and free and wore practical clothing. When she was preparing for a year-long solo trek through unchartered jungle terrain in Patagonia, she wore a coat in which she added several pockets to the lining, which she then filled with specially prepared dried foods to last her the length of the trip. I have a brilliant book on her called High Endeavours, which is a fantastic read.”
Where do your ideas come from?
“Absolutely everything everywhere. I’ve been immersed in design for so long that my eye automatically registers an interesting shape, form, series of tones or colours and textures, wherever it may be. I also love accidental design. By this I mean when my eye catches a random pile made up of a sketch or swatches, with some trim or an old postcard or magazine cutting — a pile that has been accidentally on my studio table or floor — then an exciting new idea can form.
I am also interested to see what has worked in the past in early period clothing that has been forgotten, and then I like to recreate it in my own way. This is usually something practical like an interesting fastening or perhaps pleating, a sewing stitch or collar detail. I also notice and refer to classic garments worn from other cultures to influence new shapes as there is usually a very good reason why these pieces continue to be worn year after year.”
And of course, we have to know what you like doing outside the 9-5
“Having spent my childhood in Africa, I still have the urge to travel and to see as much of the world and different cultures as possible. Back in the UK I try to go to the theatre, to see films or exhibitions and live music as much as possible, or simply love finding time to be at home in our beautiful converted school house, cooking and entertaining family and friends which is quite rare these days as life is so busy.”