Colourful menswear collection “Lovesick” by designer Rena Jansen expresses the importance of puppy love
Designer Rena Jansen’s new collection “Lovesick” is an ode to puppy love and explores the importance of our earliest experiences with romantic relationships. Love can be exhilarating or isolating, depending on our connection to others and how they receive such feelings. In a way, this collection is a “thank you” from the designer to her past lovers, and even pays tribute to some of them in a few of the looks.
This is because she believes that all explorations of love, whether good or bad, contribute to personal development and growth towards adulthood. Lovesick operates as a longing for intimacy and human warmth, in times where physical distancing and fear are everyday rules.
Lovesick” deals with innocence, coming to terms with your feelings as a teenager and inhabiting a space between dreams and reality
Being in love often detaches us from reality, making us feel like we’re walking around with our “head in the clouds”. This motive of being in the clouds was translated by the designer in colourful hand-painted prints, inspired by surrealist painter Rene Magritte, and dreamy elements inspired by nostalgia for the teenage. Rena also makes use of symbolism, like the single house on the hill that symbolizes a safe, warm feeling that being in love can bring, but also feelings of isolations that can come with these new sensations. For all of us, this is a familiar feeling now that our houses have become both a safe space and an anti-social prison. The title “Lovesick” also reflects on this duality of being in love and the struggle of exploring your feelings in times of social distancing. The tall grown flowers and the white dove also pictured in the prints stand for a feeling of hope and a longing to leave the dark times behind us. Through these difficult themes, the designer strived to make the collection joyous to celebrate the good times and bring us up through times of hardship.
Last February designer Rena Jansen presented her new menswear collection named “Lovesick” in the Clash House show during FASHIONCLASH Festival based in Maastricht (NL). In this new format, designers were challenged to experiment with a new form of presentation using performance. Each designer was partnered with a choreographer to develop this performance, Rena worked with choreographer Mami Izumi. Together with singer Martin Malibu, the story of Lovesick was visualized in a surrealistic and new way, using musical theatre and performance art. The FASHIONCLASH Festival took place in a digital edition, and the shows are still up to watch through their channels.
Rena Jansen is a sustainable designer who graduated in 2018 from the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht (NL). After graduating, she worked for designer Walter Van Beirendonck and assisted the designer for the SS20 collection. Working for Van Beirendonck gave the designer a growing interest in print design and menswear, inspiring her to launch her own label and bring the two interests to this collection.
As per usual for her, this collection was made using exclusively sustainably produced- or overstock materials, including custom prints made with ecological inks and ecologically sourced materials. All pieces in this collection have been made locally and mostly by hand by the designer herself, including hand-dyeing, screen-printing and embroidering some of the pieces. Part of the collection is currently being developed to become available commercially.