Born in Sheffield, Jay Briggs graduated from the University of Salford in 2013 with his graduate collection “Malleus Maleficurum”. Since then he has gone on to show at London Fashion Week and featured in the Selfridges Christmas window display. We caught up with Jay to talk witches, spells and family ties.
Your 2013 graduate collection takes inspiration from witches and witchcraft, but who is your favourite witch, and what spells would you like to cast?
Ravenna (played by Charlize Theron) in “Snow White and the Huntsman” has to be my ultimate femme fatale (and secret all time muse). I mean, come on that face mixed with that couture, spellbinding! On the subject of spells there are a few people I’d like to turn into frogs.
What is the inspiration behind your latest collection?
“Melusina” my S/S 15 collection is based upon a 14th century Plangent myth and tells the story of a water nymph, however I have given the tale my own dark, gothic twist.
Melusina was born half water nymph and half human, when her mother punished her Melusina was cursed to become a serpent from the waist down until she met a man who would marry her under the condition of never seeing her on a Saturday so that she could bathe in the water and transform into the water nymph. It was instant love between Melusina and her prince, he took her to his kingdom that very day and marries her, with the promise she may bathe alone. Slowly curiosity got the better of the prince, and he broke the promise so she sweeps him into the depths of the water and turned his faithless blood to water. The story of the collection goes, “that man will always promise more than he can do to a woman he cannot understand.”
What was your lucky break?
I don’t really think that I’ve had a lucky break, I’ve always been taught that from a young age you have to work hard, to enable you get what you want out of life. I’m a firm believer in the power of the universe and the mind, you get out of life what you put into it, it’s all about positive energy. I would say that joining my agency (Lewis and Leigh PR) opened a lot of doors and took my work to the next level after university. I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me, they own my soul.
Do you create the pieces yourself or do you have a team to help you?
I create the majority of it myself, as I have to work a full time job in order to fund what I do as I don’t have any financial backing, however I do send garments home to my mum in Sheffield to bead, she’s like a god send!