Jonathan Riss (Jay Ahr– pronounced like J.R.– his initials) is a Belgian designer that I have a deep admiration for.
Having met him a few seasons ago in Paris (and he happens to also be good friends with a friend of mine, PJ, an excellent stylist and former editor in New York) and then meeting him again in Florence during the Luisaviaroma event (Firenze4ever) has cemented my love for this designer. He is not only talented in his craft (he has the most incredible intricately braided and woven clutches and bags— those bags gave Bottega Veneta a run for their money, seriously), he is also a truly wonderful and kind person who has a vision that is rather infectious, leaving you inspired and wanting to do something big and amazing.
During Paris Fashion Week, I had the opportunity to bump into him again at the Tod’s Signature event– and as it turns out, he had quite a bit to do with the Tod’s “Fantasy” D bags! Remember I wrote that Tod’s had contracted House of Lesage to do some embroidery work for them? Guess what, Jonathan Riss was also part of that whole project– and I just have to credit this man because the finished bags from Tod’s were just absolutely incredible up close. I should’ve known because Jonathan’s signature handiwork was clearly evident in the bags– as exemplified by the works of art that I had once seen inside his atelier in Paris. I do hope to see a more prominent collaboration between my favorite brand and my favorite designer soon 🙂
I later find out from him, and this I admire most, that he has looked to the Orient to unearth treasures of its history, culture, and traditions and then incorporate them all into his work. Jay Ahr produces in a Chinese village whose tradition in embroidery goes all the way back over 400 years old (credit: http://www.3ds.com/fashionlab/en/stylist/jay-ahr)
I’m only too pleased to show you parts of his Spring Summer 2013 collection which he had so kindly presented to us at his atelier on the corner of Rue de Rivoli and Rue 29 Juillet, Paris. I also want to share that Jay Ahr is proudly stocked by both Net-A-Porter and LuisaViaRoma 🙂 And can I just tell you that the minaudieres for SS 2013 are W-O-W? These metallic minaudieres really blew me away!!!
My gorgeous girl friend Janina got to try on a Jay Ahr embellished gown and it was just absolutely stunning on her!
I loved the thick wool- felt jacket that I wore on the last day of fashion week (yes, that’s his jacket!!),
and I am bowled over by the new leather jacket and skirt that he has for Spring.
Click on the images below to view the rest of his collection for SS 2013