The journey of becoming a designer is a long one, which makes listening to someone recap it for you a fascinating process. Fariba Soltani is quiet a striking character, a woman who
Julie-Anne Dorff, an executive and jewellery editor of Harper’s Bazaar UK, might have an intimidating job title but in real life she is just a beautiful woman with an engaging smile who is following her own creative path. She clearly relishes an opportunity to express her own innate sense of style through the fabrics that she collects, in rare moments away from her day job and being a wife and a mother of three.
The new collection from Les Foulards de Juju was inspired by femininity mixed with the boy meets girl undercurrents, as well as opulent jewels. When Julie-Anne showed me her moodboard, I realised that some of the images were already familiar to me from the pages of the magazines that we both enjoy reading, thus drawing me even closer to the stories behind the latest collection.
Mixed with the images of Julie-Anne’s two daughters, one still a baby,
the other slowly turning into a beautiful young lady, they created a mood board that was beautiful, yet in some ways understated.
Mixing Prince of Wales checks, emerald greens, plaids, paisley, peacocks, a Liberty print and a beautiful purple floral fabric, the scarves, neckerchiefs and shawls encapsulate Julie-Anne’s own brief’ of ‘simple clothes, rich lines’ and somehow make me think of Spanish and Italian Ladies going out for dinner with scarves casually draped over their shoulders or tied around their necks or heads.
The collection itself comprises two silk paisley scarves cut at a bias, a Libery Hello Kitty print that any modern little girl will fall in love with instantly,
We exchanged e-mails and tried to organise a meeting, but in the meantime Julie-Anne kindly sent me some scarves to try on and to photograph. Imagine paisley scarves – cosy, unusual, with no annoying label tags. They come in different sizes, from small square ones that little girls love ( men can wear them as pocket handkerchiefs too) to bigger ones, cut similarly to a cummerbund that you can wear around your neck, like a neck-tie or casually tied on top of the trousers, instead of a belt. Add beautiful shawls to the mix, which you can wrap yourself in on a chilly summer evening-it reminds me of a paired down Pavlovoposadskye platki (shawls) but with a distinct European soul.
One summer morning we finally met in a cafe close to Julie-Anne’s home. I saw a long-limbed young woman, in a slightly worn-in pink sweatshirt, with a flirty zip at the shoulder and dark shorts, her make-up-free face prettily flushed from a morning run and her hair tied in a high ponytail. There was a charming insouciance about her, with a calmly relaxed manner and a gentle smile playing on her lips. While she looked coolly French, there was warmth and a spark in her eyes and she really came alive when talking about her work and her children in equal measure.
Julie-Anne grew up in a French countryside, where she enjoyed the sense of freedom while toying with the idea of becoming a veterinarian, which later gave way to thoughts about journalism. In the end Julie-Anne followed her heart and studied for a Baccalaureate in Literature and Philosophy and then completed a Masters degree in Marketing & Communications at Emerson College in Boston. In France internships are an integral part of the educational process, so when an opportunity arose to do some fund-raising for