Fascinated by the gendering of material objects, RebeccaJeffs explores the complex semiotics of femininity and the abounding social paradigms that womenswear is weighted with. The designer describes her collections as a meditation on her own sentiments toward, and her ever-evolving understanding of, what it means to be a woman. Exposing the signifiers of femininity that women are expected to acknowledge in both public and private life, she perceptively (and satirically) unpicks and pushes against these conventions. The fishnets, knicker dress, and shell bra are each a witty way of undercutting the social messages inherent within gendered ways of dressing. Her work is imbued with a subtle, tongue-in-cheek mocking of society’s views on what femininity is and should be, shrewdly unpicking these notions and attaching them to her work in the most beautiful and simultaneously provocative of ways.
Ultimately, for Rebecca, design is an emotional quest, and her research is very much tied in with her intuition. Each collection begins as a personal journey to perceiving her own thoughts and feelings, with research becoming a vehicle through which to connect more closely to this inner emotional world on visual terms. There is a subtle sensitivity that quietly inhabits everything Rebecca creates ‒ a connectedness to a world that lies slightly beyond our reach, juxtaposed with a wilfulness and strength.
Inspired by conversations with Rebecca and her rich visual vocabulary, creative director Marina Francisco, photographer Chris Rhodes and filmmaker Albert Moya created a world to cultivate an atmosphere of surreality in which the images read as self-timed photographs and still lifes. The intention was to document a character moving through a series of performative actions, interacting with the materials and objects within the collection and highlighting the relationship between the observant and the observed.