Meet the Artist
About This Artist
Hannah James Studio is a one-woman handmade clothing design company based in Atlanta and Athens, GA. Everything at HJS is designed, sewn, and dyed by hand to order in the artist's small home studio. The clothing is made slowly, and with a serious commitment to sustainability, accessibility, and inclusivity. Quality of craft is the foundation for designs meant to inspire confidence in wearers of all different body types--that, and the sentiment that fashion should never take itself too seriously.
Q&A With This Artist
A: I design all my patterns quite haphazardly, usually basing them loosely on garments I already have, or pieces my closet needed but I didn’t want to spend money on. I try to keep the silhouettes simple, relying on drape, clean lines and color to create interest. I cut and sew each garment by hand, either one at a time or in very small batches. Once it is sewn, each piece is bound and dyed using acid, fiber reactive, or natural dye.
A: My grandmother taught me to sew when I was very little, and it’s been a passion of mine ever since. It makes me feel connected to her, and to the long line of women in my family who've made their own clothing. There’s something so gratifying about wanting something, and just making it appear with your own two hands. And the process of dyeing the cloth is so transformative and alluring. It makes the garment even more distinctly and uniquely mine, so I know there's nothing like it anywhere else.
A: I don’t really do things the way most clothing designers do. I don’t make mood boards, I don’t keep an eye on what’s happening on runways. My collections are based around concepts rather than seasons, and I just make what I feel like making. My process is spontaneous and intuitive—I figure nothing ever turns out the way I planned, so why bother with all the planning? This way is much more fun for me, and feels more like art than fashion.
A: There’s no one particular movie or book that has inspired my work, but I do take a lot of inspiration from fictional characters. Elle Woods, Vivian Ward, Cher Horowitz, Blair Waldorf, Samantha Jones, Lucille Bluth, etc. I’m moved by characters that are effortless and confident and entirely themselves without apology. That’s how I want people to feel when they wear my clothes.
A: Collaborating with other artists is one of the greatest delights of my job. A recent favorite was a show with a dance company in Atlanta that exhibited work from different local makers. I worked with the dancers to create the costumes, a local musician wrote and performed the music live, and another artist designed and installed the set for the show. Seeing these moving parts work together, and how each individual brought their vision to the stage to create one fluid piece of art, it was magic.
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