The Balletcats

April 25, 2016 2016年4月25日

 

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The Balletcats is masterminded by Jordan Marzuki and Fatriana Zukhra, a Jakarta-based couple of self-proclaimed “felinists” – whose whimsical, absurd collection of products celebrates cat lovers and pop culture. The couple met in college and started experimenting with creating “irrational fashion.” Unexpectedly popular, they continued refining The Balletcats brand, making it more focused and broadly appealing. With their peculiar mix of humor and craft, The Balletcats make an ever-evolving line of deranged, fantastic products. We spoke to Jordan recently to learn more about his brand.


The Balletcats是由Jordan Marzuki 和Fatriana Zukhra一手策划而来。这对夫妇来自雅加达并自称“喵权主义者”,他们用古怪荒诞的的收藏品去颂扬爱猫人和波普文化。二人相识于大学,并就此开始“非理性时尚”的实验创作。结果出乎意料的大获好评,他们继续完善The Balletcats这个品牌,使之更加有针对性并有更广泛的吸引力。带着他们的幽默和手工技巧的特异结合,The Balletcats不断演变成为一个疯狂且惊艳的产品系列。我们最近与Jordan进行了对话,以进一步了解他的品牌。

Neocha: Could you tell us a little bit about your background and who you are? How did you come to start a fashion brand? Did you study or do anything related prior?

Jordan: I’m a graphic designer, and I graduated from The Basel School of Design with a major in typography and visual communication, so it’s still relevant. It all started when I was starting to feel irritated with my work. That was when I started experimenting with Fatriana Zukhra, the co-founder of The Balletcats. We were creating clothes with “irrational illustration” that I was already drawing in my free time. We tried to sell them and it received unexpectedly good responses – that’s when we decided to take this seriously.


Neocha: 可以先说说你是谁,你的背景是什么吗?你是怎么想要建立一个时尚品牌的?你先前有学过或者做过相关的东西吗?
Jordan: 我是一个平面设计师,毕业于巴塞尔设计学校的字体设计和视觉传达专业,因此它们之间还是有些联系的。这一切源于我对自己的工作开始产生了一种厌恶感。那时,我与The Balletcats的联合创始人Fatriana Zukhra玩起实验创作。我们使用我在空闲时间里完成的插画,创作了一组“非理性插画”的服装。我们尝试着售卖这些衣服,结果出乎意料的大受好评,那时开始我们决定认真地去做这个事。

Neocha: Where does the name The Balletcats come from? What inspired creating a brand for “felinists”?

Jordan: I’ve loved cats since my childhood. I think that they’re cool and mysterious creatures. If cats were humans, they would probably be the most confusing people you’d ever meet. Besides that, they have very beautiful features and shapes that could be represented in unlimited possibilities. That was mainly the reason that we wanted to stick to the theme of felines. I chose The Balletcats as the project name – it’s not from the Spandau Ballet, but came from my cat that had this unusual ballet pose whenever he was asleep.


Neocha: The Balletcats这个品牌的名字来源?启发你们为“喵权主义者”们创立一个品牌的是什么?
Jordan: 我从小就非常喜欢猫。我认为它是一种又酷又神秘的生物。如果猫是人类,它们可能会是你遇到过的最难以捉摸的人。除此之外,它们拥有非常漂亮的外型,有着可以无限发扬光大的可能性。这就是我们坚持以猫科动物为主题的原因。我为这个项目所选的名字,The Balletcats,并非自于Spandau Ballet这个乐队,而是来自我的猫,因为它在睡觉的时候总会摆出各种奇特的芭蕾造型。

Neocha: What are some of your obsessions, influences, or recurring themes?

Jordan: My inspirations come from my unearthly imagination. It’s really hard to specify what it is, but I think the biggest part of my work is influenced by my childhood. I remember one time when I was about eight years old, and I was participating in a junior drawing competition. Most of the kids there were only drawing pictures of the beach, mountains, or other kinds of beautiful things – I drew a gruesome scene of war. I can’t really explain what happened to my brain that time, but it feels like this unexplainable mentality shift seems to still happen to me to this very day.


Neocha: 你痴迷的东西,你的灵感和反复出现的主题分别是什么?
Jordan: 我的灵感来源于我奇怪的想象力。虽然这真的很难去具体地去说,但是我想我作品有很大一部分是受我童年的影响。我记得有一次,大概是8岁时,我参加了一个少年绘画比赛。大部分的孩子只会画一些沙滩、山或者其他各种美好的东西,我却画了一副恐怖的战争场景。我真的很难说清楚当时是怎么想的,但是今时今日,我仍然有着这种难以解释的心态。

Neocha: What has been the reception like so far? Where does your label sit within the world, or within the Indonesian arts and fashion community?

Jordan: It feels funny when people have already accepted your work. I mean, now they just accept whatever I do. For example, my work contains high levels of satirical content, which are deliberately used to provoke people. But, it seems like my audience will never get offended – instead they see my work as a normal, politically correct piece. I also try not to mention fashion on my label, because I’m not a fashion designer and I don’t want to limit my audience based on that.


Neocha: 你们的品牌得到的反响如何?在世界上,或者在印度尼西亚艺术和时尚圈中,你们的品牌定位在哪里?
Jordan: 当人们已经接受了你的作品,这种感觉有点意思。我是说,现在不管我做什么,他们都能接受。举个例子,比如我的作品里包含了大量的讽刺性内容,这些内容是有意用来刺激人们的。但是,似乎我的受众从来不会觉得被冒犯,反而会觉得我的作品是正常的、政治正确的。在自己的品牌中,我也试着不去提及时尚,因为我不是一个服装设计师,并且我不想将我的受众限制在某个范围。

Neocha: The Balletcats seems more than just about a line of products. What are some of the things you create, and what are some areas you’d like to explore in the future?

Jordan: Exactly. The Balletcats was the medium I used to fulfill my illustration wonderland. But right now, I’m focusing on the graphic design side – which is mostly related to works I want to publish. I’m about to release my experimental children’s book, which will premiere at the 2016 Singapore Art Book Fair – it’s called Into the Unknown, and I plan on creating a newspaper in the future.


Neocha: The Balletcats似乎并不仅限于一个产品系列。你的创作都有哪些,未来还希望探索那些领域的东西呢?
Jordan: 的确如此。The Balletcats过去不过是我用来承载自己插画的一种载体。但是此刻,我正在专注于平面设计方面,这也是和我想要出版的东西最为相关的。我将要发行自己的实验儿童绘本《Into the Unknown》,它将会参加2016年新加坡艺术书展,我也计划未来做一份报纸。

Websitetheballetcats.com
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Contributor: Jia Li


网站theballetcats.com
脸书~/theballetcatspage
Instagram@theballetcats

 

供稿人: Jia Li