Producing designs from her studio in Hamburg, Germany, Pavlina Jauss is an avant-garde designer crafting luxury looks with an experimental twist. Born in Bulgaria, Jauss now creates the majority of her works in the German city, with minimal knitwork sourced from a traditional knitting company close to Varna, Bulgaria.
“Fashion has always been an important part of my life,” says Jauss, “so at some point, I took action to develop my skills and to become a fashion designer.” These ambitions were fully realised in 2014 when Jauss officially established her company and brand. Since then, the company has oriented itself around a few central tenants: high-end craftsmanship, exquisite materials, fair-trade and sustainability.
While the latter points may be a recent development for others in the industry, for Jauss, sustainability and fair trade are notions that come naturally. “If you have a child,” she begins, “it is logical that sustainability and fair trade should play a role in your life.” This interest manifests in a number of ways; Jauss makes a concerted effort to source materials from Europe, and she crafts “as much as possible” inside her studio. “This takes out the guesswork and helps me to ensure the quality of my products.”
For Jauss, centring her designs around an avant-garde style came naturally. As she tells it, “It was part of the brand’s DNA from the beginning,” with even the earliest designs having some kind of “avant-gardist twist.” But Jauss sees avant-garde as more than merely a style. For her, it’s a way of being. “Being avant-garde means to me that you dare to question everything. Pushing the boundaries and always trying to be innovative and experimental is not only my definition of being an avant-garde designer but also a big source of my inspiration.”
Designs produced by Jauss are certainly avant-garde, yet they still have a place in a casual look. This is exemplified in the accompanying photoshoot by Florian Grill, which has model Eliana Ortiz wearing her pieces on a minimalist white backdrop. In this context, the pieces are simultaneously empowered and understated, making a showing of their own by elevating the wearer. Grill’s direction during this shoot was guided by Jauss herself. “I have known Florian for several years, and he is a very talented photographer who understands the brand’s DNA. We spent several days discussing the inspirations for the collection and the result was one of the best shootings we’ve ever had.” Completing every photo was the makeup work of Isabel Peters.
As far as her audience is concerned, Jauss says those that wear her designs are making more than a style decision. “I think the women who wear our garments are self-confident and really know what they want. They know that by wearing specific garments they make a statement and would never wear something by mistake.”
The future is bright for Pavlina Jauss. “Today, we have a growing number of stockists around the world and my aim is to grow here throughout the next seasons,” says the designer. Still, Jauss is cautious about moving too quickly. “Our approach is to grow in a slow and controlled way to make sure our stockists are as happy to work with us as we are to work with them.”