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...exploring the symbolic potential of nipple decorations
Ana Finel Honigman: Why do you think most designers just stick to adorning the obvious body parts?
Jules Kim: I think they stick to the obvious because taking risks is scary as shit. If they want to be be comfortable as a designer, then they don’t necessarily have to be an artist.
AFH: How are you defining the distinction between designer and artist?
JK: Artists take risks. The body has so many different hugs, curves, clips, and turns, so it would be a sin not to find a way to pay attention to it all.
AFH: Speaking of, how do pasties fit with the tougher and more unisex appeal of your past collections?
JK: I do think that unisex is badass! It doesn’t matter if you are a girl or a boy! I think androgyny is marvelous. But I also think that female sexuality is hot. So, I chose to titillate the tit with gold.
AFH: Why not just stick to nipple rings.
JK: Normal nipple rings are painful, pas de classe and old news.
AFH: Most of your work has a personal narrative behind its creation. What is the story for the pasties?
JK: I think that female sexuality is hot. It is an undeniable turn-on to see a woman confident when she is hard. If guys can do it, why can't we? I commit so much of my own thoughts into my work that this haute couture collection is almost a replica of my state of mind. I like to breathe life into my work with stories. Each new piece has as much history as a piece of estate jewellery. Louis the XIV never had it so good.
AFH: On the topic of personal history, you’re contributing to my exhibition in Berlin. How do you define ''intimacy' in your life or public persona?
JK: I waiver on the fine line between private and professional life. It is a blurry place. But I find as "intimate" anything ranging from tension to release or lingering to longing. I think that intimacy is just as special as euphoria. I create things that explore that experience. My jewels are tools for discovering how intimate people really can be with themselves and others.
AFH: Do you consider making jewelry as an intimate act? Or do you feel divorced from your work once its finished?
JK: I do consider it an intimate act. I am dedicated to the work that I do. I am addicted to the high that I produce from manifesting a concept. That shit is such an amazing feeling that I can only selfishly describe it as “orgasmic.” I get off on defying norms and redefining standards. It's my little "fuck you", "don’t take yourself too seriously" statement to the world.
AFH: Who are artists whose work interests or inspires you?
JK: I die for cinema and its directors. "Persona," by Bergman was a huge inspiration for this season's video. Fellini's "Rome" score was highlighted in it. I am also in love with "Le Mepris" by Godard. And Jean Pierre Melville is sick too. I heart Alain Delon.
AFH: What do you think is causing fashion's sudden interest in classic bodacious, lush and soft femininity?
JK: I think fashion needs to be naughtier and to learn to thrive on the edge. Fashion is an industry. It needs to make money. I make money from fashion. I have chosen a tricky medium by working in fine metals and pushing crazy concepts to fashion. I live in the business of fashion. And let's be clear, there has to be some softness in such a hard industry. I think fashion is going back to what defines it. Women define fashion. A woman should be beautiful and elegant with sophistication and class but still feminine enough to be sexy and vulnerable. And that is what I find sexy too.