Profile in Style: Jean Jones
Artisanal expertise paired with a love of life’s simple pleasures
by Taylor Prewitt
Photographs by Hayden Spears
FOR AUSTIN CLOTHING DESIGNER Jean Jones, a simple red rose is the ultimate expression of what she calls “that sort of deep-in-your-soul kind of aesthetic” – the personal taste that informs each of her pieces and the driving force that leads her to create.
The flower – timeless and elegant, full of texture, but marked by clean lines and a stark color – is an everyday extravagance whose pleasure anyone can afford, and Jones is clearly a fan. She plants red roses outside the window of her private home studio and adorns her collections with its petals, utilizing their deep red color, if not the actual bud itself. The red rose also serves as the logo of her self-titled clothing line, now entering its seventh collection.
Filled with modern classics like the wide-leg trouser, the pleated skirt, the white shirt, and made with feel-good fabrics like silk, Italian cotton and English crepe, that upcoming collection, and her label as a whole, represent the culmination of a life she has devoted to creating and enjoying simple, but enduring pleasures. As she puts it, what she does now is what she’s always done.
Jones learned to sew as a young girl before going on to apprentice for a handweaver and launching her own business selling handwoven accessories at trade shows and art fairs. It was through that venture that she recognized a lack of information on using handwoven pieces to create well-fitted women’s clothing. She set out to learn about the couture garment construction that inspired her and launched her ready-to-wear Jean Jones brand five years ago. Pieces from the line can be purchased on her eponymous website, as well as at the Design Lab on Lake Travis.
Her artisanal background gave Jones an eye for detail and a yearning for quality that informs not only the clothes she creates now, but the spaces in which she creates them, both in her home and in the adjacent studio.
“All the roads lead to the same place for me,” she explains. That place is one filled with texture, a soft white color she is “addicted to” and inspiration she has gleaned from all over – from everyday life, essentially, but also from recipes, garden design and the random stranger glimpsed while traveling.
Her sense of style is straightforward: “Just appreciation of beauty, like for yourself, not for showing someone else” and her reasoning for adhering to it even more so: “That sort of sense of enjoying fine details just feels really good.”
That sense is one that she hopes to imbue in the woman she imagines wearing her clothes. She’s “somebody that enjoys the simple pleasures as well,” says Jones. “I think of my clothes as a little gift to her.” That embrace of life’s simple pleasures is on display in the “aura of domestic bliss” she creates for herself at home and in her adjacent private studio. The “Design House,” which she shares with a daughter, identical twin sons, a husband of 26 years and a cat nearly as old, feels lived-in, loved-in and enjoyed.
“Nothing’s absolutely perfect in my home. It’s a real home,” says Jones. And in this way, the philosophy of the red rose is one that encapsulates not just her style, but her life, too. Enjoying the finer details, and taking time to embrace the smaller things – to smell the roses, if you will.
“To me, it’s all just the ingredients of a good life.”
Read more from the Style Issue | September 2016