Jain Barrett, better known as Wavy Jain, used clothing and style as one of her first forms of self-expression and ways to be creative. After finding dance as one of her biggest passions, Barrett later decided to combine her love for both dance and fashion by creating three clothing collections that were expressed through dance and movement. Her clothing collections, titled “Wave One,” “Wave 1.5,” and “Wave 2,” all represented different aspects of Barrett’s life and included different types of clothing pieces in each clothing drop.
Having recently relocated to New York, Barrett created her three collections in Denver, alongside fellow Denver creatives and models who she now says are still some of her closest friends. Talking with Barrett, we were able to pick her brain on what it’s like to drop three clothing lines and incorporate various art forms into her world of fashion.
303 Magazine: How did you get started in fashion and fashion design?
Jain Barrett: Self-expression through clothing and style were the initial ways I taught myself to be creative. At the ripest ages, I remember feeling nothing but infatuation with appearance and the endless ways it can be enhanced/transformed. After training profusely as a dancer for 10 years, having my shot at acting on film and noticing a constant desire to use my voice, it seems as though starting a brand would be brilliant. I wanted some way to bring all the artistic mediums together while also learning what it takes to start a business.
303: What influenced you to start your own line?
JB: If I am going to be honest, I must disclose that I was in the lowest point of my life when I chose to really run with Wavy Jain Co. I didn’t go to art school and for the first time in my life, I was lacking a plan. Things were really treacherous for me mentally and I needed something to fall in to. A dance career wasn’t something I genuinely desired anymore and I knew there was a way to still incorporate this passion without being in the mix directly. Learning the ins and outs of starting a business was so highly attractive to me. So, the past three years granted me vast experience and knowledge pertaining to all of that.
303: What inspired your three collection drops?
JB: My first project was titled “Wave One” and I always reflect on it as a catalyst moment. It was simple and experimental. The project was built around some curated denim garments with hand-sewn embroidery/beading that I completed over the course of a few months. There was nothing perfect about “Wave One,” but it saves me, I sold all of the pieces and the collaborative process introduced me to some of my greatest friends.
We then smashed “Wave 1.5,” which was a small hoodie drop showcasing a collaboration between two of my favorite Denver women and myself. Shoutout to Sanjana Stein and Kenna Matthews. Sanjana photographed Kenna in this chain gown I made. My good friend David helped me print the image on to the sweatshirts and the vision was complete. Immediately after “Wave 1.5” wrapped, I got the idea for “Wave 2” while skimming these immaculate childhood photo albums. My mom was unknowingly so brilliant behind a camera. She captures my whole life. “Wave 2” is about growing up. I could talk about it for centuries because it means so much to me. From the conceptualization to the design process, to the casting, to shooting the actual film and seeing the clothes come to life, I can confirm I have never felt so full.
303: How would you describe the style of your designs?
JB: Nonlinear. Maybe not so practical either. I’ve realized that my heart resides in what’s unrealistic, but I also understand the importance of practicality. That’s why instead of selling the orange gown draped in a chain, we just tried to get a wicked still of the piece and print it on something people can wear comfortably. I enjoy basic shapes that are enhanced with unexpected colors, images, and additions.
303: We notice you incorporate other art forms in your fashion work, like dance. What inspired you to do that and how do you think dance and fashion fit together?
JB: Dance was my first addiction. Dance is every single thing to me still. When I was still training and performing regularly, I couldn’t help but become enamored by the relationship between dance and fabric. Really it’s just movement and fabric, but it was while dancing I identified a clear relationship between the two. Then I thought about film photography and the ways we could capture these observations. Naturally, sound follows. It all lives together.
JB: I absolutely do. I had a really wild fashion/film project in the works before moving to New York that I titled “The Sound Wave.” It all derives from noise which has been really fun to research and prep form. I’m going to keep the concept in my back pocket for when I have more resources and space.
“The Sound Wave” deserves no compromises. It’ll be interesting to see the way that it comes to fruition because I am closing down my brand, Wavy Jain Co. The brand, as well as the multimedia projects we completed under it, feel wildly time-specific to me and I don’t think there’s any harm in letting things live temporarily. Right now, I’m nose-diving into the use of my voice and words. Music has stolen almost all of my attention. Fashion and the world of fashion is always only ever one degree away from me. It’s something I swim in here and I am very appreciative of that.
303: What do you hope for the future of your fashion design career or your collections?
JB: I won’t talk about what I hope for in the future, I’ll just mention what I vividly see right now. I see myself in an energetic space with a group of 30 or so people producing work that enhances our lives. I see myself creating 1/1 clothing pieces for performers. I can picture performances of my own that will include every medium I’ve talked about so far. Concepts and visual escapades no one has touched on yet. I see a lot of young people coming together to teach me new things about myself as I supply them with resources and mental support for their own “Wave 2.” I see the continuation and spread of all things non-linear. I see us all embracing ourselves and making art that we’re proud of. I see us all getting paid. It’s actually insane how far beyond fashion it goes for me because really I’d love to help change the world