Jane McFarland and John Teyssier
We are delighted to spotlight Jane McFarland, Associate Editor at Grazia, together with her husband John Teyssier, Lifestyle Development Manager at Rainbowwave showroom.
The couple who married last summer share their thoughts on conscious consumerism, the importance of craft and how fashion is evolving in a post pandemic world.
You both work in creative spheres which overlap, what have you taught each other?
Jane: John has definitely taught me things but he has such specific taste which can be frustrating. He would rather wait and not have anything until he finds exactly the right piece and so we waited months for a sofa. And I guess even then he had to compromise a little bit as I like to mix modern and old and I supposed he’s more into older pieces and their provenance.
John: (laughs) I think I want to be reassured too, and when buying an old piece you know it’s proven in terms of it working.
Jane: I think where my input comes into it is that I’m always trying to create something that is a bit more homely, because I really want to be comfortable too.
John: Clothes wise, I’m not sure if we share the same style but there’s definitely a cross over. We’re quite similar in height and we share items of clothing or rather Jane steals mine but there was a Ganni sweater…
Jane: Working in fashion, I’m more tempted by trends and I think I can deviate away from my natural style whereas he doesn’t buy into the flash in the pan trends. I dabble and get tempted.
Is there anything you are collecting at the moment?
John: Working at the New Craftsmen really opened up to me the importance of how things are made, the integrity with which things are made. Now I look at older objects such as primitive styles and they’re almost under-designed with not too much ornamentation…those are the pieces which speak to me more than anything else.
But there are great designers in London today. Look at what Jermaine Gallacher is doing and a younger generation who are not adhering to the codes of design and doing things which are really playful instead.
How are you supporting change in your industries?
Jane: As a journalist, I’m here to tell a story, make it digestible and make it interesting for as many readers. We live in a fashion design bubble and the reality is that most people don’t care about fashion. So I suppose it’s how can fashion be viewed in a wider context, that shift is important. How can clothing make you feel better?
I feel there has been some really super positive change in the fashion industry but it has been really challenging for retail, also for so many creatives: photographers, stylists, models, the trickle-down effect of the pandemic is huge.
At the same time, many of us have spent a long time at home, revaluated our wardrobe and been in discovery mode. For small brands, social media has been an amazing platform to get their product out there. People want to support small brands, know the provenance of an item of clothing, they want to know more about the owner and founder. People are investing more in the story telling and there’s also a big sustainability question and generally just looking at change.
John: For me my mission was to say no to plastics and just work with materials that could go back to the earth such as glass, ceramics, textiles, sourcing in a local way, with short supply chains. It’s also not just what they make but how we package things too. It’s not only developing products but how we develop packaging too.
What do you think the pandemic has been a good catalyst for?
John: I’m due to travel but none of the shows have happened, we’re still in a place where we are doing digital appointments but the pandemic has shown us that we can still carry on, supported by technology. And yet we do crave face to face, we miss the human touch.
Have you ever collaborated with each other?
Jane: There is a wish to collaborate but then we realise we might be 24/ 7 with each other. We have very different working styles: John is definitely first and foremost a creative and I’m an efficient project manager (it’s my law background) so I’m about deadlines, budgets, time frames. John is really excited to tell the story and I suppose in that way we have really complimentary skills.
We have had twenty business ideas in lockdown. John likes to do sketches and lots of notes, our house is covered in his ideas, ideas that will probably never see the light of day.
Photography by Alex Cameron
Interview by Carolyn Asome