Friends of FV – Jemme Aldridge

Meet Jemme Aldridge, the artist behind the Jemme Peony Print. We recently talked to her about all things print & style. 

What do you do?

Hi, I'm Jemme–  a Creative Leader, working with global brands of style. I help brands define their purpose, bring their vision to life and connect more naturally with their audience. I also have the pleasure of being an Artist of playful, uplifting prints. 

My personal mission is to democratize the language of design, so that everyone can participate in our highly visual world.

What’s the most rewarding part of your work?

Inspiring people to enjoy life. 

When a person smiles because of something I’ve been part of creating, or finds self awareness through an expanded perspective I’ve provided– this is when the world feels happier and my heart feels rewarded.

The most challenging?

Social media. Keeping up with the Jones has now been replaced with keeping up with the Instagram Algorithm.

Don’t get me wrong, I Love social media and the direction we have headed toward a global “sharing” community– How cool is it that you can “heart” posts and “emoji wave” to people around the world 24/7! And through Covid-19, it has been incredible to see the impact of creative expression and connection through social media.

Yet… for me, personally maintaining the social buzz while working hard offline and taking time to enjoy life (sans tech) is a balance I continue to find challenging. 

Where do you look for inspiration when designing?

When designing– Florals first! Nature is the ultimate resource. 

For instance when concepting Marc Jacobs Daisy’s Limited Edition “Twinkle”– I started with nature– and discovered violet daisies! I then found myself researching references that Marc himself loves– images of the musical Hello Dolly, song lyrics from his friend Courtney Love’s song “Violet”, then… thinking of Elizabeth Taylor’s “violet eyes”…. I found inspiration in Urs Fisher’s portraits of her… all while keeping in mind the bright sparkling sunshine of the California sun (where the hero fragrance campaign was shot) – and the big idea finally became…… “Twinkle!”

What’s the last place that left you feeling inspired?

INDIA, INDIA, INDIA– In the last two years I followed my “heart calling” to Jaipur, India ( the pink city! ) I immediately fell in love with the country, its culture, people…. When visiting India, everywhere you look, your eyes are mesmerized. This inspiration has enabled me to lead groups to India, giving others the opportunity to learn the local design practices like block printing and natural dyeing.

What is your process when working on a print design like the peony print?

My creative process is an extension of my design thinking practices….. It’s very 1. 2. 3…. Wow!

1. Logistics:
What are my parameters? What is my subject? How will it be applied? How many colors can it have, what scale and fabric we will be excited by.

2. Immersion:
For Frances Valentine, I surround myself with peonies and paint. I put on tunes that help me imagine the atmosphere someone might want to wear a peony printed sweater or floral skirt. I painted the FV Peonies while listening to Pink Martini, B-52’s, Chopin’s Waltzes, Peggy Lee, Talking Heads….

4. Design Time:
Once I have the artwork painted, it’s time for the long work: scanning, and perfecting the repeat pattern using design programs like photoshop. ( playlist still going helps a ton for this phase, which can take hours! )

5. Global Color:
Next, the FV team, printers and myself make tests called samples. Zonda at FV, is a behind the scene’s production femme fatal. She manages this part…. and works with the best vendors in other countries like India!– This is fun for me, as it helps the project feel expansive and impactful.

6. WOW!
Next thing I know…. The prints are in the showroom!

(Shop the Jemme Peony Print Skirt!)

What does personal style mean to you?

Personal style means Self Awareness. Whether you wish it to or not, it highlights how unique you are.

Style should be about owning your look. A balance of feeling comfortable and inspired at the same time. It’s freedom! Self Expression! It works with your lifestyle– and keeps you feeling confident. It’s Not Fashion wearing you– It’s YOU wearing fashion.

Personal style can break the confines of a uniform or make a “costume” aesthetic a daily norm. I love how some people prefer streamlined looks a la Lauren Hutton or followers of The Row, while other people prefer to experiment with colors and shapes a la Iris, Giovanna Battaglia, or anyone who decides to embrace Comme des Garçon.

How long have you been in NY?

Just shy of… 20 years! New York is home, though I grew up between both Texas & Mississippi.

What is your favorite thing about the city?

New York City is Utopia. The city offers inspiration around every corner. I tried LA for a year, and yet my spirit quickly called me back to New York– if only to ride the subway again!
Truly– on any given day, sitting on a subway car, you look around, and for a moment in time, you are sitting as equals with people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, political points of view, ages…….only in New York City have I been able to experience a small wink of world peace.

How does the city impact your work and style?

I feel like “me” when in New York City. So on the topic of style: I tend to rock timeless, classic looks and accessorize based on the expected events of the day. It’s a good idea, when living or visiting New York, to embrace a style that can allow you to only have to switch earrings and lipstick color…. and okay…shoes… this allows you to transition into the variety of scenarios your day and evening might take…. if showing up is half the battle to Success– then having a classic-on-the-go-style in NYC makes it much easier to show up (on time.)

Last book you read/looked at?

Books currently open on at my desk:

Diana Vreeland’s The Modern Woman
REMEMBER, BE HERE NOW by Ram Dass
Agnes B’s Style Book ( in French )
Pure Beauty by John Baldessari
Joseph Albers, Interactions of Color
HOLIDAY magazine

Visit JemmeAldridge.com
Follow Jemme @jem_me

Shop The Jemme Peony Print Skirt