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So how did Jess learn how to work with the animals?
“My uncle taught me skinning skills,” she replies. “I was brought up in the country, in a watermill, no neighbours for about three miles, and used to be sent out on a Sunday to kill a chicken for mum to cook for lunch. I was the only person who would do it, the others were too squeamish. So from a young age I knew where food came from.
“My aim is to get people talking,” Jess adds. “We can be so hypocritical. I’ve had people lecture me while wearing leather shoes or having just eaten a roast dinner. It doesn’t make sense. Look at the difference in people’s reactions to fur and leather. Fur has such a stigma to it, and it should, but compared to people’s feelings about leather it is hysterical. People forget the leather that makes their shoes used to have hair on it, it’s just been removed.”
Jess admits she doesn’t follow fashion but has always been interested in beautiful garments and that “watching a vintage film makes me drool.” As a result strong silhouettes and drama dominate her shows.
“I am inspired by empowering women. My pieces aim to bring out a facet of character – be it strong or sexy. It’s about holding your head up high,” Jess adds. “Its fun to dress up and explore being different. I think that is why I love Brighton, here you can be anything you want and no one bats an eyelid.”
This means it is not only the perfect place to showcase her fashion but ideal for the interiors boutique she set up last summer with artist friend Jon Nott.