Introducing Lan Jaenicke x John Robshaw


I'm increasingly focused on sustainability in my design, on using what we already have and seeing it with new eyes. I've always worked with pure cashmere and silk. I wanted to experiment with linens, cottons, and prints, but only with pure natural materials, no synthetics. Rather than producing more material, saddling the world with more stuff, I sought a source for pre-existing textiles. Of course John is the Prince of Prints, so I immediately thought of him and reappropriated material from his previous collections. I love the craftsmanship and hand-done quality of John Robshaw Textiles, be it for his vibrant block prints, or padded quilts. My collections tend to feature solids, so integrating his patterns has been a thrill to behold.

Coincidentally, the last place John and I had both visited was Kyoto. That somehow became a guiding light in creating this collection. A kimono is created from a single swath of fabric - the print is uninterrupted. This struck me not only for its physical beauty, but for its timeless, efficiency of design - nothing is wasted. This collection embodies a practice of zero-waste, size-free, and some gender-free designs. In my mind, John’s prints integrated so beautifully into this vision - the wrap-skirts, kimono tops and dresses made from his textiles became a perfect fit. My signature black silk grosgrain ribbon delineates his fabrics and gives them structure. I also transformed a quilt of his into a vest and a jacket. Touches of black cashmere add stylistic flair to the overall design, and serve as a signature, as cashmere is the material that defines me. All the pieces in this collection were conceived and created by hand in my atelier in San Francisco. Each piece is one of a kind.

Q & A with John Robshaw




Where do you find your inspiration when not traveling?

I have a massive archive of old textiles, prints and ephemera that I have been organizing and enjoying.  I am sort of an ethnic hoarder. I also have a lot of art books!


What is magical for you about textiles and specially prints? 

Textiles are a mystery to me. When block printing you can take the print in so many directions. A single block can create many prints and then those blocks can work together to create more prints. It is never ending exploration.


What’s it like for you to see your textiles transformed into clothing? 

I am a big fan of Lan and to see her elegant take on my textiles is a real treat.  The beautiful vest she made reminds me of Mongolia.  I am sure if Kubla Khan were alive he would conquer the San Francisco neighborhood to get one.


What has been one of your most unlikely sources of inspiration? 

Old master paintings are a big one.  I am always looking at color combinations, depth of colors saturation and the oils that the old masters used.  They have such incredible light in them.


What’s your definition of a well-dressed gentleman, i.e., what are your wardrobe essentials? 

Deconstructed blazer (which I hope Lan is making for me). Good RM Williams boots, Levi jeans, Batik traveling shirts, Muji cotton shirts.  I don’t know if I am well-dressed, or just dressed?


John interviewed Lan about her creations and process, see John's journal.