The ShanFeng Debut
The Sanskrit word Sutra literally means thread, from which larger concepts may be woven.
A unifying thread, connecting nature and the wearer, runs through a new line by Lan Jaenicke: ShanFeng. The focus is on the purity of sustainable materials from timeless, natural sources: cashmere from the goat's fleece, silk from the moth's cocoon, and cotton from the flower.
These are handled with reverence, leaving their natural beauty pristine. Undyed, their inherent luminosity is on display in radiant whites and creams. Uncut — the entire swath of fabric integrated into the design — the line incorporates a zero-waste approach. This means less consumption, less landfill, less pollution. Universally sized, the tailoring is inclusive.
ShanFeng exists at the opposite end of the spectrum from highly constructed tailoring, which involves much cutting, sewing, and manipulation. With this line, rather than conforming the material to a preconceived idea or technique, each form is determined by the material. The design follows the natural flow of the fabric. The material instructs, and the lesson has been one of openness and simplicity.
The name ShanFeng pairs two Chinese characters — Shan: Mountain, and Feng: Wind — to symbolize the harmony of opposites: the fixed, solidity of the mountain and the dynamic, flowing movement of wind. These opposing forces are also the characters that comprise the name Lan: 岚.
This line is part of a bigger vision, a grander design, which understands that clothes are not simply about tactile or aesthetic pleasure and how they fit us, but how they suit the environment. Awareness of the source of our fabrics, and the processes needed to provide them, should be central to what we wear. Surrounding ourselves with the essential, we find we need less.
The world is comprised of circulating elements, which also constitute our beings. There is no separation between ourselves and our environment — Nature’s energy is our energy — it flows from one source to another, never ceasing.
ShanFeng is about raw beauty, which grew out of appreciation for nature's unadulterated forms. In this spirit, to share this message of love, I captured my friend Yuan Yuan Tan dancing in the open elements, exposed before the rocks and the sea, a force of nature among the forces of nature. The means for realizing this shoot were as honest and pure as possible — nothing staged or manipulated — with the minimalist production flowing organically, spontaneously. Another friend, Simone White, provided the naked, a capella vocals, free of any post-production effects. Minimal intervention yields the most authentic results. We guide the process but don’t impose ourselves upon it, letting pure, natural expressions emerge and then capturing them immediately.
What sounds like a love song to a person, speaks to me as a note of gratitude to Nature. She loves and gives unconditionally — to love her back, passionately, wholeheartedly, is essential.
We find the most authentic elegance in Nature’s purest simplicity.
The entire ShanFeng line is made by hand in our San Francisco atelier.