Jessica’s aesthetic is undeniably personal and for this reason resonates on a very emotive level. Her magpie style of appropriation can include the colours from her native Jamaica on the one hand or American quilting techniques on the other, juxtaposed with traditional utilitarian workware shapes. While nostalgic the work is always thoroughly modern, resulting in an ever-increasing group of Jessica Ogden fans world-wide. Jessica’s life and career spans continents and contributes to her unique style.
Born and raised in Jamaica, by British parents Jessica attended the Rhode Island School of Design. A hankering to explore her roots saw her move to London where she attended the Byam Shaw School of Art. Her mother had always instilled in Jessica a love of fashion and practical knowledge of clothing construction and following a project with Oxfam Jessica emerged as a pioneer of the customising movement of the early 90s. This quickly evolved into a full-blown Ready-to-wear collection, which included one-off pieces derived from vintage fabrics or found garments. In particular her use of vintage quilts, which were reformed into jackets, skirts and dresses became a signature. The Jessica Ogden label was a firm fixture of London Fashion Week between 1996 and 2006, where Jessica’s unconventional presentations delighted press and buyers internationally. The mainline was sold in stores such as 10 Corso Como, Le Bon Marche, Browns, Colette, Liberty and Barneys.
Jessica moved to Paris in 2006 after closing her London studio, where she continued her collaboration with French fashion house A.P.C. designing the collection Madras with founder Jean Touitou. The work evolved in 2010 with the launch of A.P.C. Quilts. Using archive fabrics, the quilts are limited in number and are all produced by hand and designed by Jessica. Both Madras and the quilt project have allowed a wider distribution of Jessica’s work, particularly in the US market where the designer has worked on projects with Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. The international style and fashion press revere Jessica’s work. Her first editorial appeared in i-D magazine in 1993 and throughout her career Jessica’s work has appealed to both the avant garde style press and more commercial media. British Vogue featured Jessica in celebration of her personal style.
Jessica moved back to Jamaica in 2016, and alongside her brother Sebastian is continuing the work of her late mother and step-father, Annabella and Peter Proudlock. This includes curating Harmony Hall, the gallery set up to bring the best of Caribbean arts and crafts to the North Coast of Jamaica. Going forward this will include a selection of international artists. Jessica resides in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.