Interview

JeanPierre Tohme : A Designer of Dreams
By Janine Ayoub
March 12, 2018

JeanPierre Tohme is a name to remember in the world of fashion. This rising star amazes us with his timeless, sophisticated but mostly royal creations. His passion is wedding dresses. Ultra-feminine, soft, romantic... it's all there. The 2018 collection of wedding dresses by JeanPierre Tohme gave us the opportunity to meet him and talk about his vision of fashion.

 

Why did you choose to do haute couture? How and when did you start the journey into this world?

My father was a couturier. I spent my vacations and my free time after school with him. My childhood was different from everyone else's; my only interests were spending time with my father during his fittings, and went through all the procedures, choosing fabrics, meeting with the clients, pattern making, tailoring... So I had experience in almost everything. However, my father has always encouraged me to finish my education before any other interest, and this is why I had to finish my studies before starting my fashion courses.

My passion was always growing towards this field. I started my fashion courses and the competition started since day 1. Based on my experience, I was asked to skip the first year and start directly with the second, but I insisted to learn every single detail and add my experience to it. I wanted to make my own style and mix the techniques I've learned and that I will learn until I lost my father after 2 years of suffering and I graduated 4 months after his death. This phase had a lot of impact on my life because I had lost my idol and my mentor. I had to be responsible and carry on with our dream, but also and apply what I’ve been experiencing with him and what I’ve learned, so the challenge started, and proudly, I can say that I'm a self-made man, and I’ve been fighting all the way to make at least a part of my dreams come true.

 

What is your signature and how do you define your style?

I love details and I'm picky in choosing what I like, though my style is classic, timeless, elegant, but with a little twist. My designs are unique from the design, the choice of fabric, the execution, to the finishing. I love mixing fabrics, patchwork, handmade embroideries, even sometimes creating a whole new fabric to give it some exclusivity and uniqueness.

 

What does the 2018 bride look like to you?

The bridal collection is a yearly challenge; it was a dream since the beginning though it took some time to establish. It's harder than any other dress, especially that the bride is always searching for the best to fit her own vision and taste, since it's a once in a lifetime choice, so the choice is harder on her, and the way to please her needs a lot of responsibility. In our 2018 collection, like any other year, the main focus is to modernize our designs, yet stay classic and timeless, since I think the bride should always love her wedding dress even after 10 years, and we customized many fabrics to give originality. The cut is always the issue, the execution, the materials mixed to give the whole look. We used French laces, handmade embroideries, pearls, crystals, glass, flowers, customized headpieces.

 

Describe a JeanPierre Tohme bride.

She is royal, elegant, yet modern. Sometimes we lose the elegance and modernity when we go to the extreme and lose the simplicity. Some brides think that adding more to the dress, the hair and the accessories will give them more royalty while I prefer something with a lot of details but a clean look which goes with the bride's character and look.

 

What inspired your latest ready-to-wear collection? What’s your favorite style from your latest collection?

My latest collection is not that different from the bridal collection; it's within the same spirit. Any dress can match the bridal collection, as a bridesmaid or the mother of the bride. My inspiration for the Alexandrite SS2018 collection is a gemstone (the alexandrite) than can change its color with the light. We already worked on an introduction for our new collection. “There are times when even the strongest of women, the most alluring, and the most successful of them need light. A light that would help them grow, glow, look forward and believe in their inner strengths. From this belief, ‘Alexandrite collection SS2018’ by JeanPierre Tohme was born.”

Alexandrite is a rare gemstone. Its power lies in its ability to change color with light. Just like circumstances influence the well-being, light changes the gem. JeanPierre Tohme's creation of alexandrite2018 intends to serve as a reminder to women that life's circumstances are subject to change. In times of euphoria or in times of distress, women must hold on to their inner-light and their evolution will come to life.

 

How important is individuality to you when it comes to creating gowns? Do you have particular pieces you enjoy designing and making more than others?

I love what I do, I never consider it a job. It's my life and my passion, creation is a satisfaction. I have to love the piece that I'm working on so that the client will love it and that's what makes someone continuous. Rather than the good management, every designer should have this ambition and the passion and the will to improve and evolve and learn more. There's always what's new, and everyone, a designer or any other job should accept to listen to the critics, learn more daily and try to criticize and evaluate what he's done so far and work hard to improve it. Since there's competition, and every now and then, a new talent is born. Through my experience, through many bridal markets and in different countries, I've learned a lot yet kept empowering my style which is who I really am. I do no effort designing a dress; it's a translation of what's inside of me, it's a vision and a passion.

 

Can you describe your world and your definition of beauty?

My world is always busy with new ideas, peaceful, so I can be always creative, always thinking of what's next and how to improve. I’m a perfectionist, yet I like things to be spontaneous sometimes, even while designing, there's this touch that you add without being planned or expected.

 

What future do you envision for your brand and what should we expect next from JeanPierre Tohme?

There is no limit to my dreams. My bridal collection is my priority to be international and reach the bride, wherever she’s located. I want to expand the collections; I want to have bridal boutiques all over the world and be a reference any bride can refer to.

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