Jef Montes is a womenswear couture label founded in 2012 by designer Jef Montes. The atelier is based in Arnhem, The Netherlands. After graduating cum laude at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in 2012, he started working on haute couture. The collections are concentrated on translating personal heritage to contemporary silhouettes that are executed in experimental fabrics. His passion for experiments are expressed in material development with an eye for innovation. this is an important factor within the identity of the label Jef Montes. With every collection, Montes presents new materials he designed and produced by himself, in collaboration with TextielLab. From the start, the journey of creating new materials has been his drive. He experiments with different materials from a nostalgic spirit, which he artistically translates to fashion. The collections are inspired by elemental shapes, that are architectural and organic of character. In the process, the shape of the silhouettes are manipulated by the shape of the material. Montes designs by the philosophy That you can create something new by deconstructing the old. *Therefore, water and fire are used to deconstruct the silhouettes, to reconstruct them by traditional crafts.*Montes has a fascination for light that is expressed in the use of reflecting materials that are visual heightened by the use of artificial light. This usage of light forms his signature. Since the launch of the label, his creations are exhibited in international exhibitions. Through press, editorial coverage and publications, his vision has been put in different contexts. This has led to successful interdisciplinary collaborations.
In January 2014 he made his debut at Amsterdam Fashion Week, where he showed the collection Illuminosa. The aim for the collection was to make very exclusive and expensive looking fabrics, made from relatively cheap materials such as fiberglass. Montes’ shows often conclude performance-art show elements, that are meant to conclude the spectators in his design process. Therefore Jef Montes is known for ‘on stage transformation’. One year later, he presented the collection Velero in an off-schedule show. This collection was further developed and sold to Centraal Museum Utrecht. Through presentation he searches for unique ways to transmit a feeling towards the spectator and to make an artistic statement. In January 2016 he showed Resolver at Amsterdam Fashion Week, where his conceptual show made a daring statement against the volatility of the fashion industry. In addition, Montes presented a show in collaboration with Philips at the London Fashion week. This presentation was part of the International Fashion Showcase where he was nominated by the British council. The label is currently expanding on a broader sense, and strives for collaborations with interdisciplinary and international focus.
Now Montes is working on Tormenta, a collection that represents a storm around the body. In July 2016, he presented the designing process at the Amsterdam Fashion Week. The designs were partly resolved by water. After, epoxy was applied to make them waterproof and maintain their shape. The results form the base for the collection Tormenta. The Tormenta Experience, as it was called, has aspects from all the previous collections combined. Therefore, this will be the collection for Montes’ debut in Paris in 2017