Courtesy of E!


OMG Fashun Winner on Working with Julia Fox and What's Next

Designer Jessica Rowell took home the grand prize in the show's season finale.

Meet your latest reality TV winner. On Monday, May 27, Jessica Rowell took home the grand prize in the finale of Julia Fox’s competition series OMG Fashun.

Tasked with repurposing three of Fox’s most infamous paparazzi-walk ensembles in a redemption challenge of three past contestants, Rowell ultimately came out on top, winning a $10,000 cash prize, a photoshoot with Fox in the winning look, and a feature in NYLON.

Rowell is a self-trained designer, who has been working on her craft for over a decade. Focusing on sustainable fashion, using ethically sourced organic certified eco-textiles and natural plant-based dyes. Here, read on to find out more about the designer on the rise.

Going all the way back, how and why did you first start designing?

I started designing when I was pretty young actually; elementary school is when I first started learning how to sew. I was part of a little sewing club. When I was in middle school and high school, I started really experimenting with my self-expression and altering my own clothes, and my mom started to teach me more technical elements. So that's where it all began and started to blossom was really through my own personal expression and personal fashion. I really got into cosplay at one point and was making fantasy costumes and stuff for myself and my friends, and that just evolved into where my work is today.

I'm also completely self-taught, I never had professional training, so it's just been a lifelong endeavor of trial and error and experiences that have built up my work to where it is today.

Julia Fox wearing a Jessica Rowell design.Courtesy of E!

How did you land on the design philosophy that you have today?

Honestly, I think it's just been an evolution. I think I've gone through so many different phases of who I am as a person and what my fashion and brand looks like. But I think what's really held my work together is my style. I have a really signature style where people, at least within my experience, have been able to recognize my work, even when I'm working across genre, which I think is really cool because it's given me the freedom to explore different themes and concepts without losing that essence of what my work is.

How would you describe that essence?

The overarching thing is it's all avant-garde, a little bit of fantasy, and I love storytelling. I like my pieces to have meaning or symbolism.

How do you want the people who wear your clothes to feel in them?

Empowered. I've been on so many sets where you can literally see the transformation when you're adorning someone in your work. So just that feeling of being empowered or feeling strong.

Do you think about who you're designing for when you start something new?

It's so random. I draw a lot from my environment and the way my pieces start are all different. They all have their own origin story. It could be a notion. If I find a cool trinket and I'm like, "What could this become?" It might start there. I've done head pieces out of little toy squirt guns. I've done a Barbie headdress. I've done all sorts of things that are really in alignment with a lot of the themes and concepts that Julia did on the show.

Drawing from my environment and my personal experience are probably the two primary things that drive me when I'm creating. And as far as a person, I don't know if I have anyone particular in mind. I'm designing for whoever is destined to embody that look. So if they're feeling it and they're resonating with it, then that's who's going to wear it.

When designing for Julia Fox on the challenges, did you feel a connection on your vision and her styles?

The concept for the show aligned with me. I've done castings before for other shows and I think I just wasn't the right fit. I was too out of the box. The way this show was structured and the concepts and who Julia was really aligned with my work. And I also personally needed a miracle at that time. So just everything, I think everything just happened the way it needed to.

Did you design method change based on using Julia as your muse?

There's a lot of pieces in my archive that she would already wear, and it was a balance because I still wanted to have my signature. I still wanted to keep my aesthetic. I still wanted to have the storytelling and all the elements that are true to myself, but I also needed to frame my piece around her aesthetic and her brand and who she is as a person and find some balance and harmony between the two of us. That was a challenge. Not in a difficult way, but just in respecting both of us and including both of us in the work with her as the muse. So it was really me juggling both those energies, a part of me and a part of her, and it comes together and makes a great harmonious piece.

How has your work and business changed since the show?

It's definitely helped me out [financially] in my life, especially being in a really challenging position with my life circumstances. In terms of the show being out, it seems like kind of early, I'm still doing what I usually do and thankfully I have really good connections and relationships. So I've worked on some celebrity projects before the show came out, and it's just been cool to watch and see how everything unfolds.

Who is your dream client?

My number one is Björk. I have a whole manifestation board of people I want to work with, but Björk is the top one. I also really love Tilda Swinton. I would love to design for her or have her wear one of my pieces. I'm also a huge Celine Dion fan. There's a lot of people, but Björk is my vibe. She is very weird and eccentric just like me. If I could work with Björk, I would die happy.

You can catch-up on previous OMG Fashun episodes streaming now on Peacock.