DOODLE & DAYDREAM
Take a moment, and think back to your childhood daydreams. Did you dream about being an astronaut, a princess, a rock star? Did you dream about roaming with dinosaurs or going deep sea diving? Now, if you were to design clothing inspired by those dreams, what would the clothing look like? What colors and patterns would you use to convey your dreams?
Jessika Jones, designer of the children’s wear brand, Doodle & Daydream, goes through these thoughts when designing children’s clothing. Doodle & Daydream is an ode to Jessika’s childhood daydreams and acts as a reminder to herself to continuously be inspired and dreaming, much like a child does. When her corporate career wasn’t exciting her anymore, Jessika thought back to what it meant to be herself and created Doodle & Daydream.
She draws inspiration from just about anywhere to create whimsical, playful clothing for children ages 4-14. There is a story Jessika communicates each collection, at this year’s fashion week Jessika is sharing a reverie. Her designs speak with rich colors and energetic fabrics that Jessika meticulously selected from estate sales and thrift stores over the course of a year. “I start with finding one fabric I adore,” Jessika says, and from there she searches for coordinating fabrics to create her color story.
“I have come to find that fashion can speak directly to the heart of not only the person wearing the clothes, but the community of people that person encounters on a day to day basis,” says Jessika. When her designs walk down the runway, she wants the audience to feel as though they’ve been transported back to a time when they played dress up as a child. The themes of mythical fairytales should come to mind when seeing the Doodle & Daydream children’s clothing.
Jessika enjoys the challenges that come with designing clothes for children, for instance, fitting her models changes often due to their fast growing. She says she likes that the children are more “open with their opinions in the design process,” where as adults simply wear whatever she puts on them. Jessika wants to improve upon the industry by introducing more diversity through her models, choosing models of different ethnicities and including one child model with Down Syndrome which she says is very rewarding.
Fashion started fascinating Jessika “since she was a young girl playing dress up with her Barbie dolls,” and she became more serious in design while attending Milwaukee High School of the Arts. She quickly became the head designer in the Visual Arts Department’s annual student organized fashion show. Her passion developed into fuel to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design from Mount Mary University in 2017. When Jessika questioned whether or not she could make a successful career from fashion design, her mother’s response was, “look at the clothes you are wearing right now,” if other people could make a successful living from designing clothing, so could Jessika.
Jessika speaks very highly of her mother who is her biggest role model. In spite of her mother’s rough childhood, she has made a very successful life for herself which has made Jessika very proud. Jessika says she mostly admires her mother’s grit and commitment to whatever it is she has her sights on achieving. For instance, when Jessika and her siblings were in high school, her mother was going to college to further improve upon herself, all while caring for her family. Jessika appreciates that she is able to see her mother’s efforts in her own achievements.
In the next year, Jessika is planning to take a step back from designing her own clothing and take some time to find her place in the fashion world. She plans to teach sewing at Cloud 9 Studio, but also find some strengths outside of fashion as well. Jessika is a newlywed and is excited to explore married life after Milwaukee Fashion Week. She is putting her all into this collection before her break.
Jessika is looking forward to seeing hidden talent come into the open at Milwaukee Fashion Week. She is glad that the organization has given designers a stage to promote and share their gift with the community. Because of the Milwaukee Fashion Week, she hopes that the industry receives more recognition and that Milwaukee can appreciate the talent.