ABOUT

The Brand

NOT is an experimental womenswear brand based in New York City that combines artistry and function to create a living wardrobe.

The word 'not' represents the space around the solid and tangible, the hidden spaces within the folds of the clothing, and the open spaces where you reveal yourself surprisingly. It negates the solid and tangible in favor of space, imagination, and movement.

Unafraid of standing alone, the NOT woman defines herself as being unlike the rest. 

If you are like me, come in.

Photo by Adolfo Doring

The Designer

Beyond her studies at Rhode Island School of Design, Jenny Lai strove to experience design from all different angles of the industry. This led her to study traditional artisans’ techniques in a studio in Mexico city, design jewelry for a women’s cooperative in Rwanda, and apprentice in the atelier of Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam and Boudicca in London. She returned to New York in 2011 to form her own studio.

In addition to ready-to-wear, Jenny also creates custom performance-wear for musicians and dancers pushing the boundaries of interdisciplinary performance. The act of "performance" is a motivating force of the brand, inspiring her recent 2014 project in South Africa working with designers and artists involved in original subcultures.

 
A/W14

NOT Autumn / Winter 2014 

Inspired by the contorted figures of Egon Schiele, natural facial asymmetry, and a vintage photograph of severe scoliosis, this collection brings twisted gestural movement into simple graphic silhouettes. 

Finely pleated indian cottons and wool bouclés meet smooth high tech spacer fabric to create a striking statement.

All shot on 35 mm film.
Photographer: William Denatale
Hair/Makeup: Jennifer Kim
Model: Jessamine @ Boss

S/S14

NOT Spring / Summer 2014

Inspired by ideas of reproduction, repetition, and regeneration, NOT SS14 'Regeneration' is borne from following a strict set of rules that force a slowing down of the creation process.

The repetitive yet everchanging units of sound characterized by American Minimalist music and the Jewish childhood story of Joseph's homemade blanket, which his grandfather continually transforms until it can only be reused as a button, inspire the collection's desire to continuously regenerate itself using a sensual and minimalist language.

Photographer: Andy Boyle
Hair/Makeup: Jennifer Kim
Model: Monica @ APM

A/W13

NOT Autumn / Winter 2013

This collection, titled "Belonging," reinterprets the backpack as an extension of our bodies, with straps encased within our very clothing.

How can we find freedom by carrying our belongings within us? Every privilege is a burden, every king a camel.

Photographer: William Denatale
Hair/Makeup: Jennifer Kim
Model: Lily / Request

S/S13

NOT Spring / Summer 2013

NOT SS13 'Porous' is a physical expression of the empty spaces we accumulate in our lives. As we lose people, places, and memories, we can be so full of holes that we float.

Certain garments have the effect of making us feel bigger, stronger, and more impermeable than we really are. NOT disintegrates these silhouettes to expose our fragility. Sheer cutouts reveal our knobby knees and the soft flesh behind our legs; Sheer volumes at the shoulder expose our slender frame. These pieces make us feel porous and light.

NOT S/S13 is a meditation on and celebration of the lightness of being.

Photography: Michael Donovan
Hair/Makeup: Alison Smith
Model: Gabriela / RED

VIDEO

A Dancing Body Series

5 part video series with modern dancer Mary Ellen Beaudreau transforming into the character of five NOT garments. 

OBJECTS

NOT Objects

A look at the nonwearable objects that represent NOT: These are one-of-a-kind pieces that emphasize the hand of the designer and create a personal experience for the receiver.

PERFORMANCES

NOT Performances

NOT creates site-specific and custom performance experiences by collaborating with performing artists, integrating performance into presentations, or curating the garments themselves as objects of performance.

AROUND THE WORLD

NOT around the world

Select NOT collections are sent to photographers around the world who have complete freedom in the concept and subject of the clothes. The first miniseries takes place in Stockton Bight, New South Wales Australia by photographer Lauren Eiko.