Things don’t always quite roll out how you imagine them to. Take the tale of Jasmin Bernard. She moved over to Bristol from France five years ago to study biomedical science and enjoy the city’s epic smorgasbord of drum & bass. She’s now at the helm of her own fashion brand that employs 15 people and the likes of A LittleSound, Love Island stars and Hollywood actor Vanessa Hudgens are sporting her designs.
Or take the tale of this interview. Originally set out as a New Artist Of The Week profile to highlight Jasmin’s creative endeavours as [IVY], an emergent wub enthusiast with a specialist interest in 4x4s and a walloping debut on Deep In The Jungle last month… When she told us how her rave and festival wear brand Jazzy Garms came to be, suddenly this short profile turned into a much bigger beast.
“None of this was planned! It was just a little fashion brand on the side and it kinda blew up,” Jasmin explains from her units where her designs are handmade to order. “I started a Depop account reselling festival clothes and that went well. I really loved the idea of fashion designing and marketing so I hired a seamstress and made my own clothes to order in Bristol. That was doing fairly well but then in lockdown it started blowing up.”
“A customer made a TikTok of them wearing the reflective trousers and it blew up and got 10 million views. That blew it out of the water. It went crazy big to the point I now have to two units, 15 staff and produce as much as I can to meet demand. It’s been pretty crazy. It’s my full time and loads of other people’s full time jobs, too. So that’s how I got out biomedical science. It’s a little bit more fun.”
Jazzy by name: Jasmin’s first design was a reflective black skirt & bralette that reveals a mushroom print under bright light or camera flashes. It’s a signature that many Jazzy Garms designs are based around. Utilising a unique reflective ink that shines under bright light, it’s the same technology that’s used in high-vis jackets roadworkers, security and emergency services have worn for years. “The whole reflective thing has worked so well,” Jasmin explains. “People love how it’s interactive and changes throughout the day. People on social media love because it lights up on your phone camera.”
Perfect, then, for festivals and raves. If you’ve been to at least one event this year, you may well have seen some Jazzy Garms lighting up in the dance. But while she fell into fashion by happy accident, for Jasmin – who’s been a raver since the age of 14 when she started going to free parties in France – the two cultures are intrinsically linked. “They’re part of the same thing for many,” she considers. “Especially for rave and festival wear. The audiences are very similar and I work with a lot of people in the scene.”
Her role in both worlds has given her insight into the changing trends. Noticing that sales increased during lockdown as people treated themselves to something sweet and shiny to make up for the lack of events or any type of social life at all, Jasmin’s seen sales – and trends – rise even more since July 2021 when we could all go out and rave again.
“When we came out, it seemed like people went all-out,” Jasmin observes. “Especially girls but I’ve noticed guys are doing the same too. People are making an effort, which is good!”
Her recent Acid collection is a great example of changing trends. A genre often characterised by a black, understated uniform, Jasmin took things back to the original acid techno technicolour roots. “It’s a new take on techno,” she explains. “Not dark and edgy, this was a bright, blue and green fresh energy collection. It is all music inspired.”
It’s all sustainably-focused, too. With every product ordered, Jazzy Garms plant a tree in your name and the manufacturing process is minimal waste; every product is made to order and the Jasmin explains how the leftover material is sewn up to make other products.
“It sounds really organised and planned but I’ve very much learned on the job and problem solved as we’re going along,” she explains. “This all really began when I was 21, a couple of years ago so I’ve had to roll with it.”
Now with Jazzy Garms flexing a talented team of seamstresses and settled into its operations, Jasmin’s had the last year or two to roll with music. Already establishing herself as a DJ in Bristol under the name Ivy Wubs for several years, and a regular at the city’s free parties since she moved from France, productions were only a matter of time. As you might expect, her sounds reflect her vibrant fashion designs. “I love different, quirky and out-there stuff,” she smiles. “So I guess the clothes and music tie together really well.”
Quirky, out-there and thoroughly turbo-charged: under the name [IVY] (the Wubs is now silent but still present in spirit), Jasmin’s productions have been bubbling for the last two years. Her debut was on a Subconscious Audio VA and has led to a hefty collection of free download tracks, a collaboration with fellow new-gen leader Sudley and a mean collection of bootlegs on Soundcloud. The bootlegs are perhaps the most revealing sign of where Jasmin’s creative mind as it and where she wants to be stylistically. Nothing is sacred under the [IVY] knife as she applies her free party spirit and love for switch flipping to all manner of artists from Far East Movement to Ed Sheeran via Dimension. All souped up in her own high energy style and plenty of stompy 4×4 twists.
“I want to push it to the limit and push the boundaries of drum & bass,” Jasmin explains. “There’s so much samey stuff out there isn’t there? I love D&B but I’m getting a bit bored of hearing the same thing over and over again. I want to bring lots of different genres into the mix, something new, something fresh, something you have not heard before. I’ve done 90s house, techno, Euro dance, psytrance… I want to merge different sounds together and see what works. I just want to experiment really.”
Jasmin’s in good company when it comes to experimenting. As part of the mentorship at forever on-point minimal label Overview Music, she’s been under the guidance of maverick label boss Peter Energy Piper and experienced tutelage from some of the label’s brightest minds. “The tutorials have been really insightful,” she explains. “It’s quite crazy to be taught by artists like Waeys, Kyrist, Skylark, Gyrofield, Molecular… Amazing actually. I’m still on the mentorship now but it’s had such an influence on my production and helped me get in the right mindset to produce.”
Another collaborator who’s boosted the [Ivy] brand to a wider audience is DJ Hybrid who recently released her official debut single Moving / Take It to his label Deep In The Jungle. He picked up Jasmin’s demo at the point when her mindset was beginning to turn doubtful.
“I was sending music around to everyone I knew but no one was opening my links,” Jasmin explains. “I was trying for months and no one was listening to it. I was beginning to lose hope but Alex [DJ Hybrid] listened straight away and said, ‘I’m gonna sign this’. He was so supportive and gave me the chance to release music and it went to number one across all genres on Juno Download.”
“I’m glad I saw it through. I was a bit disheartened, I won’t lie. But now I’ve got a proper release behind me. Without any releases it’s hard to get people’s attention. I’m really grateful to Alex for that first chance.”
With a future release lined up on Program, and more in the pipeline, [Ivy] productions are becoming more and more of a reality. And with Jazzy Garms operations reaching a place where she can delegate more, Jasmin’s able to focus fully on music, something she’s been looking forward to since her biomedical science exams.
“So lockdown hit at the end of my degree so I had quite a big safety net of exam time. I didn’t revise at all,” admits Jasmin who impressively still scored a first in her degree. “Instead I focused on music and growing my brand. That’s all I did for months and months. I upped my production game, my DJing game and my fashion game. It’s all come hand in hand. And I’d say in the last five months I’ve really started to focus on my music even more now. Music is the ultimate goal, but let’s see where this take me…”
With such an inspiring journey over the last few years, you get the impression this time things won’t just roll as Jasmin might imagine them to… They could be even better.