The menswear designer talks prints, designer idols and the horror of mirrored digital images with Graeme Moran.
How is your autumn 13 collection coming along?
It’s coming along nicely. We have some new manufacturers and printers on board, so I’m looking forward to getting the first samples back in the coming weeks. I’m sure we’ll be working right to the last second, though. The new collection is a move away from my previous ones. I want to keep my illustrative prints but push them into different areas. There will always be colour, but this season I’m working from a darker palette.
Illustrative prints are your signature – how will these appear for autumn 13?
I can’t tell you exactly but I always push my designs and prints every season. I’m working on applying them to different textures and fabrics to bring a different aesthetic to my work.
You took part in London Collections: Men last season. How was it?
It was crazy to be a part of it in only my second season. It was great to be surrounded by such talented designers who have driven London menswear to finally getting the recognition it deserves.
For spring 13 you used printing techniques from bespoke screen printer Insley & Nash – tell us about this.
I wanted to experiment with the application of my prints to cloth and was pointed in the direction of the extremely talented Insley & Nash. For me, it’s great to work with people who are excited about their job and equally excited about my work. They are always willing to experiment and push print into new areas. We worked with heat-reactive dyes screen-printed over digital print. I love humour with design, and this was a perfect combination.
Will you always design your own label, or would you like to work in-house for a brand?
I love being able to design my own label but I would like the opportunity to work for an existing house. Working to someone else’s design aesthetic is an exciting challenge.
Which other designers do you admire and why?
I love Baartmans and Siegel. They are the complete opposite of my design aesthetic but I admire their attention to detail, and their construction is impeccable. I also think Agi & Sam are great at pushing print forward – one of only a few designers to do so.
If you could wear one designer brand for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Easy. It would have to be Raf Simons. His design ability appears effortless, and every season I want to be the Raf boy.
Would you ever design womenswear?
I graduated from my BA with a womenswear collection and I would be more than happy to revisit it. A lot of women want to wear my menswear, so maybe in the future I will.
What menswear trend do you wish would disappear?
Mirror-image digital prints. I just don’t understand how a Google image flipped in Photoshop makes good design.
That goes for womenswear, too.