Bring on Spring Already!
It really feels like yesterday I was stressing about the Winter Collection, but fashion waits for no man, and the Spring/Summer collection is set to be another ritual of anxiety. I originally toyed with the idea of a military-inspired range (if only Christiaan would get as excited about sewing a straight seam as he did when I mentioned this idea)¹, but after my trip to Japan I couldn’t bring myself to design anything but a Japanese-inspired collection.
I feel so irreversibly changed by my experience in Japan, seeing with my own eyes the standard of fashion worn by everyday people there. You really couldn’t look anywhere without seeing some amazingly well done, excellently worn and fantastically eye-catching ensemble.
Searching for a Japanese designer to inspire this collection was certainly a challenge, as there really is just too much awesome to get your head around. I finally settled on the designer Yuichi Kuroda, who started the brand Lad Musician in 1995. Subversive and minimalist, Lad Musician’s garments seem to perfectly combine a rock ‘n roll aesthetic with excellent tailoring. Their most recent collection features muted colours and blockish forms, with an emphasis on clean lines and sleek silhouettes. [Christiaan: In other words, Lad Musician is made for tall and skinny men like Benjamin while other men either just have to deal or develop body issues. Benjamin: it’s a good form for lots of body types, as well as being a good shape from which to manipulate the pattern blocks, its like explaining to a defective robot].
Getting one’s head around a cohesive collection can only really work once you understand your client; the Saccaggi man seeks clothes that are subtly styled enough to be appropriate for an accounting firm yet fashionable enough to warrant the attention of hipsters on the street. Does that sound completely impossible? Nothing’s impossible with Shweshwe!
And so, without too much pomp, I give you the first sketch of S/S’14:
1. This is a direct quote from Christiaan when he thought we were doing the military theme:
Immediately my mind swarmed with designs of embroidered breast plates, Oliver Cromwell-style jackets, Shweshwe bandoliers, neo-Renaissance headwear and colonial bomber jackets.
A good vision, but no.