As seen in the last two posts, at times the inspiration for a fashion collection comes from major global events and social issues. Yet a designer may also get inspired by more personal and private experiences, as it happened to Joe Casely-Hayford: it was indeed a chance yet repeated encounter with a young man in North London that turned into the main theme for the A/W 18 designs.
The gentleman in question, wearing an oversized trenchcoat, fitted trousers and block heels, struck the designer for looking individual in his choice of attire that combined feminine and masculine elements with a confident urban attitude.
Casely-Hayford then attempted to recreate with his son Charlie (who co-designs the collections wih him), this perfect equation of elements in the new collection. The results, showcased during London Fashion Week Men's, looked formal and elegant, but also casual.
The outerwear looked strong thanks to its combination of loose silhouettes with sculptural details such as an oblong high-collar reminiscent of architectural details like the windows in the Nancy-based Quai Ouest building (designed by architect Anne Démians) with its stainless steel façade. Volumes and oversized silhouettes prevailed through all the collection and contributed to turn the tailored coats into sporty looking designs.
Another architectural detail was featured in the sweatshirts with folded-over pleats along the torso: this motif was slightly reminiscent of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (designed by Zaha Hadid Architects) with its façade of pleated stainless steel.
The bright shades included in some of the sweaters or coats in technical fabrics such as a wool-Neoprene based textile, were borrowed from sportswear, but research into materials and fabrics allowed the design duo to transform their sportswear into elegant pieces.
The generation gap between father and son means that the Casely-Hayford brand can easily answer the needs of a wide range of consumers, providing a wardrobe for younger fashionistas looking for something with a touch of urban kitsch (see the bomber jacket hand-painted with the Union Jack) and for more mature men as well (think about the well-balanced suits and sensible knitwear).
Accessory-wise there was also a fashionable collaboration that materialised in the block-heeled brogues designed with Christian Louboutin.
The collection marks the second season with no formal catwalk show for the father-and-son duo, in favour of a lookbook release, one-on-one appointments and bespoke consultations with clients. This format fits better to this fashion house since it allows to appreciate the details and quality of the designs.
This collection was also conceived as a way to promote individuality, encourage consumers to think with their minds and choose clothes for themselves without listening to the many suggestions that may be coming from the media - a much needed message in a rather disappointing menswear season in London that has seen the main fashion critics focusing on extremely young and inexperienced designers, desperately hoping to find among them the next John Galliano/Alexander McQueen.