Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Behind the scenes: Carolyn Massey's Studio

It has taken me almost all this time to fully calm down from the excitement of LFW. Carolyn Massey's show was a particular treat. With the added pressure of the heightened expectation with this being her first solo show, she truly delivered. Massey closed the extended menswear afternoon in true style. Sharply tailored trench coats and capes offered the edge, while knits provide an element of calm and romance and I was certainly woo'ed It is most rare to leave a show with the desire to own every single look but this show had that effect on me. Massey documented the build up to the show with a diary for Fashion156 and it was amazing to see inside her world, as the show took shape...

Everything came together for a wonderful show. All images supplied by Chris Brooks Studio.

My analysis of the show here and on Fashion156 was nothing less than gushing so when Carolyn asked if I'd like to see the collection up close I jumped at the chance. As you can see from the below image...someone got to try on that cape (so exciting - I want it). As we chatted over the show, previous seasons work and LFW as a whole over a cup of tea, I was like a fat kid in a sweet shop because her studio was full of things to marvel at.

The sweet shop which is Massey's studio...plus a happy chap wearing the cape.

I wish more people could see the collection in this manner because the beauty really is in the detail. The knits which were barely visible because of layering were something else and the gold/copper buttons on jackets inspired me to alter my own. The knitted accessories which I failed to notice at the show included fingerless mittens in a yarn I've not seen or heard of before (the style of which is called Jolly, which made me chuckle because they really were jolly mittens as they were metallic gold). However, my fun did not stop with marvelling at the latest collection, as there were pieces from various collections combined with items she has picked up during her travels which are currently exciting and inspiring her. From having a good nosey around it was clear that Massey is at her happiest when she is researching something she has found, either an old picture or an actual garment. By taking elements from things she has seen and found whilst combining them with her vision for menswear she create something new.

A closer look at the knits and accessories, including the 'Jolly mittens' which are top left.

As you can probably tell, speaking to Carolyn in her own environment and seeing the clothes up close have made me gush even more. Here is a designer who really cares about the history of menswear and fabric research (I've seen the boxes and rails for myself) which she combines to create timeless pieces which would add so much to any man's wardrobe but certainly mine.

Piles of research, one of the inspiration walls and a close look at the other cape...just imagine throwing that out to cover a puddle as a Gentleman-ly act...actually scrap that it is far too nice!

While there we asked Massey for a few recommendations that she'd like to share with us which can be read below. You might have noticed that we have been collecting a few people's recommendations... all will be revealed in due course. In the meantime please see Carolyn's favourite shops, designers and websites below:

Shops
Florence Alice Masks Via Faenza, 72/r Firenze: Amazing mask shop run by a chap and his daughter, who make masks for the Venice carnival.

London Old Hat Fulham High Street: Excellent selection of mens vintage

London The shop at the V&A: They stock Jewelery by Marion Vidal a designer from Paris - I really love her work.

Hairdressers
I always decide to get my hair cut at the last minuite and normally go to Whites on Whitecross St. The owner, Paul is a friend and always wears the most amazing shoes.

Designers
Concetta Gallo does the most amazing interiors:and also for Habitat

Websites
I stumbled across this site the other day whilst researching Communist era window displays! Genius.

Bars

The George, Wilton Way Hackney

Bistrotheque, Wadeson St Hackney

3 comments:

Giancinephile said...

It seems like SOMEONE has been taking a particularly strong fancy over the "PVC-like which is actually leather cape"!

It's an interesting piece, really!

James said...

Nice post. Am jealous that you got to see inside her studio but thanks for sharing.

naboonies said...

Great insider coverage! We have to trade places so I can get my mittens on those err... mittens!

By the way, the 'communist window displays' still exist in Russia, especially in smaller shops.

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