Monday, 18 April 2011

In discussions: Unsung designers continued

Earlier this month, we started the conversation around the great unsung of menswear design. Our aim for this month's topic is to afford a little attention to the oft over looked and forgotten designers and labels. The discussion was launched with the help of the insight of Dal Chodha, Dapper Kid and The Dandy Project. Their recommendations led to Giancinephile bringing Jean-Paul Knott and Young Chong Bak to our attention in the comments box. At Cerruti and Smalto respectively, these two talents are guided by values of the past to create modern classic menswear that particular resonates with this lover of romanticism. Then, 1972 reminded us of a band of second time round designers including Matteo Bigliardi and Kostas Murkudis. Prime examples of designers who burst onto the scene tears ago with stunning collections, then went quiet and resurfaced recently with further attention. Here, we continue the conversation with the thoughts of the ever opinionated Daniel Jenkins...


Each season the same few (designers) are talked about. Who do you think deserves a little more love, old and/or new and why?

"I have written and rewritten my answer to this question several times this afternoon. At one point we were looking at 1500 words. Unsurprisingly this is a topic I have quite strong opinions on.

Underrated is an interesting term. Sometimes something seen as underrated is simply unknown or as is unfortunately more often the case in fashion, underrated labels are often those unwilling to play the game which many of us subscribe to.

Frankly I like clothes. Some of it is trend led, some is me trying to be as obstinate as possible but, the majority of those items/labels that receive my patronage do so because when I pop on one of their garments I have a smile on my face and feel like I could take on the world.

The above mantra is what I applied when answering the question posed. Therefore it’s past and present mixed up.

The Hardwear Clothing Company. This was a British label from the late 70’s/80’s. Very under the radar but, has hugely influenced the likes of Nigel Cabourn. Their Grey Suede M65 is by far the best and most luxurious take on the M65 I’ve seen and the Flight jacket is next level. Almost impossible to get hold of now. The pieces I’m fortunate to have are being saved for when I have a son.

Early Duffer including the people and store. Without them I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be sat here discussing what was under or overrated. I have so much respect for the guys involved and find it astonishing how one company spawned so many other labels. Duffer links in nicely to 6876 and Stansfield. Both labels are fairly well known but, create items that far outstrip many of their competitors. Kenneth and Dom are always worth having a cup of tea with as well.

Martine Rose. Firstly I should admit I think Martine is one of the nicest people in the industry. Her shirting makes me smile. It’s fun, sexy and interesting. Each time I wear one of her shirts people comment. Sometimes bad – philistines – mostly good. No-one else is really trying to do what she does.

Satyenkumar has always got me going. Whether it is the dyed black marcella and silk jacket worn over the panel sweat or his sharp highly structured tailoring which sits as on the shoulders as if construction is a dirty word. Incredible attention to detail, the best fabrics and slightly challenging shapes. Nothing else looks quite like it. Yet it works best mixed up with a bit of slightly baggier worn in clothing. I still remember the first time I saw his work and thought this is it. This has the potential to change things."
Daniel Jenkins, Retailer

Who are your unsung designer heroes? Do let us know below...


Mat said...

interesting perspective daniel takes, i guess i just haven't really got enough experience with brands to past judgement in terms of this. comes with age though im sure

Disneyrollergirl said...

Love it, nice to see people talking about older designers who are happily getting on with it rather than new new new all the time.

1972 said...

Just seen that Bigliardi's gone in-house to join Tom Ford's menswear team. Here's hoping his own label re-emerges again in the future . . .


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