Tuesday, 17 July 2012

1205 AW12

Regular readers would be familiar with the carefully crafted sartorial and tactile world of Paula Gerbase but outside of Japan, her label 1205 is something of a secret. Over the last six seasons the design talent has cultivated a strong following of discerning followers in Tokyo and despite being stocked by the retail boundary pusher that is LN-CC, few outside of the Japanese capital have acquainted themselves with her detail rich designs. Despite being a tad over looked in its local market, the label goes from strength to strength with each passing season. Having recently caught up Gerbase at her stunning mews studio in Clerkenwell, I'm hopeful that her latest collection will attract a few more followers closer to home.

When I first spoke to Paula Gerbase about the evolution of the her label in April 2010 she professed that 1205 was a natural progression from what she had learned in pure tailoring and returning to her original design passion. Her mantra of "I think if something is well made and the fabric is great then it should not matter whose wearing it" is still ringing in my ears as I admire the latest collection. For her SS10 debut, Gerbase broke free from the confines of designing strictly for the tailoring world of Kilgour and experimented with lightweight fabrics, feminine cuts and prints to exciting effect. However, AW12 sees a welcome return to tailoring. "Continuing on from my past collections, this one became more formal," the designer explains in her studio whilst reacquainting me with her sumptuous sartorial world.  "At the beginning of 1205 there was a sense that I was rejecting or atleast taking a break from my tailoring background. I'm embracing it again now. I'm accepting that tailoring and Savile Row is a huge part of who I am, I do love it even though I rarely go there." Having learned the strict rules of tailoring at Hardy Amies and Kilgour alike, the designer is now in the knowledgeable position to ignore a few of them along the way whilst experimenting with fabric, cut and construction.

"Autumn Winter 12/13 began with the sculptor Anne Truitt, an American women who made these strong, quite masculine artworks. There is almost a religious feel to her work which I loved, quite sobering work. I was drawn to her sculputres initially and I didn't realise that she was a woman. I saw similarities between her and myself. She creates these masculine shapes but there are feminine and soft, sensitive touches, mainly through the use of colour. Rather than follow suit and play with colour, I wanted to experiment with and focus on texture. By focussing on just two colours, grey and navy, panelling became very important. Trousers in what I call an English denim but it's cotton and flannel, knitted wools, moleskin and flannel, jersey and suede and then more technical fabrics. A play with contrasts."
Paula Gerbase on the inspiration for this season.

Anne Truitt
A selection of works that graced Gerbase's mood boards.

Paula Gerbase is a designer inspired by individuals and there should be little surprise that she found a creative cause in Anne Truitt. Having researched the artist, there are so many similarities than can be drawn between the two creatives. As difficult as Gerbase's own work is to define for some, Truitt was a truly independent artist whilst her work was often pushed in to line with larger movements for ease of narrative and critique. In Gerbase's work we are treated to a cocktail of of tailoring, technical sportswear and an unexpected softness. In Truitt's work there are elements that relate to abstract expressionism and others that relate to minimalism (the group to which she is so often prescribed). Truitt became known for her large-scale, hand-painted sculptures which proportion, scale and colour. 

In 1961, Truitt discovered her mature style, creating geometric abstraction. Standing rectangular sculptures painted in subtle, precisely shaded colours. Set on slightly recessed bases, they appear to hover just above the floor. From fences and walls to more unitary forms including columns. Truitt's exploration of colour was an endeavour to "lift the colour up and set it free in three dimensions." In Cohen's film 'Anne Truitt, Working', she explains: "Now that's what they teach in school -- is the family of colour, so it'll be logical. But I just ignore it...I never studied colour. And I never intend to study it and I don't like that kind of thing. So I always do something that you don't expect." As much as colour interested Truitt, fabric fascinates Gerbase. Her endeavour could be to 'lift the fabric up and set it free in three dimensions (once worn). The designer herself explains; "By focussing on just two colours, grey and navy, fabric panelling became very important. Trousers in what I call an English denim (but it's cotton) and flannel, knitted wools and leather, moleskin and flannel, jersey and suede and then more technical fabrics. I play with contrasts throughout."

AW12 look book supplied by 1205, shot by Rory Van Millingen.

"With this collection we sourced new factories which is always exciting for me. As we're growing as a label, our producers are growing with us and I'm spending more time with them, developing half line systems and working on the construction of the garments. We keep pushing each other forward, challenging one another and the relationships keeps growing. It is exciting. We want to keep it made in the UK because there is that family element, plus I can just get on my bike and cycle over when I'm needed."
Paul Gerbase on the evolution of her relationships with her growing family of factories and producers.

The Japanese consumer has to be one of the most discerning. For me it comes as little surprise that so many are excited by 1205. It is just embarrassing that its local market isn't more excited. For me, it is about time more people outside of Tokyo introduced themselves to this label. I'm sure they'd fall for its charms given the chance.


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Syed said...

Thanks for the insight, I've seen her work on LN-CC and looks fantastic. That first pair of trousers (pleated and cropped) in the lookbook are gorgeous.

Work Wear Head Quarters said...

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Unknown said...

Above cloths looks different from others. Jackets and pants are looks small than regular. Girl's outfit is beautiful and she looks cute.

Russell Solomon

Fashion Instyle said...

These photos are so beautiful and the colors are amazing!!

Fashion Hour said...

This look is amazing! I love paisley. ♥

Kelly said...

I love this men's fashion series.
They look very handsome and cool and fashion.


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