"I never want to distract from the simplicity of a garment, everything has to balance," explains Mohsin Ali in between sips of sweetened tea as he sits in his East London studio and reflects on his design principles. From built in thumb pieces to quilted linings, Mohsin Ali's debut collection was an exquisite showcase of the true beauty of menswear. Fuelled by his love for both traditional and technical fabrics as well as his fascination with cut and silhouette, we were seduced by his approach early last year. Driven by form, fabric and function, Ali's designs are ever simple yet effective and ultimately beautiful objects. It was, without doubt, one of the standout collections of the season and we've kept an interested eye on him ever since. The unveiling of his AW12 collection earlier this year sent through a ripple of excitement. Whilst continuing down his focused and well crafted path, Ali introduced print for the first time. We were left dazzled by geometric shapes. The Autumn/Winter season often offers a muted palette but Ali managed to create subtle impact with bold hues and delicate combinations.
A few months on and as production draws to a close, we dropped by the designer's studio to take a closer look. Before we share our shots with you, I'll allow the designer himself to introduce the prints and talk through his inspirations...
"The prints evolved from researching Josef Albers work from the Bauhaus. I was originally drawn to his philosophy on industrial design and began looking in to his visuals. I didn't really know about his body of print work before I began finding it. It's simple but the sizing, colour and proportions all work together. The work that sparked it all off was actually a full triangle, a three block colour way triangle and it was a great starting point for us because I wanted to experiment with graphics.
I'm not keen on researching something and using it literally, it has to be done in my own way. The result was actually a mistake in parts. When it went to the printers it was originally meant to done as two screens but he felt that the triangles wouldn't match up so felt it would be best to do them as one colour. When it came back it after being done in one colour it had taken on a camo like appearance. It was a good mistake, a happy accident really..."
"I really enjoyed working with graphics this season. I want to return to it this coming AW13 season and add embellishment and embroidery but still in a masculine way. It has to be masculine for it to work. I think I'll reintroduce geometric prints but in accessories. For me, the key thing is for people to be appreciate the products on their own."
I've appreciated Mohsin Ali's products from the moment we first encountered them and it's a pleasure to watch this design talent continue to grow. Everything is so well considered, so well made. There's a real balance to everything that he designs. I for one am excited to see what AW13 will bring.