Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Reintroducing... Nicomede Talavera

"For me, inspiration will always come from what I see around me. It has to be grounded in reality," Nicomede Talavera explains as he unveils his portfolio and takes me into the carefully crafted world of his MA collection. "I'm drawn to subcultures, youth movements and ultimately street wear." For his final foray with Central Saint Martins, Talavera looked to the sartorial sights of his childhood home of Hounslow, West London. Delighting in detail, playing with proportion and teasing textural treats, his nine models of majestic monochrome modernity marked an enthralling end in one sense and a breathtaking beginning in another. Waving a fond goodbye with hand and an excited hello with the other.

Regular readers will be familiar with this emerging talent. From featuring his accomplished first capsule collection back in October 2009, we've watched on with interest as he honed his talent, cultivated a still fruitful collaboration with Eastpak and bounced from Central Saint Martins BA to blossom on the MA course. Inspired by tailored sportswear, Talevera's signature balance of playful with functional to create detail rich staples has continued to offer an exciting take on the now. Ultimately, under the sharp spotlight of Louise Wilson's gaze, his is a talent that has been examined and encouraged.

"During the MA, you really think about who you are a designer. One of the first questions they ask you is, 'who do you sit next to in stores, who are your competitors?' It's about finding your own signature whilst knowing your market and having an in dea about your customer. It was so refreshing to think like this.

When I began my pre-collection in July, it was far too conceptual. Louise advised that I should be doing something relevant, something real. She told me to open my eyes and get out of the library and on to the streets so that's what I did. I grew up in a particularly multicultural area of Hounslow. It was the norm to see boys in long dress-like-shirts and styling them up in their own way. I didn't see it as unusual or different because it was a common sight. During the research process I spent more time at home and I began to notice my surroundings with a fresher eye. I was captivated by the teenage boys that stood just outside of my local mosque. It was just the coolest sight. With Louise's advice still ringing in my eyes, the sight felt relevant, it felt very now. I then began to research it more. I have a good friend who is Muslim and I asked him to take me to his local area, I wanted to get a bit closer to the culture i East London. When we went round, I took photographs of their attire. I was particularly interested in the silhouettes and collated a vast number of images. It was inspiring to examine their layers, begin to understand the proportions."


"We saw subtle differences between the areas and between different age groups. In Hounslow it is more traditional whilst in East London it involved far more sportswear, whilst the younger boys appeared more westernised. The shots were all taken discreetly on my iPhone. A little sneaky. However, I was conscious of being as respectful as possible. I was genuinely inspired by them. I've actually had quite a few Muslim friends and acquaintances say that they love the collection and said that it's beautiful for what it is, that for me, is hugely rewarding to hear.

Everything is based on proportion and there are certain rules on length and coverage. For example, trousers tend to finish above the ankle, their Awrah has to be covered. It's interesting to see how these rules are followed as more western styles of dress are mixed in with them, for example the appropriation of sportswear.

I noticed extremely sharp creases and the sharp lines of their boys attire in general. From these observations I looked to the to the work of Elsworth Kelly, Lucio Fontana's slashed canvases and further afield for additional inspiration."


"Previously I used to work by sketching and sketching but for the MA collection, I put my pencil down and collated imagery. Louise identified my strength in pattern cutting and encouraged to sample much sooner than I had done previously." From sneaky iPhone street style snaps to toiling and sampling, Talavera collated, refined, questioned, tweaked and refined the collection. Every detail was scrutinised. Anything superflous removed.

"I began to see the story unfold and develop in monochrome. Initially the collection had a more colourful palette, there were a number of iridescent colours, a real mix but it felt a lot fresher when we honed the monochrome selection. It enabled the focus to be on cut, proportion, finishings and all those other details that tend to get overlooked. It focuses the eye. The primary fabric is corduroy. Not many people notice that on first look. It's super fine corduroy. I also part bonded lurex with suiting fabric. It was all about mixing the traditional with the contemporary, the expected with the unexpected."

As we sat in an East London coffee house and Talavera flicked through his portfolio a highly edited and considered collection took shape before my eyes...


From the superfine cord to the layers and unexpected hems, Talavera's collection treats the eye to a variety of lines and is a happy marriage of the traditional with the contemporary. "As it is such a minimal collection, I really thought about each detail and the finish." There is nothing to hide behind, this is a collection that proudly stands tall. "The journey of the MA has been amazing. I'm so thankful that I received the AHRC scholarship, without it I wouldn't have been able to go on the course. Once on the course, they made me think about everything. They pushed me and made the collection as tight as possible.


Having shown great promise over the last five years, after being pushed and pushing himself, Talavera is now a talent that has fully arrived. I finish by asking him what he'd like to do next. "As soon as I finished the course I said that I wanted a break but a few weeks later I feel that I've worked so hard to build something and really enjoy designing so want to see what happens with the label." As he turns the page to finish one chapter, Nicomede Talavera is now poised to fill the blank pages with all manner of exciting narrative. I can't wait to see his story unfold on a larger stage.


Emilia de Azcuenaga said...

Gliter Jone said...

The information you have given in the blog really marvelous and more interesting. hat


Related Posts with Thumbnails