Thursday, 19 February 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... Fashion156's Guy Hipwell

We thought that it would be impossible to come across a person who puts more blood, sweat, tears and passion into the obsession that is fashion than Susie but Fashion156's founding editor and creative director, Guy Hipwell, might just be that person. For us, there is nothing online half as good as the editorials showcased (every fifteen days or so) in this online magazine. Guy always showcases some of the best emerging design talent alongside more established names. We are regularly amazed at the quality of Fashion156, so we were thrilled to ask the man behind it all a few questions. Alongside the interview we just could not resist including a selection of shots from the latest issue which previews AW09 looks from some of LFW's hottest design talent...

Complete look by Katie Eary, from AW09/10 collection and shoes by bstore

Style Salvage: Describe Fashion156 in your own words...
Guy: I used to work as a stylist and one day I was on a very, very well paid job, fluffing up wedding dresses. I thought "Oh WTF, this pays the rent, but where is my life taking me!" Editorials never pay and although I still styled one or two a month, I had all these ideas I wanted to shoot and no outlet for them, so the idea of came about - a platform to promote brand new graduates/designers/writers/bloggers/photographers; and established designers (as I also love some of the super brands) and the old school (me!). I see as slightly directional but not trying to be sooooo cool it hurts.

SS: We're constantly impressed by the high standards throughout Fashion156, especially the editorials... How do you do it with such a small team?
Guy: Basically I work 16 - 20 hr days, 7 days a week. Fashion156 is a one-man-band with support from some amazing interns and contributors, and for me unless my editorials have the similar feel of what you see in the really high-end magazines then I would have failed. So that is what drives me and gives me a benchmark to try to aspire to.

SS: We are mere days away from LFW, where we will see the first dedicated afternoon to menswear. These are certainly exciting times for menswear in the capital but which shows are you most excited about seeing?
Guy: I have seen some of the new collections are there are going to be some surprises (watch Jaiden rVa James go from shirting to bondage for example!) The whole menswear showcase sums up what inspires me and makes London so great. I want to see all the shows as they include some of my all time favourite designers such as Carolyn Massey, Tim Soar, James Long and newer names such as Katie Eary and Sibling.

Shirt by Martine Rose, from AW09/10 collection

SS: We love how Fasion156 showcases emerging design talent alongside more established labels- who are your favourite recent finds?
Guy: Just shot some amazing suits by Rohan Kale, a recent LCF graduate; love what Lou Dalton has produced for SS09; and blown away by Sibling and their 3D sweaters.

SS: What is your favourite fashion moment from your career so far?
Guy: Starting up has been one manic ride, but I have gained so much experience from it. Like a hyper-active child fashion156 demands all my attention; sometimes I love it and other times I want to drop it from a 20 storey building!

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
Guy: Either the 60s - I would wear amazing narrow suits every single day; or to be a working in fashion in New York when Studio 54 opened.

Complete look by Carolyn Massey, from AW09/10 collection

SS: What (if any) films/books/TV-programs/moments and stories currently inspire your work at the moment?
Guy: I love watching movies, they inspire me the most. Seeing all the vibrant colours and sun weathered fabrics in Slum Dog Millionaire for example will shape one of our summer issues. Although we will probably only be able to afford to fly to Spain not India! I also watch millions of short clips on YouTube for research.

SS: Have you got any recommendation that you'd like to share with our readers? (shops, hairdressers, designers, websites, bars)
Guy: Start in Hoxton have some great own-label suits, just purchased a beautiful 3-piece from them. Buy direct: email new emerging designers, it is amazing to wear their collections before everyone else gets to hear about them, and they often offer bespoke to order, which is much cheaper than in the shops. I love to hold my meetings in Candid Cafe in Angel, N1 . It is smashed up and a little dilapidated but serves great "cheap and cheerful" food and drinks.

SS: We have been writing about men's style on the blog for eighteen months or so now and in that time we have seen a number of other men's style blogs come and go... do you read blogs and, if so, which are on your blogroll?
Guy: I scan literally hundreds of blogs per week, talking scroll down and stop when an image grabs me. All the street/club/industry/the glossy magazine blogs. Plus I have to keep on top of it with womenswear too.Basically I try to see them all! Hint, Coolhunter, Dazed, The Business of Fashion and of course Style Salvage! And no, I am not just saying it, as this is how I found out about Steve and asked him to write for fashion156!

SS: If you could style anyone, who would it be and what would you put them in?
Guy: Older men. My best shoot ever was a amazing group of domino playing black guys (in their late 50s, 60s & 70s) we discovered in a pub in Brixton. I styled them in Savile Row tailoring with lots of cufflinks, signet rings, chains and hats and we shot the story in black and white! All they asked for was free beer all day long, but by the end we nearly had a riot on our hands as they wanted to keep all the sharp suits I had loaned and dressed them in. I am thinking of recreating this story for fashion156.

Hat by J Smith Esquire, from AW09/10 collection

SS: What is inspiring your own personal style at the moment? Do you have any style icons (long or short term)?
Guy: I normally dress like a tramp who sleeps on a park bench and I do not have time to care. When I need to make an effort, I like to wear three-piece suits or just a simple pair of jeans and a jacket. I am in my 40s now, and even men can look like mutton dressed as lamb, so I try to keep that in mind! My style icons are the Kray Twins - without the violence - and anyone (City gent to teenager in his first suit) who looks awesome in a well cut tailoring.

SS: What item of clothing (if any) do you wish men wore more?

Guy: I am very envious that women get access to so many amazing shoes. I wish men had more choice when it comes to footwear. I need new shoes desperately and have been (half) looking for two months, most are boring, over priced or just look cheap, and some make you feet look the size of a child's. If there was more choice I would love to see more men wearing smarter footwear.

SS: What would you like to achieve in 2009 and beyond?
Guy: To launch our video channel, get a full time assistant and then publish the fashion156 book. A few more hours sleep would also be great, as I need to remind myself it is fashion not a cure for cancer I am obsessing over.

SS: Finally, what's the one question you wish people asked you but you've never had the opportunity to answer? (and what is the answer)
Guy: Question: We would like to advertise on fashion156, is it possible? Answer: Yes, it is possible!


Anonymous said...

Wow, great interview and beautiful shots.

TheSundayBest said...

That pith helmet is bananas.


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