Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... CSM Student Nicomede Talavera

Nicomede Talavera is a Central Saint Martin’s BA Menswear Fashion Design student who has just embarked on his placement year. Surprisingly, Talavera has found time to complete a fourteen look capsule collection and along with the obvious creative talent it demonstrates has the business nous to promote his debut offering through the blogosphere. We were surprised and excited when we opened the speculative email from the young talent and just had to find out more about the menswear design student.

The debut capsule collection was inspired by photodynamic photography and futurism. Arturo and Anton Giulio Bragaglia’s 1911 portrait Searching and Slap was the initial source of inspiration, but continued research provided other outlets and the result is an impressive collection from a promising talent. At the moment, Talavera is interning with BLAAK in London but plans to work with other leading designers in New York and Paris before returning for his final year of studies next year. We caught up with the young designer to talk through his debut offering and to learn more about his experiences in the fashion world so far...

Nicomede Talavera's SS10 Capsule Collection contains mohair and waffle knits provide texture, while neoprene and nylon break away from tradition, offering diversity and the feel of movement.

SS: Describe the moment you realized you wanted to be a menswear designer?
Nicomede Talavera: I've always felt a connection to menswear being a guy because I obviously wear it day to day, so I felt more of a connection with it than with womenswear. There is major growth and possibilities available, yet still discipline. I've always liked to dress up and experiment with different styles and through this experimentation I think I found my love for menswear and its possibilities.

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
Nicomede Talavera: I don't know whether it can be cited as a 'fashion moment' but I think to go back to when we were cave men and women would be very inspiring! I would love to see the craftsmanship and their whole attitude towards clothes was completely different. I think that lots of inspiration could be drawn from their thriftiness, resourcefulness and make-do-and-mend way of living.

SS: What attracted you to CSM in the first place?
Nicomede Talavera: It would have to be mainly the history of successful students and creativity as well as the location and staff. When you walk though the corridors there is a real sense of the amazing things that have taken place there in the past, you do feel a part of history.

SS: The capsule collection has a futuristic sporty aesthetic and the fabrics used are representative of this, tyvek t shirts, nylon shirts, neoprene jackets and bottoms etc. Describe the capsule collection in your own words...
Nicomede Talavera: My key inspiration came from the works of Antonio Bragaglia and his futurism and photodynamism works. As well as the works of Mel Bochner, Larry Bell and Eva Hesse, culminating in a collection which I believe is innovative, fresh, textural, streamlined and wearable.

The accessories using human hair and bolts and neoprene hats.

SS: The accessories are amazing and complement the collection so well. You used quite unusual materials for them including, human hair and metal bolts along with rabbit fur and neoprene hats. What was your inspiration for the accessories and were the materials difficult to work with?
Nicomede Talavera: I've always wanted to learn other design aspect from accessories, shoe design and millinery. To create the hats I went on a one-week Millinery course in July at CSM, which was great because I learned the process from the very beginning to end. For the necklaces The human hair involved alot of hand stitching to attach the chain and create the tassel shapes. I decided to use hair because Antonio Bragaglia's work involves so much movement and I felt that this was a great way to add movement to the look as well as giving it an eerie quality which is also very present in Bragaglia's work. I wanted the hats to finish off the look by creating shadows on the face and creating a masculine yet questionable appearance.

SS: We love how you have created this fourteen look capsule collection and decided to gain awareness of your designs through contacting fashion blogs. Were you encouraged to do this at CSM or was this your idea? Do you read many blogs, which are your favourites?
Nicomede Talavera: My tutor wasn't actually aware of the collection until I emailed him the look book yesterday, so I kept the whole thing completely under wraps and spent the last three months working on it constantly! The reason I decided to go down the route of emailing fashion blogs was because I knew that blogs are becoming very popular and are an increasing way of people getting a quick fix of fashion news which is great. I visit blogs almost daily, my favourites at the moment would have to be The Fashionisto, Jak and Jil and Style Salvage. But to be honest I check loads so can't really choose a favourite!

SS: So far, what has been the best thing about your course? And the worst?
Nicomede Talavera: I think the best would be that we have a lot of varied and sponsored projects. From a digital print project with Paul Smith where we had to design our own floral design. A knitwear project which was a collaboration with Fashion Design Knitwear students and was lectured by CSM Menswear graduate Henrik Vibskov. Not forgetting, the tailoring project which was inspired by Italian cinema and sponsored by Italian fabric companies who supplied us with amazing suiting fabrics/linings/shirting. I think the worst element would be the looming move from the Charing Cross campus to the new Kings Cross campus in 2011. The campus has a great atmosphere and will be a shame to lose it!

SS: What advice would you give a prospective menswear fashion student?
Nicomede Talavera: Work hard! I don't think new students should underestimate how hard it actually is, you need to make sacrifices and put your heart into every project and thing you do. There is a lot of sleepless nights! But there is always a great buzz once you accomplish something and it is definitely worth it! Menswear is changing rapidly each season and to be a new designer and part of its evolution is a great feeling!

SS: What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?
Nicomede Talavera: I think the power of jersey can't be forgotten. From a t-shirt to a sweater you can't be more comfortable, but still stylish!

SS: You are currently interning for BLAAK, how are you finding it? What are you currently working on?
Nicomede Talavera: So far I've been there for 3 weeks and it has been an excellent experience! Seeing every step of a working designers schedule has enabled me to learn a lot of new skills and my eyes have been opened dramatically.

SS: What would you like to achieve in the next year, and beyond?
Nicomede Talavera: Up until August of next year I will be interning with designers in London, New York and Paris. Then in June 2011 I will show my BA graduate collection and then I'd like to go on to my MA. I'm also already beginning on my A/W 2010 collection which will be a lot more condensed and see me pushing and developing my style a lot further.

SS: Lastly, have you got any recommendations that you'd like to share with our readers?
Nicomede Talavera: In the summer 'The Secret Garden' nature park is the go-to place to eat lunch; it is located just behind the Phoenix Theatre and is definitely a welcome escape from the chaos of the West End.

Nicomede Talavera's debut offering is full of covetable pieces but these are two of our favourite looks. We think we'll be hearing alot more from this creative talent...


Matthew Spade said...

really enjoyed this interview, ive been checking out the lookbook and it is very impressive. the materials work so well together, being so different.

one to keep an eye on for sure

Guy said...

Love his designs but I think I love him more. Nice to see talented designers with some business acumen.

Ali said...

I love his take on comfort clothing, I can continue wearing my rugger shirts confident it they are "In"


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