Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Exclusive: Casely-Hayford SS10 Look Book and Interview

The Casely-Hayford duo applying the finishing touches to their wonderful offering at Menswear Day.

Before the festive break we mentioned that we would have an exclusive gift for you on the 29th and right on time, we can now deliver our late Christmas present to you....the first look at Casely-Hayford's SS10 look book along with an interview with our favourite design duo. One of the real highlights of the extended Menswear Day back in September was Casely-Hayford's collection entitled Kings of the Kings Land. Inspired by the raw energy of Kingsland Road (where their studio is based) they unveiled a new style tribe, the 'Afropunk.' For the benefit of those who live outside of London, this seemingly unique and unconventional corner of the city is where original EastEnders co-exist with the more recently landed public school boys. This incongruous social mix conjures up a rich sartorial vocabulary which the Casely-Hayford's have used to create a new English style.

The first look at Casely-Hayford's SS10 look book.

Steve left the Fashion East Menswear Installations inspired by what he had seen but was impatient to learn more about this collection in particular. With this in mind, we caught up with Charlie and Joe to talk about the collection in more detail and to find out about their exciting plans for the year ahead whilst revealing their SS10 look book for the very first time...

A new form of sartorial mix. English Wedgewood style fused with Turkish Ottoman prints.

SS: The collection was inspired by the sights and sounds of Dalston's infamous road, Kingsland Road. What is it about this part of East London which makes it so special and so inspiring?
Casely-Hayford: We've always been interested in the idea of 'the trans-cultural' - an enriched summation of many cultures to create a unified whole, forming a sartorial mix which is unique to the UK and possibly at it's most direct in London. For us, this area of London perfectly captures the spirit simply by walking from one end of the Kingsland Road to the other. It is possible to experience some of the worlds most prominent cultures, and we wanted to echo this mood in our collection. We are excited by the way that new conclusions are drawn from this cultural fusion.

The English DNA of the brand is fused with the colour and ornamentation of beautiful prints and hard-egded far-eastern embellishments.

SS: Your first two collections have seen you fuse elements of traditional English tailoring with facets of sportswear and this one sees you continue this sartorial cocktail with the unexpected addition of African elements to the mix. Do these combinations reflect the two of you in anyway, or perhaps the interchange and evolution of your own aesthetics?
Casely-Hayford: It wasn't so much the African element that initially enticed us - it was the similarities between the powerful youth culture of London Punks and the age-old aesthetics of traditional tribal wear. The synergy between the two seemed interesting and relevant to an emerging subculture that was as of yet undefined. We were able to retain the English DNA of the brand whilst fusing it with the colour and ornamentation of these beautiful prints and hard-egded far-eastern embellishments.

A unique combination of the delicacy of the Casely-Hayford aesthetic mixed with the raw energy of the anarchic youth created a trans cultural sartorial punk that we came to define as the 'Afropunk'. All the essential Casely-Hayford elements are still central to our statement, we are simply introducing another facet.

We have spent a lot of time discussing how we define culture and both agree that it is something which is not static. For each generation there is a defining point. We felt that with this collection we could begin to touch on an aesthetic shift from one decade to the next.

Introducing the Afropunks

SS: You unveiled the 'Afropunk', as part of the extended Menswear Day at LFW, how has the reaction been to your new style tribe? And did you have a chance to enjoy the day at all?
Casely-Hayford: The reaction has been overwhelming! We didn't really expect it. It's funny that through making a stronger visual statement we seem to have connected with a wider audience. People have been keen to embrace our vision. The Casely-Hayford sartorial mood prevails but through countering cliched notions of luxury we have been able to celebrate fine craftsmanship in a modern context.

It is always difficult presenting a personal statement to the public where the designer's intention transcends the power of the viewer's interpretation, but throughout the day we were pretty surprised by the positive reaction we received from a wide and diverse range of individuals.

Rather than doing a runway show, from the very beginning we made a decision that our seasonal statement would be in the form of a selection of images that reflected the brand identity. We are interested in creating something for the few, rather than reaching out to every man. Last LFW was an exception that appealed to us because it was the 25th anniversary. The Menswear Day was significant in finally creating something credible for buyers and press in London that wasn't dominated by womenswear.

Relaxed, luxurious tailoring... English Wedgewood style.

SS: The moment Steve walked in to your space inside Somerset House's East Wing, he was struck by how meticulously styled and cast the collection was and this has been continued through to the look book. Do you enjoy the styling aspect? What was the inspiration for the ornate embellishment of Turkish prints?
Casely-Hayford: I think there are very few designers that style their own collections. But it is a major part of the process for us. There's such a strong narrative behind each garment, the story would be incomplete if the stylistic vision was not carried through with exacting measure. We felt that the ornate patterns formed the perfect cross over point between English Wedgewood style and Turkish Ottoman prints.

The "hankersleeves" featured in the look book and presentation seem to have caught a lot of people's attention. We were looking at tribal notions of beauty and wanted to utilise the metal hoops that various African tribes use to elongate areas of their body such as the neck and arms. We used colourful hand rolled silk handkerchiefs from Suffolk to anglicise the look and make it our own.

A closer look at the much talked about 'hankersleeves'.

SS: 2009 has been a huge year for Casely-Hayford, what have been the highlights for you both?
Casely-Hayford: It's been an amazing year. Being approached by several top international retailers was a major endorsement of what we are doing. Collaborating with Swaroskvi on their first ever menswear project along with Lanvin and Phillip Lim has been really exciting... and working on this new project with John Lewis has been so fulfilling. I don't think there's been anything like it before - it's essentially a celebration of 'the Best of British' under one umbrella. Each season my father will be designing a complete wardrobe and collaborating with some of the most highly respected British heritage brands for John Lewis to create new unique garments. We received some of the samples just before Christmas and they look really strong. The first items should be in store from the end of February. Lulu inviting us to take part in London Fashion Week as part of Fashion East was obviously also another highlight of the year.

We are sure to replicate Casely-Hayford'd styling when the warm sunshine returns next year.

SS: What are you looking forward to in 2010? And...can you share any hints as to what you'll be showing in February 2010 and beyond?
Casely-Hayford: 2010 will hopefully be a year of greater international expansion for the brand. We've been approached by some interesting stores over the last few months who we hope to work with in the near future.

Autumn is a little darker and harder than previous collections, Focusing more on craftsmanship and quality... but once again pushing the boundaries of English sartorialism and British anarchy.

Two final looks at SS10 before we begin looking forward to the year ahead.


Luke said...

can't wait to see a/w10-11

John said...

One of the best collections from LFW so it's great to learn more about it. Looking forward to seeing the John Lewis collaboration, I'll be able to afford that anyways. Nice post btw.

Ivan McK said...

This is the first I've heard of Casely-Hayford and the more I scorlled down, the more I became intrigued. Thank you for the formal introduction. I will be looking for a way to incorporate the "hankersleeve" into my Spring/Summer waredrobe in the States. Their tailoring is immpecable! Great interview...thanks again!


Make Do Style said...

Completely brilliant! I love that they style the collection as it shows their visual expression is not just in the construction of the garment.
Fabulous colour combinations and really the best menswear I've seen in an age.

Ad said...

Really appreciate the late present. What a collection. Certainly beats the usual socks and ghastly print jumper.

Savile Joe said...

Really loving the stuff from Casely-Hayford, the collection is incredible to look at but has a certain high-street possibility too. I agree with above, can't wait to get hold of some pieces from the John Lewis collab.

Anonymous said...

hey this is great - but steve i would like to ask you a question. who are your style inspirations? You always seem to wax lyrical about this designer and that, but which fellas in the public eye past and present inspire you. That would be great to hear more on.

all the best


ps Nine premiere was great and wore a tux jacket with some tight dark trousers and was told I looked good. Was dismayed to see the lack of people who had dressed up though - premieres aint what they used to be. Resurrect Fellini

Style Salvage Steve said...

Luke: Me neither, the February shows are going to be amazing! AW10 will be harder and darker for sure.
John: I got excited by so much during Menswear Day but this collection was something else, it just felt so new and exciting..in fact it still does months down the line. Also, the more I hear about the John Lewis project, the more excited I get.
Ivan Mck: No problem at all. I am going to experiment with the hankersleeve as soon as the cold rain dissipates. Let us know how you get on!
Make Do Style: Susie agrees, in fact she is readying a post for style bubble as I type this. It has certainly captured my imagination.
Ad: oh no, sorry to hear about your Christmas presents!
Craig: Yes certainly, I hope the High Street takes note although so many take on the heady mix of tailoring and sportswear but very few pull it off!
Ernest: Good on you, I agree folk should really make the effort at premières, alas theatres are the same! It seems the majority have lost their way when it comes to the art and fun of dressing up. As for style icons, I have written about mine and others over the course of the blog (check out our archive), I will breathe fresh life in to this area for 2010.

Keith said...

Happy New Year! I hope you've been having a great holiday season. Mine has been wonderful except for my cable modem dying on me. I just did a new post with a big announcement in it. I hope you'll check it out. Thanks. Take care. Have a fantastic holiday weekend. Cheers!

Unknown said...

happy new year!

Matthew Spade said...

this looks so promicing and very inspiring with the mix of fabrics used together and the palette. also, hankersleeve, wow! love this short sleeved DB shirt too

iiro k said...

Wow got find those clothes somewhere here from finland!

Somehow you know to always what to blog about!

Sound Verite said...



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