Friday, 2 July 2010

Finding Forgotten Future

In the space of a few hours I learned about the exciting existence of a London label that I had no idea about, not once but twice. My first decent exposure to Forgotten Future was during a quick breakfast glance at oki-ni. As I gulped down my Crunchy Nut (other less tasty cereals are available) my initial intention might have been to 'ooh' and 'arrrgh' over the further reductions in the ever so tempting sale but I spent the entire bowl full and more finding all about this recently launched label thanks to an in depth interview feature with the man behind the label, Richard Dawson.

Dawson grew up in Warwickshire and moved to London in the mid 90s to study Menswear at Central Saint Martins where he was later awarded a much coveted bursary by MA course leader Louise Wilson. He graduated from the MA course in 2001 with a distinction and has since worked extensively in the industry as both a textiles designer and menswear designer for various brands. In summer 2009, Dawson thankfully decided to set up his own menswear label. Forgotten Future was born.

I wanted to work for myself, designing product that I passionately believe in, creating investment clothes that a man will have in his wardrobe for years”.
Richard Dawson speaking to oki-ni

Forgotten Future gives a great deal of wearer freedom. This cream patchwork shirt has a detachable zip detail above the elbow for alternate wear. (Available at oki-ni).

The AW10 collection is influenced by an eclectic mix of inspirations, from Eton to No Wave to Constructivism. Initially, inspiration came from his books. One charity shop find, ‘Eton Schoolboys', in particular. The book contained a number of images which depict quite mature clothes on really young men. There is a concentration on tweed, soft tailoring and even has a whole page on Aran knits. It became a great reference regarding the soft tailoring and fabrics. The second hand finds did not stop there...

"I found this piece of vintage patchwork on Portobello one Friday. It was for sale for something crazy like £1.50 from an old lady with loads of old fabric, I really fell in love with it and thought I'd get lots of ideas from the whole cubist pattern."
Richard Dawsom speaking to oki-ni

This find really helped inspire where he could take these shapes in a wearable way and is heavily referenced throughout the collection. The colour palette for A/W came from another vintage find. A vintage Missoni Sportswear piece. It was a fortunate secondhand shop find and he used the shape as a basis for a number of the knitwear pieces. Vintage is certainly something Dawson constantly keeps an eye for when he's out and about across London and beyond. For Dawson, Portobello Market is the best place to find forgotten treasure but he often pops in to charity shops whenever he can.

Another patchwork top, this time the piece is reversible. I love the contrast between the matt and shine options. (Available at oki-ni)

Silhouette and proportional play are key to Forgotten Future's aesthetic along with a high degree of workmanship, most of which manifests in reinventions of the patchwork technique. The AW10 collection expresses a sartorial nonchalance that I just love. Having briefly acquainted myself with the label, designer and terrifically tempting oki-ni offering I set off for Stitch. I soon stumbled across the labels SS11 rail and inspiration wall. For SS11 influences include vintage sportswear, utility style and patterns found in wood grain and marble. As the photographs contained in 'Eton Schoolboys' inspired Dawson for AW10, another vintage book find depicting post war tailoring and outerwear influenced the new season. Thanks to Dawson's well set out inspiration wall I was able to see which images inspired him and could see how these influences evolved in to the finished garments. This type of visual treat really feeds my inquisitive nature and helps to see the collections in a new, brighter and altogether more understanding light...

This photo album of post war Britain really inspired Dawson for SS11.

The tailoring and outerwear was of particular interest.

In addition to the inspiring imaginary, the wall contained pages from Dawson's sketchbook. It was amazing to see how each image evolved in to the finished garment.

The short shorts inspired by 1950s scouts.

The evolution of the hunter jacket.

The constructivist themes of the AW10 collection continues in softer hues of grey, shell pink and neutrals offset with military khaki and a shot of bright red. Patchwork techniques also reappear, this time combined with vintage sportswear in asymmetric formations that help bring a modern touch to the vintage inspired collection. New influences for the season include details and silhouettes from post war tailoring and outerwear. Broader proportions and the hand me down air of the demob generation can be seen in oversized casual jackets and tops. Pleat front trousers are softly tapered and utility styled with panelling enabling extra volume in shirts. Marble and marquetry patterning inspire the seasons key graphic printed and are featured on lightweight jersey tops. As with the AW10 colection, a number of the garments are reversible enabling two looks in one. A standout blazer in an eye catching metallic linen reverses to a subtler wardrobe classic in forest green.

Hunter jacket, striped vest and patchwork shorts.

The rail for SS11.

Having had the opportunity to talk through the label with Dawson, it is quite clear that is aimed at today's fashion pioneers. A desire for quality and a high degree of craftsmanship are key to the labels sartorial approach. The philosophy is to create wardrobe staples that transcend trend by promoting originality and individualism. After discovering and rediscovering Forgotten Future in the space of a few hours it will long live in my memory.


Matthew Spade said...

oki-ni don't half have some really exciting brands on offer, when i'm wearing a few more pennies, that will be my first stop for investment pieces.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Mat: They certainly do. Am interested to see what they buy in for next season though now that John Skelton has left. I think Forgotten Future were one of his last additions to the site.

Anonymous said...

What a great post, really dig the Forgotten Future stuff!

a little off topic:

Any idea about these shoes? I want em real bad! :D

Men's Fashion 101 said...

They have really nice shirts. Thanks for sharing. Think I might try them some of this day.

Syed said...

That black and purple patchwork top is beautiful. Oh and heck yeah to Crunchy Nut. Annnd I think a massive blogging get together is called for sometime this Summer (or if Thom decides to come over anytime).


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