William Richard Green AW10: Testing the Limits.

July 16, 2010
While menswear may occupy prominent positions in both the Milanese/Florentine and Parisian fashion industries, London has relatively recently awoken to the talent knocking rather loudly on its door. With the launch of MAN and the continued support for designers showcasing their vision via NEWGEN MEN etc., UK menswear designers are now finally enjoying unprecedented attention from press worldwide. No, LFW’s menswear day may not bring hoards of buyers to the smaller fashion capital, but magazines and bloggers the world over are entranced.
CSM graduate William Richard Green marks the beginning of the next emerging wave of menswear designers eager to sustain interest in London’s menswear-makers. Having bettered his craft at some of the city’s more traditional clothiers: bespoke tailors, Henry Poole, and furriers, Hockley, Green’s work is that sought after blend of the traditional and trustworthy and boundless imagination (his being instilled during his childhood spent in the countryside of Worcestershire). Rugged rubber and denim are mixed with more playful prints and details to form an aesthetic that’s just as interested in the lad the man once was.
I caught up with the designer to pick his brains on inspiration, motivation, and fashion and film.

What motivated you to become a menswear designer?

Mainly, the challenge of having to overcome the restrictions of menswear. In contrast to womenswear, menswear is very much rooted in tradition and the popular notion of what is appropriate for a man to wear and my work is very much based on the tension created in the process of testing these limits. A good example is the rubber duffle coat from the AW10 collection: a classic men’s garment but executed in a material evocative of rather different uses.

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What inspired your AW10 collection?

The AW10 collection is loosely based on themes found in the movie Escape from LA – all outfits originate from a melange of images drawn from the different characters that populate John Carpenter’s dystopian vision.

For example, the eyepatch, the coat shape and the use of gun holster-like harness straps are a direct homage to the protagonist Snake Plissken, while the use of distressed material and cut-outs refers to the predominantly punk-influenced social setting and the use of rubber quotes the wetsuits seen in the film’s surfing scenes. Like the film, the collection combines a multitude of references and influences and overall mirrors the cobbled-together mend-and-make-do aesthetic of Carpenter’s future humans.

This is especially noticeable in the choice of fabrics for the AW10 collection, which range from commonplace material like wool suiting and denim to more eclectic choices like inside-out rubber or a blanket recycled from a porn movie set, which ended up becoming a chunky bomber jacket.
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The AW10 fashion film you produced with Zaiba Jabbar was a great success, is the filmic format something you’d consider in terms of presenting collections in the future?

I think that film is a great format to present fashion – a more controlled and more mood-orientated medium than a catwalk show which at the same time retains the defining sense of fashion as a moving, rather than static, medium. Photoshoots frequently fail to convey this. A film is more native to the way we usually perceive fashion – in motion yet in a setting not as artificial and more at-our-leisure than a show, with the crucial difference of giving designer and director the opportunity to still highlight and emphasize the defining characteristics of the pieces and to convey the collection’s underlying themes. Thus, it is highly probable that my future collections will continue to be presented in film!

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Watch Zaiba Jabbar‘s film for William Richard Green here. Check out his blog here. Keep posted for more on William Richard Green SS11.
  • nick and heath July 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    such cool commentary as well as a comfy yet cool collection.

  • John Malvin July 18, 2010 at 7:06 am

    It never ceases to amaze me how designs continue to be innovative even with the constant use of black and gray. All of the outfits look great.

  • Frederik Sisa July 19, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Very nice collection. Punk modern, a dash of architecture, unquestionably urban.