Bethany Williams: Menswear In Search of Social Change

11.01.2018 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

When one thinks of Bethany Williams’ brand, it is not necessarily within the confines of fashion. Encompassing sociological issues, political arenas and cultural quarters, to talk about Bethany merely within the limitations of fashion would be doing the brand an injustice.

Having released her brand less than two years ago, Bethany Williams has been constructing menswear that is embedded within charities and communities, hoping to cause a real effect in the social space we engage with. Working with the charities San Patrignano and London College of Fashion, UAL’s Making for Change programme this season – two pioneering rehabilitative programmes which work closely with vulnerable women and supports their path to rehabilitation through equipping them with craftsmanship and manufacturing skills and qualifications – and the model agency TIH Models, a new modelling agency supporting youth in London affected by homelessness, Bethany’s points of reference and areas of focus lay a typically socially attuned and sustainably-led focus on her third collection to date.

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The menswear designer showcased at the DiscoveryLAB this London Fashion Week Men’s January 2018 through both a film created in collaboration with Crack Stevens entitled ‘Women of Change’ and the collection alongside, ‘Attenzione’.

The film is a poetic narrative that celebrates the strength of the communities of San Patrignano and Making for Change, and explores how fashion can incur social and environmental change. 

Throughout the film, the theme of ‘second chances’ was explored, drawing parallels between the second chance given to the discarded materials from which Bethany created the fabrics at San Patrignano, and the second chance given to the women involved in both of these innovative programmes.  

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Through these social responsibilities that carry through the ethos of the brand, Bethany showcased a range that was less collection and more collective: shaped by the communities and charities involved, culminating in a selection of looks that tied together as a diverse multimedia display.

The presentation held an atmosphere of steadfast serenity, the models standing straight and majestic under a strong and direct spotlight in their ensembles, allowing for the audience to inspect the techniques and the fabric. The music emanating from the film was disarmingly enveloping: you were welcomed into the space, relaxing your senses in order to explore the film presenting life in San Patrignano and the resulting work they have created with the Making For Change community, Chris Carney Collections (a recycling facility where Bethany’s raw materials are sourced) and cottage industry hand knitters on the Isle of Man.

Bethany’s clothes are more than clothes – they are supportive measures, they are projects in itself. The garment design is led by sociological injunction and followed up with design rationale: recycled fabrics and the focal charities leading the shape, texture and function.

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Speaking of her design process, Bethany notes: It always starts with the charity or community that I am working with, then it goes to the waste materials that I want to use, then it goes to the fabric and then from the fabric I work out the form: it is initially inspired by the charity I choose to work with from the start.

Bethany chooses to show one collection a year, due to the prolonged process involved in each collection, the level of external organisation and support expected, and the bespoke nature of the garments. Presenting around the London Fashion Week Men’s dates allows her to capitalise on audience, and frees up the year to focus on projects with various partners and institutions.

Sustainability is steadily growing as one of the key issues the fashion industry is choosing to address. Being a consultant and lecturer alongside her brand, Bethany has seen the approach others are taking: “I think sustainability has become such a big concern at the minute. I consult for bigger brands as well as doing my own projects, and companies are thinking about it, and thinking about the future. I work with Kering and they have their sustainability department and its massive. All kering brands also need to have a sustainability manager at your brand. They are looking at processes for luxury across the entire supply chain: people are really looking at it and thinking about the future.”

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There are things that can make the heart beat faster – we all have our own hit list – but for London Fashion Week Men’s what will be a focus moving forward is the celebration of brands that are looking at the picture that far exceeds the fashion frame: brands where integrity and social responsibility is one of their first salutations.

And what would Bethany like her brand to stand for? Through her delightfully positive, softly spoken lilt “creating a solution through innovation”.

A toast to that for the brand that’s in it.

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On Safari With Louis Vuitton

02.12.2016 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Those looking for a December boost should head over to Selfridges to check out the latest Louis Vuitton Menswear Pop-up at the iconic London department store, Selfridges.

The new pop-up has been illustrated by The Chapman Brothers, who were commissioned by Men’s Style Director Kim Jones to create a space inspired by his time in Africa. Expect to see giraffes looming large over the collection, while rhinos and jaguars roam wild across the wallpaper.

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Launching in two waves, the visually impressive space plays host to a denim bar as well as an exciting array of exclusive products across ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes and leather goods. The Pre- SS17 collection is available in store now, and will be followed by the SS17 show preview from the 15th December.

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Discover the collection here 

 

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AW16 Men And Their Music

26.01.2016 | Fashion , Music | BY:

For as long as one can remember, men’s fashion has been inextricably linked – and obviously inspired by – music. So it was particularly significant that the autumn winter 2016 menswear shows that recently took over the fashion capitals of the world fell in the shadow of David Bowie’s tragic death.

David Bowie was not just a music icon, he was a cultural revolution. And it is hard, nay almost impossible, to find a single designer who has not paid reference to his work at some point in their career. From the likes of Burberry to Alessandro Michele at Gucci – this season’s AW16 shows were full of acknowledgements for the late star. The former had little time to do anything other than react to the news, and so models were sent down the runway with glitter shadowing their eyes, and even ‘Bowie’ scrawled across exposed palms. While a few days later at Gucci, a simple cardigan was emblazoned with the singer’s name, which is no surprise as it was the Italian fashion house who sponsored the V&A’s 2012 retrospective of his life and style.

But David Bowie, at heart of all the glitter, hair, disguise and self-expression, was a lad from Brixton. A south London boy who knew how to wear a skinny-cut suit. And as such, it was Paul Smith who really knew how to show his creative thanks with his AW16 offering.

Featuring a melee of those aforementioned skinny suits, ankle boots which snuggly snaked their way up trouser cuffs, paisley motifs and bold stripes which adorned both outwear and cashmere knits – it was a riot of British street style from the late ’60s and early ’70s. See how it all played out – but more importantly listen to the soundtrack which so perfectly accompanied it – below.

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Paul Smith LCM AW16

Finding Inspiration With Paul Smith at LC:M AW16

12.01.2016 | Fashion | BY:

Although still in its relative infancy when compared with some of the other international fashion weeks, London Collections: Men – or LC:M for speed and ease – is rapidly gaining momentum. And a highlight of this season was Twin favourite Paul Smith, who lived up to his iconic British status and served up a playful slice of eccentric nostalgia.

Casting his magpie eye back to 1970, when he opened his first shop, the designer presented his autumn winter 2016 wares in an exact replica of his original three metres by three metres store. In among a riot of charming bric-a-brac lay joyous prints influenced by a pile of cycling jerseys, a bold new bag inspired by the Argentine tango, as well as an array of his seasonally expected – and universally appreciated – tailoring. He even smacked the detailing from the facade of his Mayfair outpost on a selection of leather goods.

This season’s offering was staged at none other than the Pace London gallery, which has continuously served as inspiration for Paul throughout the years. Currently home to work from the like of British triumvirate John Hoyland, Anthony Caro and Kenneth Noland – it was yet another source for the acclaimed British designer to draw inspiration from.

Fashion is a business that can very often take itself a tad too seriously, so thank the stars for people like Paul Smith, who know that a sense of humour – and the ability to find inspiration in absolutely anything – are the ultimate palette cleanser.

paulsmith.co.uk

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Goodhood’s New Flagship Store

01.09.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Goodhood opened in East London back in 2007 and have been growing as a brand and store space ever since. This September sees the launch of their biggest expansion yet, moving their flagship to a two-storey, 3000 sq feet store in the heart of Shoreditch. Co-founders Kyle Stewart and Jo Sindle have a ‘curational’ style of buying, rooted in design, quality and creativity, making the concept store, along with Goods by Goodhood (the store’s in-house collection of tees, tops, stickers, bags and homeware), the first name that comes to mind when you think luxury casualwear.

We caught up with both Kyle and Jo to find out what the big move means to them, what we can expect and of course, what the future holds for Goodhood…

When did you realise that you had outgrown the original store?
I think last Christmas. It was when our stock room started to expand, up the stairs, in to our office, in to our studio and on to our desks.

Apart from size and location, how will it differ from Coronet Street store?
All the new additions will be what makes this store different from our beloved Coronet street; the cafe, the kidswear collections, an expanded print section, an exhibition space, a dedicated cosmetic zone,  more from the brands you already love and some exciting new ones.

Did you work with a designer?
Nope. It’s all been done in-house by the Goodhood founders and team.

Was there any other London areas in mind for the new flagship? Or is it all about East London?
We would only ever consider being in East London as a home. However watch this space for future developments!

Tell us about the Goodhood Cafe. What tasty treats can we expect?
We’ve gone in to partnership with Brett Redman, owner and chef of Elliot’s, so will be providing some world class coffee, complimented by open sarnies, seasonal produce and an exclusive GH menu.

Goodhood has become a leader in terms of luxury casualwear. What do you look for when it comes to the designers and brands you stock?
We are interested in selling clothes, we’re not so interested in fashion or trends, obviously we do feel it, but we like to see garments that are rooted in culture, and the history of clothing, workwear etc.

Are there plans for stores in other locations? What’s next for Goodhood?
We will be working on expanding our own product range in the future. Our dream is to open stores in LA, Tokyo, and Ibiza.

The new store is located at 151 Curtain Road, EC2A 3QE and is open for business. 

goodhoodstore.com

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Menswear SS15 Illustrated by Clym Evernden

07.07.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Clym Evernden is an award winning artist, one that Twin met when he captured the attendees at our latest release party (read the interview). Here, the Central Saint Martins graduate and Colin Barnes Illustration Award winner turns his attention to the menswear SS15 season, illustrating the shows in his signature inky style of drawing.

Burberry Prorsum

 Christopher Shannon

Louis Vuitton

Raf Simons

Y – 3

Prada

Public School NYC

Craig Green

JW Anderson

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Rose-tinted Menswear

24.04.2012 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

With London’s inaugural menswear week set to take place in June, the spotlight is firmly on the talented young designers making clothes for the men for a change. Martine Rose is one such menswear designer who stands out from the pack.

Whether its turning the humble shirt into a statement piece or collaborating with big name brands such as CAT and Timberland, her collections always mix the best of East London attitude with avant-garde design.

Twin spoke to the designer about her work…

What was the initial appeal in designing men’s clothes?
I’m just better at it, I’m quite a tomboy so it appears to be my natural aesthetic!

You started out in true London style, starting from nothing on your own, and have gone on to collaborate with big brands like CAT and Timberland, what are the most important things you’ve learnt along the way?
That London has a huge wealth of support for young designers. Contrary to popular belief, most people in fashion are lovely. Help people out if you can, as you will certainly need help yourself….just a few little tips I have picked up along the way

You’re known for your shirts, but what other pieces are you finding yourself drawn to with each new collection?
Outerwear actually, particularly bomber jackets.  I’m really enjoying playing with the references of the classic bomber jacket.  It comes so loaded with association already, especially in the UK punk, skinhead, thug… it’s really fun to re-invent and push what it might be associated with next!

Which guys – and girls- are your all time style heroes?
Grace Jones, Molly Parkin, Diana Vreeland, but mainly the kids on the street give me the most inspiration.  How they might wear two t-shirts and how they tie their laces, fix their hair, whatever it is. That is the best thing about living in London. The most inspirational style is on the streets

How do you feel when you see a guy in one of your designs?
Thrilled to bits!

Your clothes are bright and fun – do you get girls buying them too?
Sometimes, definitely. They tend to be extremely cool chicks!

What do you listen to as you work?
Absolutely everything! Mainly Radio 6 though, it caters for all tastes in the studio

What’s up next?
SS13 in June, the most exciting development in British menswear for a long time…our own mensweek.

martineroselondon.co.uk

 

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