Entitled Day One, Casely-Hayford's AW11 collection is an eloquent summation of its previous five collections and signifies a real statement of intent from the father and son design duo. The pair haveused the previous five seasons to individually explore key strands of the house DNA, from the luxury sportswear of SS09 to the Afropunk of SS10 and military detailing of AW10. Now each strand is in place, Casely-Hayford take this opportunity to carve out a new future. Whilst exemplifying the key philosophies that form the brand’s signature handwriting, those of exquisite tailoring with innovation and tradition, Day One analyses the effects of the new coalition government on today’s British social hierarchy.
Since its inception, Casely-Hayford have explored the intriguing duality of English sartorialism and British anarchy. It is a house that encourages change whilst being grounded in tradition. Here, Casely-Hayford analyse the different social and sporting uniforms worn on country house estates and inner city housing estates to create a collection which reflects the struggle of the current Coalition culture divided by a government without a singular ideal. By deconstructing and fusing elements from Hunting, Shooting & Fishing with the more casual urban sporting style of skate boarding, free running and motocross, Day One embodies the signature Casely-Hayford house style. To celebrate our exclusive first look at the collection, we sit down with Charlie Casely-Hayford to learn more about Day One.
Dazed Digital: There is always a narrative at the core of what you do, connecting each collection to the last and making foundations for the next but this is even more obvious for this season. What was the driving reason
Charlie Casely-Hayford: When my father and I began working together we knew that it would take time and experience to form a synergy between the two of us, and create a balance between the creative influences that work for the brand. We used the first five collections to explore individually the areas which we knew would come to define the Casely-Hayford DNA. Season one - London street culture, season two - sartorialism, season three - transculturalism, season four - military, heritage and anarchic cultural signifiers and season five relaxed, masculine proportions. AW11 shows how we intend to move forward and progress our vision of the Casely-Hayford man through a culmination of these key elements.
DD: With five seasons’ to summarise, what was the starting point and how did the collection evolve? What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
Charlie Casely-Hayford: As with any other season we started with the idea of embodying modern masculinity within our clothing. Our mood board featured images of sporting attire from country estates and sportswear from council estates. Although the link is not so obvious in the final collection, it was a starting point which allowed us to develop new concepts and interesting hybrids such as the patchwork Puffa, which brings these two elements together.
DD: The look book itself marks something of a new direction…
Charlie Casely-Hayford: The look book is the first time that we have visibly pushed the image of the Casely-Hayford man. We were in no rush to promote a setting and environment that didn't feel exactly right. It is most certainly about aspiration and carries a level of gravitas that comes with becoming a man, but the images also show someone who is slightly flawed. To us, these flaws define a man's identity. We project a man who is at peace with himself. There is a richness in the setting, but we hope that we have also been able to convey an understatement in his demeanour.
DD: Could you talk us through its influences?
Charlie Casely-Hayford: In composing the look book, we looked at the work of August Sander and studied the men he captured who were from across the social spectrum, yet shared the common traits of dignity and self-knowing. This sentiment is something we always have in mind when developing each look book.
DD: Finally, what can we expect from Casely-Hayford over the coming seasons?
Charlie Casely-Hayford: Currently we are manufacturing our collection in Japan, working between London and Tokyo to oversee each step of the development process. This allows us to work with Japanese artisans and produce high quality products which embody a British spirit distilled for an international audience. For the past few seasons we have been creating exclusive collections in the Japanese market with stores like United Arrows, Isetan and Barney’s New York, as well as key pieces for the Comme Des Garcons Corso Como store. Over the coming seasons we are looking to increase our Made in England offering, working with English craftsmen, as we feel it's something that is integral to our brand DNA.
Look book credits:
Photography: Katinka Herbert, Photographic assistant: Christopher Kennedy, Art direction: Casely-Hayford & Son, Model: Hervé Laforest, Location: Wilton House