After a season showing his A/W11 collection to buyers in London; Scottish designer Graeme Armour was back in New York, his spiritual home, for S/S12. Armour’s M.O. is a dark remix on sportswear, something deeply embedded in the DNA of American design. This translated to cropped and padded leather jackets, deconstructed trousers and jackets that were expertly sliced and insert with tartan lace panels, often paired with a baseball cap, betraying the tough origins of the Graeme Armour girl. There was a new sense of ease with liquid flowing silk tops and an asymmetric lurex sweater but the mood remained sober and monochrome. That is until Armour introduced a jolt of electricity to the proceedings with the introduction of fuchsia, inspired he said by the work of the late modernist British artist, Margaret Mellis.
Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for the season?
Graeme Armour: There was no big theme this season - it was more about the development of last season with more thought, customer consideration, refinement and a new lightness to the GA woman.
DD: How did you come across the work of Margaret Mellis and how did that inspire the collection?
Graeme Armour: I was actually on the train to Coventry to pick up shoe last and there was a small piece on her in the paper, as there was a new book out. I began looking into her and loved the graphic shapes and blocking she uses, though very loose in parts which I could never be as I'm too anal. Her work created lines and details within the collection that are not obvious but there. The most obvious look would be the multi suit colour blocking.
DD: The leather work is part of your signature – how did you explore working with it this season?
Graeme Armour: We tried to make it more feminine with the cut and shape this season but kept it tough with the padding and zippers. So there was more thought than normal.
DD: Were the cut-outs and mesh inserts a way of thinking about lightness for Spring/summer?
Graeme Armour: Maybe, we used a lot of lightweight sandwash silks something that we generally don't use so there was a lightness there. The tartan lace tulle inserts were a softer way for summer than black mesh. We are always looking for a new mesh and thought this worked for the season to add french chic lace in a sporty modern way.
DD: The girl you dress seems like a tough street-wise girl that could only have come from NY, which is interesting given your Scottish origins – how would you define her?
Graeme Armour: I think when you see the pieces not knotted and loose there is a relaxed feel to it though she still is very tough but I think that's all in the styling which I love. She is the Upper East Side meets downtown with a sporty avant garde approach which I think is very European in a way with NY edge.
If there was an emotion running through the collection – what would that be? Love - you need to love yourself (in a confidence sense) to wear these clothes!