Ten years on from its incarnation, Kirk Beattie and Matthew Murphy has turned b Store into a bit of a fashion empire. Starting out as a multi-brand store on Conduit Street, the duo soon expanded into shoes, their own line of first menswear and later on womenswear, and finally into a printed biannual fashion magazine. This activity have earned them the love and respect of both fellow fashion insiders and customers.
b Store has been part of London Fashion Week for several years - as reported by Dazed Digital during the recent London shows - but the brand doesn't show their collections using the traditional catwalk format, having instead chosen to use presentations to showcase the clothes. For S/S12 b Store also commissioned the creative agency Hellicar & Lewis to create a interactive installation... Dazed Digital has the exclusive on this film documenting how the day unfolded!
Dazed Digital: What was the idea behind Inside-Out?
Kirk Beattie: We wanted to create something that had the viewer asking questions... something that made people think rather than a straight up catwalk.
DD: How did you end up working with Hellicar & Lewis?
Kirk Beattie: We love what Pete and Joel do - they really look at projects from a different point of view to us, however, the work we make together really works. We also worked with them five years ago on our A/W08 show at Sketch where we once again worked with a series of cameras projecting different close ups of details on 360 degrees cinema screens.
DD: What's the connection between the installation and the collection, how do they co-relate?
Kirk Beattie: The b store collection was based around an imaginary character coming to the end of their private education in suburbia and dreaming of being the leading man in a Bertolucci movie, so this was related in to the film as the models acted out in a separate room, and were viewed only as characters on a screen in the adjoining room.
DD: What are the pros and cons of using and films instead catwalk shows to show off a collection?
Kirk Beattie: You can be a lot more creative with film as it allows so much more expression than a catwalk show, and you can watch it over and over again - it's not just a selling tool. As our show was actually a live performance and broadcast straight to the screens, we ended up with a film and a show that were quite different to each other.
DD: This was the first season Chloe Struyk designed the womenswear - what are the main differences compared to previous seasons?
Kirk Beattie: I believe that Chloe has added a more youthful feel to b womenswear collection, pulling childhood memories from Americana references like 'Thelma & Louise' to 'Little House On The Prarie' and mixing this with African-inspired prints with great success.
DD: What's next for you?
Kirk Beattie: We are continuing our 10th birthday celebrations with a project named 10 for 10 launching in November and excitingly we are re-locating our flagship store to Kingly Street in Soho, so keep your eyes peeled.