Ravensbourne graduate Kit Neale is a heavily-tattooed one-to-watch this season, showcasing his designs at the Fashion East Men installations for the first time during London Fashion Week. We spoke to Kit ahead of his debut – and chat about Derek Jarman, vegetables and looking tough in colour ensued...
Dazed Digital: How did the menswear installations invitation come about?
Kit Neale: I've met Lulu and Fashion East in the past though I'm not sure exactly how it happened, actually – I think someone must've recommended me to them! It was pretty hectic, crazy and exciting when I got the email about it. Very unexpected.
DD: What's your Autumn/Winter 12 collection inspired by?
Kit Neale: I was inspired by hanging out with my Dad on his allotment! After graduating, I went home for two weeks. It's a lot of heavy work on the allotment, you'd be surprised! I took photos and I guess that's where the winter vegetables came in. Also I'm obsessed with my Dad, you have to see the tattoos on my arm. I then visited Derek Jarman's Garden at Dungeness, on the most miserable, pissy day. It was amazing seeing these bright coloured flowers amongst all the grey and my friend was wearing bright colours too. That's what I want to do, bring a bit of brightness to Winter!
DD: Do you have a man in mind when designing?
Kit Neale: I don't really – my clothes are really versatile when you break them up into pieces. Obviously the image I portray is the Kit Neale boy, a normal British lad who isn't scared and looks tough in colour and print.
When I was doing my dissertation I got to meet a lot of my heroes, basically, like Simon Foxton. We talked about how black boys are bolder with their style and wear more colour and print. That's what I want white boys to do, taking away any stigma that it's feminine or gay or whatever. I want to make everyone look cool in colour and print.
Photography: Ben Rayner
Stylist: Mark McMahon
Grooming: Teiji Utsumi at Terrie Tenaka
Models: Guetan, Lukas Grout, Jack Wright and Reece at D1