The creative polymath pre-empts his Fashion East Men installation
Tom Ryling is a born and bread Londoner with "a funny, normal, little life." His interest in fashion came out of going out in the mid 00s, when he was sixteen, the electro scene at the time uniting party with performance and encouraging the art of dressing up again. Since then, he has become something of a polymath, writing, photographing, making and assisting the legendary Buffalo stylist and designer, Judy Blame. Today, he will make his debut at the Autumn/Winter 12 Fashion East Menswear Installations, through a project that blurs disciplines but maintains a unified narrative.
Dazed Digital: How did you get involved in the Fashion East Menswear installations?
Tom Ryling: Six months ago I had preliminery talks Lulu about doing something and they got in touch again at Christmas time, telling me they were fans of my work. I thought it sounded great – the brief was super open, they said do what you want. So it's going to be an art installation with bit of fashion.
DD: Have you been working to a theme?
Tom Ryling: I'm constantly taking images and archiving them. I go through them every so often and that helps form a narrative. For this project, I was inspired by the image of a boy in a tree. It turned into a story of boys running away from home to the safety of the forest where no-one can scare them. It's quite cerebral I suppose. It all links even if it's not immediately obvious – the textile prints for instance reference trees and the whole thing is quite kaleidoscopic, tribal.
DD: You're also part of a creative duo, Committee Inc...
Tom Ryling: Committee Inc is me and Nova Dando. We were neighbours for a bit and started doing projects together. We worked on an advert and had a great experience so we decided to unify ourselves in a way and establish a creative consultancy for ourselves. We bounce off each other really well and it's nice to be a bit more social as art and writing can be very solitary! We have a big project coming out in the next couple of months, an international TV campaign for Coca-Cola. We did the styling and costume design and it's fronted by Mark Ronson and Katy B, who did a song for it. It was filmed in Hackney Wick and has a festival vibe. So your TV better watch out!
DD: Are you still working with Judy Blame?
Tom Ryling: Yes! I did an editorial shoot with him a couple of weeks ago.