T.Lipop Menswear A/W12

Tom Lipop focused on craftmanship and traditional shapes in his Fashion East/NEW GEN presentation

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Having worked with Nathan Jenden and House of Holland since graduating, T. Lipop is an innovative new menswear designer, providing a subtle yet brilliantly constricted and tailored wardrobe. Having shown previously at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, this was the first season for the designer as part of the Fashion East installations, housed in one of the grande wings of Somerset House.

Taking over more than half of one of the rooms given over to the installations, Lipop's collection, worn by a series of striking models of varying ages decked out in misted white facial hair, was a new take on old ideas. Traditional shapes and silhouettes, overcoats, shirting, a classic trouser, were given a makeover, letting the craftsmanship and talent of the designer, Thomas, shine through. Colours were soft and subtle suggesting a quiet mood but one with impact and resonance. We caught up with Lipop during the presentation to talk about the collection and why they strive to push things forward. 

Dazed Digital: Why did you first start designing?
T.Lipop: We are so bored of seeing workwear done in a literal way in London and internationally, a luxury fabric and that basic block or basic garment. We wanted to take key pieces, in this collection, the peacoat, the duffel and the Arctic parka, and move them forwards.

DD: How have you done that?
T.Lipop: Mainly through the cutting and the form. We have removed seams where there don’t need to be seams for example. The Arctic parka for example, is cut in two pieces, there is a lot of technical structure and a great deal of thought and research in what we try and do.

DD: What is it that bores you about that re-visiting of workwear?
T.Lipop: That whole scene really isn't changing, it seems that here are a few people doing similar things with not a lot of thought. We just want to offer something new if we can, taking into consideration tailoring but adding something fresh.

DD: Are you rooted in tailoring?
T.Lipop: Yes, both myself and the tailor I work with all do our own cutting and tailoring. I actually studied menswear in Bournemouth but then went to work for House of Holland. I didn't really learn much that lent itself to what I wanted to do eventually but ended up running a small design team there. After that I moved into working for Nathan Jenden, who was much more involved in tailoring, but it was womenswear. Its great to work on my own thing because it pulls all the things I have learnt in different situations, together.

DD: Where do you pull your inspiration from?
T.Lipop: I always design before I reference. I design a collection based around what I want, what I would wear, what I feel my audience wants. Then I might look at references afterwards, but its always a case of design first and reference later. I always refer to lead it rather than try and follow it.

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