We go into the fourth dimension with the one-to-watch designer reinventing tweed, premiering his new collection lookbook
Alan Taylor is on our one-to-watch radar. Here we premiere the London-based Irish designer's AW13 collection, styled by Dazed contributor Harry Lambert.
With experience at Simone Rocha, from her label's inception, learning "everything they can't teach you at uni", a Celtic strand remains with Taylor's menswear, working with traditional Irish mills to propose a modern spin on tweed.
Partial to a competitive game of Mario Kart, a bit of djing or a pint at an 'old man pub', we spoke to the designer about his silhouette shifting fourth dimension-inspired collection.
Dazed Digital: What got you into fashion?
Alan Taylor: I kind of fell into it, I was always fascinated by the construction of everything ever since I was young. I did woodwork and construction studies all through school and fashion design just became an extension of that, constantly trying to push my work.
DD: Tell us about your AW13 collection…
Alan Taylor: I always have a mix of inspirations for my collections. The main inspiration this season was taking part of the theory of the fourth dimension, basically if we were fourth dimensional beings looking at three dimensional objects we wouldn't see the two dimensional view that our eyes perceive normally – we would theoretically see every single side of the object simultaneously. This came into my designs through the meshing of garments together. Jackets seemed to grow naturally out of the back of other jackets, trousers layered with flattened shorts and jacket vents, all emphasised by the juxtaposition of fabrics within garments, mainly nets and tweeds.
DD: What about your design philosophy? And where would you like to see your clothes worn?
Alan Taylor: I like to develop classic menswear ideas with a fresh take on construction and fabrication and fuck with people's heads a little along the way. And I'd like to see someone wear my clothes that has an incredibly strong personality, bridging on arrogant but without being an asshole. This season's muse was Toby Ziegler.
I am based in London but I stop back to Dublin at least five times a year. Ireland is very important to my designs, the tweed is from a mill called Magee Tweeds up in Donegal. They are incredible, not only are they a sixth generation family mill but they are doing some incredible things with the tweeds – for my SS13 collection I used fabric that is woven using the classic tweed techniques but with a silk yarn so it is much lighter and more breathable. I also used Irish film maker Paul McKenna for my SS13 Fashion Film and Irish music producer FAWS for the music for that Film. Irish artists keep a place in my inspiration too, Francis Bacon making a constant appearance. I am proud to be an Irish designer but I will always feel a significant connection to London as well.
DD: We've booked a cheap flight to Ireland. We're there for 24 hours and you're our guide. What shall we do?
Alan Taylor: Start off with a breakfast roll in Centra (Irish people will really get that one), then a walk in Marley Park, up to the concrete skatepark in Bushy Park, then tea or coffee in the Twisted Pepper, down to Capel street for charity shopping, Crackbird for a late lunch (amazing chicken), Indigo&Cloth for considered and concise menswear shopping, Bernard Shaw pub for pre-drinks and pizza if you are still hungry and on to The Button Factory or The Twisted Pepper for some eclectic DJs and all night dancing. It's a full day but you have to go all or nothing.
DD: Tell us something we wouldn't expect of you...
Alan Taylor: If I wasn't creative I would seriously have considered being a mathematician!
Photography James White
Styling Harry lambert
Hair Josh Knight using Catwalk by Tigi
Model Almantas at Elite
Thanks to White Rabbit Studios