Taken from the November issue of Dazed & Confused:
When Beth Postle puts pen to paper, she really marks the page. This was evident from the designer’s bold final collection, which opened the Central Saint Martins BA fashion show earlier this year to the hectic beat of Liam Lynch’s “United States of Whatever”. Postle’s Picasso-esque portraiture was cast across shapeshifting menswear silhouettes, leaving faces eerily distorted.
“I love portraiture and cubism,” says Postle, who touts Niki de Saint Phalle’s colourful sculptures as a strong influence. Funnily enough, the cubist sliding and warping of the prints actually resulted from a (welcome) mistake. Her laugh as she explains this reflects an easygoing nature that pervades her work. A print specialist, Postle looked for ways to peacock her talents and save time on the rest. “I’ve never been a great pattern cutter! So I created a way of pattern cutting that made sense to me.”
The result is a series of shapes reminiscent of flat-pack patterns, with tabbed edges, rounded shoulders and cylindrical pants leading the way. “Often designer’s illustrations are amazing and the clothes don’t stack up. I wanted my clothes to be a direct representation of my drawings.” Cut entirely from Alcantara, the pieces borrow the strong outlines synonymous with 1920s Soviet costumes.
It’s unsurprising that Postle’s fashion trajectory began with an interest in art. She says it was seeing her big sister (Jenny Postle, one half of label Leutton Postle) take an interest in the discipline as a teen that sparked her own journey. “It was one of those things where suddenly your sibling likes something so you have to be better at it than them!”
Postle is unafraid to challenge traditional notions of menswear: “It’s a shame that the same creativity that’s in women’s design isn’t in men’s design, especially on the catwalk.” But with local and international retailers already snapping at her heels for a ready-to-wear version of the collection, it’s clear such artistry has the power to juice success in
the real world.
Photography: Eloise Parry
Styling: Adam Winder
Hair: Kata Suizu at Caren using Bumble and Bumble
Make-up: Thom Walker using Mac
Model: Eugen at FM
Photographic assistant: Kevin Couchma
Follow Tempe Nakiska on Twitter here @tempenakiska