On the first floor of Elms Lesters Painting Room a Tom Finch designed wooden landscape set the scene for b Store's Weekend at Wyndham collection. The b Store brand strives to offer a modern and accessible concept, cohesive throughout the store and in its eponymous clothing and shoe collections. This concept was extended to and excelled within the creative freedom of the presentation space. Taking inspiration from the great outdoors, this collection explored the idea of a jaded aristocrat exploring his country estate whilst he and his family dress accordingly for each conceivable occasion, from rambling attire to full on evening dandy with a two piece plaid suit. The boys are known for their boxy shrunken silhouette but here, together with Natascha Stolle who designed the label's first womenswear collection, the looks demonstrated a play with volumes as everything had a more relaxed and comfortable fit.
Dazed Digital: The music, set design and presentation space echo the collection extremely well. How does this presentation format compare to your shows?
Matthew Murphy: The problem with a show is that after a few minutes it is over and the crowd move on to the next one and you miss this level of interaction. For us, the main reason for doing this was that there is always more of a concept behind the collection and with a catwalk show it can be difficult to fully tell the narrative in the looks and soundtrack alone. We worked with some amazing people for example Tom Finch who built the set, Ricardo who made the films and realistically we were inspired by their work and thought it would be great to incorporate some of their work in to what we do.
DD: The idea of the presentation really echoes the ideas contained within the store as well...
Matthew Murphy: Exactly. That rarely come through on a catwalk show. I love doing shows and our previous ones have been great but this feels more like us. That said, this was a hell of a lot more stressful than we thought it would be.
DD: As for the collection itself, it focuses on an Englishman in the great outdoors, were you guys inspired by any recent trips?
Matthew Murphy: It has only been over the last couple of years that we've fallen in love with different parts of this country. I have a young family and we holiday more here and a lot of that time is in a holiday in the country. Maybe it has something to do with age but it is a completely separate life to the one you have in London, I have come to appreciate it more. Also, we've always had something quite traditional in what we do, be it in fabrics or inspirations of cuts and there is nothing more traditional than a country estate. Our main inspiration was the idea of a jaded aristocrat who would change for lunch and dinner.
DD: There is a real sense of dressing up for each occasion, none more so apparent than in the plaid suit.
Matthew Murphy: Certainly, that was really for the American uncle who came over to explore the great outdoors. We typically have a number of inspirations running through the collection, quite often there is music or music icons involved and it has always been difficult to hone them down for the benefit of a press release but this is the only one where we have been able to, the idea of a country retreat.
DD: A number of looks demonstrate a play with volumes
Matthew Murphy: Yes. I mean we have always had this quite cropped silhouette, where everything is a bit shrunken and sort of ill fitting but we wanted to bring a bit of volume in. This is a real introduction to what we want to do for SS11. Our collections tend to be more trend led than any other that we have in store but we always want to keep one step ahead. The way to do this is change the silhouettes and shapes. We have begun to introduce that for this collection and we wanted to make everything more comfortable.
DD: The presentation saw the debut of your first womenswear collection which displayed a nonchalant elegance...
Matthew Murphy: That all came from Natascha Stolle. It was great to find Natascha and we were fortunate enough to get to work for us really. We set a foundation for it, we knew it had to be masculine and androgynous but in a way it was too masculine. Natascha added an adjustment to shape and form, an understanding of what things needed to be shown and what needed to be covered. With this collection we wanted everything to fit together, we didn't want to create separate collections for menswear, womenswear, accessories and shoes but wanted everything to sit together.
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