Carolyn Massey Womenswear S/S11

Boy scout smartness is paired with influences from African land-workers for wearable pieces in stripes and bright colours

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Combining inspirations from old images of African peasants with elements of traditional English heritage, menswear designer Carolyn Massey's new Spring/Summer collection - as shot by Chris Brooks in her campaign film in the open moors of Kent - is an attempt to capture a feeling of lonely wilderness or eerie solitude. Graphic zigzag stripes on sweaters pop out whilst bright blue and camel parkas are finished off with rope detailing; Straw hats top off the neat combinations of rolled up trousers and loose white shirts whilst primary yellows brighten things up. 

Dazed Digital: So what was the starting point for the collection?

Carolyn Massey: Basically it's this book by Jackie Nicholson called Farm, it's just photographs of African people like peasants and people who work the land, and I've always been kind of interested in real people. They wrapped themselves up in these fabrics and so we've used quite exotic fabrics, from kilts as well as skirts - a bit of draping but I tried to keep it a bit boy-sy and masculine, kind of boy scout or very English elements of things… We'd shot the film in Sheppey in Kent, which is an island - so it was really eerie and weird. We kind of wanted this Shane Meadows, 28 Days Later loneliness to it.

DD: What about the luggage?

Carolyn Massey: They're just little box bags which can clip on to harnesses to wear as rucksacks, the straps came from like a hard camera bag.

DD: And you've always worked in menswaer?

Carolyn Massey: Yeah love the details… and the honesty of menswear, like boys and men won't wear everything, whereas women will wear everything - I quite like that restrictiveness.

DD: Can you sum up an emotion or spirit through the collection?

Carolyn Massey: I suppose a kind of lonely wilderness - it's quite eerie and there's always darkness to my work as well.

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