Margate, Blackpool, lobsters and Reebok Classics...
Kit Neale is talking cockney icons, crash helmets and crustaceans for his Spring/Summer 13 collection, to be shown this afternoon as part of the Fashion East Menswear Installations...
"This season, we have a print called Rockney Lobster; all the Spring/Summer 13 prints are named after Chas 'n' Dave songs. I did some research in seaside towns like Margate and Blackpool, wandered into a fish and chip shop and came across a poster which had lobster on it – I was like, 'I’m having that!'. Rockney Lobster is already getting a lot of attention and it hasn't even been shown yet! I didn't think it would be such a talking point, I guess lobsters on clothing is a new thing, even if Dalí used them famously in his art.
Another significant print this season is an Aztec-looking design, which isn't at all Aztec, it just so happened it ended up looking like that. I've drawn on lots of different references for it – I got some fabric from Peckham, I took a photograph of the floral border in the seaside B&B I was staying in on my research trip and fused them with giant fish. It's called Beer Belly Banjos... Now I'm thinking how I'll try to explain Chas 'n' Dave to international buyers. It's going to be a nightmare!
We've got support from Bumble and bumble for the hair and gone all out, branching back to 90s styles, like I did last season with the curtains, but this time we’ve gone for beaded braids and rat's tails, which are coming out of the back of motorcycle helmets we've done in collaboration with Davida, the only British-made motorcycle helmet on the market. I love this idea of the Kit Neale brand being able to partner with real heritage brands to create something new. Our prints are airbrushed onto the helmets and they look unreal.
And following last season's bubblegum metallic Reebok Classics, we've teamed up again for really fluorescent styles – there's a sort of zebra leopard print which has been printed over the top with a fluorescent spot. They're bonkers and cool at the same time."
Photography Olena Slyesarenko