The designer finds an expected muse in a man named John Bindon; ‘a debt collector, an awful actor and a very naughty boy’, for Thames London’s latest offering
Off the heels of Blondey McCoy’s just-closed art exhibition, Us and Chem – whereby he collaborated with Damien Hirst – the artist, designer, and pro skateboarder debuts his homegrown brand Thames London’s latest lookbook here.
While his art and clothing has always gone hand-in-hand (once telling us, “Making art and clothes are two things I’ve always felt the need to do since as long as I can remember, and I see them as very much the same thing”) McCoy proudly announces that each will, for the first time, stand as individual entities. “For once, there is no cross over,” he says. “As you know, in the past I have always exhibited and created art for clothing – with the clothing acting as merchandise for the works – but (Us and Chem) was a break away from Thames as a brand and was in a way my debut solo exhibition.”
What remains, though, is his eternal love-letter to London – an unwavering theme that runs through almost everything he does, across all disciplines. “London belongs to me!” he announces. “I am a tourist in my own city and I day dream under, and about, Eros every day.” While Piccadilly Circus’s Statue of Eros took centre stage for Thames’ SS17 collection, through intricately embroidered outlines that appeared on hoodies and shorts, this time Eros shares the spotlight with variations of statues, cut and collaged within the lookbook, photographed by NYC’s Michael James Fox. Otherworldly references are also here, notably in a gravestone that reads: In Memory Of Thames London, 08.09.18. McCoy explains that after a visit to Putney Vale Cemetery in search of John Bindon’s grave – “Debt collector and an awful actor and a very naughty boy” – it became clear “that the cemetery, complete with Biffo and his neighbours, was the perfect place to shoot for the lookbook.”
And while McCoy makes the distinction between his art and clothes up front, the cross over is, at times, unavoidable. His pound notes, first seen across a triptych of skateboard decks he made with Palace, and also in his art show HOME IS THE HERO, are remade into joggers and a hoodie. He explains: “I just like it because it’s so stupid, teenage and filthy: pound notes, poetry and porno.” Other classics, such as Thames’ much-loved long and short sleeve t-shirts with Thames logo, are here too. As is an homage to the Queen, obviously. “A lot of Thames is quite easy – printable tees and sweats,” he adds. “It has to be that way because it’s those items that pay for everything else – but they don’t need to be boring exercises in branding. I always like the sweats to be very colourful and very graphic.”
So with several successful art shows, collaborations, charity sales, and clothing collections under his belt, can we expect anything else from him before the year is out? “There’s no sleep until Christmas. That much is guaranteed,” he says. “But I can’t divulge the reasons why without spoiling the fun – but I promise it’s nothing but good news.”