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Fashion East A/W11: James Long

Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac provided the inspiration for Long's first full womenswear collection with beaded belts and chunky knits

Showing his first full collection of womenswear as a catwalk presentation, James Long's Fashion East show was very much about updating his classic ideas, for women. Although he didn't stray too far from his signature looks, or show anything that came as a huge surprise, the results were in fact strong. Long's knits have been an interesting addition to London's menswear for a few seasons now and in this collection he developed his idea into something feminine and soft, that seemed in keeping with his boys. Chunky woollen pieces came mainly in creams and dark blues, with various detailing in the form of embroidery and macrame. Colourful beaded belts highlighted the muted tones and gave the occasional pop of colour.

Dazed Digital: What was this women’s collection about for you?
James Long:
The collection kind of came from the fact that lots of girls were ordering my mens pieces, so I took a lot of the key bits from the collection and then did a whole Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood mac thing on it with the macrame and the knit.

DD: How did you change things for women?
James Long:
Well I didn’t want to deviate too much from my menswear and I really wanted to keep my signature but at the same time very much have this collection to be girl-led. It was mostly about fit and proportion.

DD: How did you find creating a women’s collection?
James Long:
I have actually always done womenswear in one form or another, it's just that this is the first time I have shown it as a catwalk show.

DD: Where did the colour palette come from?
James Long:
The cream came in from looking back at my first ever collection, I was doing these thick arran knits, which was actually what launched me as a menswear designer. The macrame was from the second collection, we just kind of took all my signature colours, and shapes, and remade them or updated them for women.

DD: Was there an actual theme running through the show for you?
James Long:
Well I wanted to do something that was quite 'anti the cocktail dress'. There are so many little dresses in my PR showroom, and I really don't fit into that, so I wanted to make something that made its statement within that room.

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