In February this year, designer Gareth Wrighton made his debut at Fashion East. For the Central Saint Martins graduate’s first turn on the star-making runway, he delivered a show inspired by the infamous, and infamously violent, Altamont Free Concert, which took place in California in 1969. (Think of it like Fyre Festival, if the Hell’s Angels had been hired as security). “It was a character-led, garment-as-art collection that examined the contradictions within Americana, and the failures of the free-love movement,” Wrighton explains.
An interest in late-60s counterculture is reflected in the Hertfordshire-born designer’s embrace of craft. “I want to make intimate, slow objects in a digital age that tell a story with every inch of their materiality,” he continues, and is soon moving to the Dazed x Design District studio space in Greenwich Peninsula, where he intends to flesh out the hand-knitted world he built for his last collection.
Relinquishing control is one of Wrighton’s key agendas for SS20. “I think the whole pissing-in-the-wind mindset is really inspiring me at the moment because I am always hung up on thorough planning,” he says. “I’m really opening myself up to chaos at this point – the unknown is perhaps the most exciting thing.”