It is not often you associate sportswear with feelings of grace, fluidity, and enchantment, but Saul Nash is changing this. A menswear designer based in London, Nash made his London Fashion Week debut for AW19, and presented both his SS20 and AW20 offerings with Fashion East. Fusing the worlds of dance and fashion together, the designer has become known for his runway shows, which see models move their way down the runway in captivating and emotional choreographed dance performances, while dressed in Nash’s signature sportswear pieces.
Originally studying Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins, Nash uses clothes as a vehicle to tell his story, exploring the relationship between performance and menswear. Using dance to present an ephemeral subversion of the traditional notions which surround masculinity and sportswear, Nash hopes to “move beyond the constructs of what we are told is acceptable in today’s society”.
Having worked with Dazed 100 alum Stephen Isaac-Wilson to choreograph a remake of Neneh Cherry’s iconic Buffalo Stance video, Nash is now working on his SS21 capsule collection, with an AW20 film soon to be released.
What issues or causes are you passionate about and why?
Saul Nash: I am really passionate about self-expression, I think it is important for people to feel comfortable in expressing all facets of who they are or dream of the ideal person they wish to become. Dance provided that space for me. I also think it is important today to design with purpose and intention. It is important to consider function too because clothing for me has to support the lifestyle of the wearer.
How is your work unique to you, or informed by your perspective, experiences, or identity?
Saul Nash: I am a dancer, my work is inspired by my experiences and memories of the men I grew up around in London. My work and performances often involve friends and it is crucial that there is a strong sense of community amongst the people involved in my shows.
“My work and performances often involve friends and it is crucial that there is a strong sense of community amongst the people involved in my shows” – Saul Nash
How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected you, your work, and/or your community?
Saul Nash: It has been difficult to adjust to and quite a grey area for everyone. It has been a brief moment of pause and reflection in planning the best way to move forward. It has definitely disrupted the pace and flow of everything. It has really forced me to take time to find alternative ways to move forward with day to day tasks. Whilst I am still continuing to push my work from home, I guess we will see the true effects over the next few months, but I am positive that we can all get through this.
What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?
Saul Nash: As my experience in dance and choreography is diverse and has involved dancers from all disciplines – hip-hop, voguing, contemporary dance, and ballet – I want to create a three-day pop-up performance. Serving as an extension of my catwalks, dancers and musicians will perform in isolated rooms, wearing clothes designed for the event from a small capsule collection. Each artist will be kept at a distance from one another, the musician cannot see the dancer and vice versa. The dancer will have never heard the music but must adapt live on the spot. The public would tune in from home almost like a television channel to watch a live broadcast of the event, with audiences witnessing the piece spontaneously unfold on screen.