Ones To Watch: Bobby Abley
Scarborough born Bobby Abley studied at the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication where he graduated in 2010 with a menswear collection that showcased his uniquely humorous approach to design. Later he went on to work with McQueen and Jeremy Scott in LA, Paris and London, alongside creating bespoke pieces under his namesake brand for Lady Gaga, MIA and Robyn. His distinct offering combined with well-practiced skills has even caught the attention and praise of Dame Vivienne Westwood.
Bobby presented his latest (AW13) collection as part of the Fashion East installation at London Collectons: Men earlier this year. Garments found balance between tailored and sports-inspired designs, infused with playful, witty character graphic prints. A clever astronaut-inspired pallet of grey hues accentuated with primary reds and blues paralleled the colour-sets of cartoons that form the bias of this collection. “I’ve pulled inspiration from the black and white TV series ‘The Twilight Zone’ and fused it with elements of The Jetsons and Astro Boy to create a greyscale animated line up with a nice balance of prints and colour blocking detail”, explained Bobby. Patchwork, embroidery, print and quilting leathers, wools, jersey and men’s suiting cleaver combine the familiar with the future in a collection that is as wearable as it is wow-able.
Bobby’s Mickey Mouse gimp mask, speech bubble prints and teddy bear logo, along with a clear ability to mash together his likes, fantasies and obsessions into one kitsched up, fetishized superhero scenario have quickly been recognised as a signature take on fashion, and become a huge talking point over the past few months.
“I try to absorb what’s going on as much as I can, and then I can filter out all the things that are not relevant to me”, said Bobby when describing his cultural influences. ”Cartoons and child-like elements have a strong presence in my life, so this naturally filters into design. I like to create a bit of nostalgia with my work in the hope that it takes people to a happy place. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway!”
This exceptional emerging talent’s blend of graphic detailing, nostalgic and often whimsical print and luxury, contemporary design with a commercial edge give his brand reliability and re-affirm his pace as one of the stand-out graduate talents of recent years.
Words: Joshwa Saint JamesJump to comments