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LCM Interview: Alan Taylor SS14

Alan Taylor showcased his SS14 collection at part of MAN (the joint initiative between Topman and Fashion East) at London Collections: Men. The collection see’s Alan playing around with the rules of tailoring – producing  smart, contemporary pieces from painted linen, layered mesh, and heavy tweed.

Alan Taylor SS14 Alan Taylor SS14

As in previous collections, there’s a kilt, is this becoming a signature of yours?

It’s one of the things I’ve been doing for the past few seasons. I’ve been working on and developing a kilt, but I’ve wanted to change it and make it more contemporary and different. I’ve added pieces to keep it still quite wearable, but mixed it with the trousers (attached as layered pieces), so it wasn’t that outlandish that people wouldn’t wear it.

Alan Taylor SS14 Alan Taylor SS14

There’s a lot of interesting and built up layers, is that a conscious decision?

I’ve just tried to develop my own style in terms of a fresh look and what menswear is. With my work I never try and dictate what it’s going to be like in my head. I don’t set off with an idea in my head of how exactly it’s going to be; I just have a concept in my head and let it develop – however it turns out in the end is how it turns out!

Is there any inspiration to go with the concept?

I start off with inspiration and concept and just the collection develop around it, but it starts off very conceptual. This season was based on the theory of the fourth dimension – the idea that if we were fourth dimensional beings looking at three dimensional objects, we wouldn’t see the 2D shapes that we normally see when we look at things. We would technically see every side of the object and once. That was introduced with garments growing out of other garments, and all the other details.

Alan Taylor SS14 Alan Taylor SS14

Getting up close, there’s a lot of little details, is that another trademark of yours?

I like to work in different details. I’ve wanted to develop classic tailoring techniques, taking the idea of the classic cut of a suit jacket, producing it in painted linen and having it button together, so it sits flush, and having the clasps hidden – it’s the development of little details in that way.

How was the process of hand painted linen achieved?

We cut out the garment and the pieces, and laid them out flat, then used a rolling technique, which allowed us to build up the layers, adding more of a 3D textured effect.

Alan Taylor SS14 Alan Taylor SS14

There are some very interesting tweed pieces, how was the fabric produced?

There’s a 150 year old tweed mill back in Ireland. They use traditional tweed techniques for weaving, and use amazing colours and fabrication, which produce these amazing textures. The results are a lot more contemporary and fresh, but still have that have that classic aspect to it, which is the main reason why I used them.

Thicker tweed is usually more associated for autumn/winter, how did you come about using it for spring/summer? 

It’s all in terms of proportion for me. It’s quite a heavy fabric, but it’s used to produce short sleeve jackets and shorts with slits, it completely lightens it up and it still feels very spring/summer.

Alan Taylor SS14 Alan Taylor SS14

Words: Joshwa Saint James

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