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liam hodges, the unorthodox menswear designer, discusses beauty

Blokey designer Liam Hodges is a wash and go kind of guy; he creates garms designed for living in and wearing out. Meet the man who doesn't wear moisturiser.

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A formidable lad to behold, Liam Hodges stands a towering 6'2" tall. Sturdily built and strikingly styled he fronts a missing front tooth, closely shaved head, young moustache and thickly rimed glasses through which he holds an unwavering eye contact. 

Hodges was born in Kent but now lives and works in East London. He describes himself as a "big, clumsy, bloke" and has a D.I.Y. attitude to life; personal and insular his clothing designs explore the broad parameters of his identity. He would be betraying his true, thug-like aesthetic if he were to create delicate, apologetic clothes. He casts his mates to model in his lookbooks and seasonal presentations and the close-knit Westminster grad crew he hangs out with wear the collections he creates everyday. These collections have an uncompromising and unconventional beauty, preferring an inner strength of character over classical jawlines and cheekbones - heavy denim, industrial design techniques, masculine tailoring, piss-take prints and illustrations. He feels and looks different from any other young menswear designer out there. i-D hung out with Liam whilst he cooked dinner and emotionally prepared for Lucy Beale's funeral to find out who taught him to shave and love real women.

When you wake up in the morning what runs through your mind?
I need to get more alarm clocks.

What drives your ambition?
Getting away with it.

What do you consider to be the most desirable physical characteristics of masculine beauty?
It's not one thing. Even physical attraction isn't that vain. It's a whole package, the balance of beauty and imperfections.

What kind of man do you aspire to be?
An old one.

You're in a situation in which image and style are constantly scrutinised, do you ever feel unfairly judged?
If your image and style is truthful, surely it doesn't matter so much if people judge you badly on it? I mean the best dressed people are the ones who enjoy their style and dress for themselves. They have clothes they'll wear regardless of season and trend - style transcends those things. Spending time worrying about what everyone else thinks, you'd end up changing your identity every other day, there's no conviction in that. 

How do you feel when you're surrounded by male models?
They're the boys you fancy when you're a virgin. 

With regards to establishing a sense of your identity, what were your most formative moments?
The Blues Brothers, art college, losing my tooth, working in a bar.

What do you look for in models you cast?
Character and personality overrides the classic model aesthetic for me. I like the guys to communicate the story. I don't want them to all look the same. 

Whats your first memory of being taught to shave?
My Mum doing her legs.

What's the best advice you've been given by a man about looking your best?
There was an old man at the bar the other day who suggested I stop wearing a T-shirt with a dinosaur on because it made my already large head look even bigger.

If you had a son, what would be the fundamental lesson about looking good would you pass down?
It doesn't really matter as long as you think it's good. Then there's conviction, and that's yours.

Do you find female models as attractive as real girls?
Aren't female models and real girls the same thing? Just someone decided the models should get paid to be made to look good, the others just do it for themselves.

You have used your friends to model clothes in presentations and lookbooks, why?
They all influence and represent my ideas more than any model who might change to represent or be employed by someone else. They usually believe in the label too.

Do you worry that you may one day conform to succeed?
I've already conformed to myself, now it's everyone else's turn.

When do you feel the most beautiful?
After a trim, fresh shave, hot towel and a rest.

What physical aspirations do you have left to fulfil?
Grow a beard, shave it off, get a gold tooth, get fit.

When did you get your first tattoo?
I was 18. Both of my Grandads were in the navy and anchors were in, I still like them all. They all meant something to me... Once at least.

What's your most treasured imperfection?
One dimple. It's weird.

liam-hodges.com