Celebrating its fifth birthday this year, Fashion East's Menswear Installations collaborates with Red Bull Catwalk Studio for the first time. With sweet music being made for autumn/winter 14, we caught up with each designer. The second stop on the talent tour is recent CSM MA graduate, Nicomede Talavera.
Confidently striding out from the Central Saint Martins MA classroom, beyond the realms of Louise Wilson’s omnipotence and the far-reaching ripples of applause that his graduate collection received, we find Nicomeda Talavera itching to step onto the larger stage of LC:M with Fashion East Menswear Installations. Having previously looked to the sartorial sights and cultural diversity of his childhood home of Hounslow and the the commuting rat racers of the capital, his designs are grounded in reality but will forever leave us dreaming. A true mixologist of menswear, Talevera balances tailoring with sportswear and artistic form with function.
Where are you and what are you upto at the moment?
I’m currently in my studio in Bermondsey and have just shot all fourteen autumn/winter 14 looks on a model and this is the first time I’ve seen all of the styled looks as a line-up. I am so happy with how it has come together! All of my interns are off for the Christmas period so the studio is very quite and I’ve been getting as organized as possible as LC:M is days away. It’s grey outside but the heating is on and I’m playing a lot of early disco, old school house and dance so it’s a good vibe!!
To introduce yourself, please write a fake dating advert for yourself.
Fun loving male in the creative industry looking for chilled out, like minded soul mate. Ha!
What’s the last text message you sent?
‘Are you still coming to the studio today mum? x’
What's your favourite colour?
When did you realise you wanted to be a menswear designer?
There wasn’t one particular moment when everything slotted in to place and I knew that I wanted to be a menswear designer… It was more of a natural progression and I took it step-by-step, choosing to complete my foundation but not fully knowing which area of design I wanted to go into and it was was during my foundation at CSM that I really pursued menswear and realised that was the area I loved.
What's your earliest fashion memory?
I can’t really pinpoint one moment but I think that growing up with such a mixture of cultures around be but in an area that was very far from ‘fashion’ it gave me an broad insight on the way different people approach style. The mash up of streetwear and cultural dress was something that I was always surrounded by and has gone on to shape my designs and my outlook on style.
What’s your biggest design inspiration?
For me, inspiration will always come from what I see around me. It has to be grounded in reality, I'm drawn to subcultures, youth movements and ultimately street wear.
Tell us about the inflience of Hounslow.
Growing up in Hounslow, an area with a large Muslim contingent I was always really inspired by the way young boys would mix cultural dress with sportswear and their school uniform. This combination of oddness, unexpectedness and a strong spirit of individuality is something that is always visible in my work. Currently though I am really inspired by lines and having a strong, clean, graphic quality to my work.
How did you react when you got the call from Fashion East? Where were you, what did you?
I was really happy when I received the email and was honored that they were keen for me to take part in this season's Installations. After a chockablock couple of months everything has come together and I’m really excited to show my work to people that might not be familiar with it yet. I have worked with a carpenter friend to build sculptural shapes for my installation so can’t wait to see the collection married together with the environment and my soundtrack with XXXY.
What was the initial catalyst for this collection?
Autumn/winter 14 is a continuation from spring/summer 13 and I have developed a lot of areas that I didn’t have the time/resources to do last season – I really feel like it is a big step forward and really showcases who I am as a designer 100%. I continued looking at Robert Morris and Lucio Fontana’s work and also Sylvie Fleury’s Cuddly Paintings and Nigel Shafran’s Teenage Precinct Shoppers book.
Describe your mood board.
Robert Morris / Sylvie Fleury / Nigel Shafran / Exactitudes / Lines / Velcro / Knit samples / Fabric / Leather / autumn/winter 14 Eastpak bags.
How are you working with the Red Bull catwalk studios , what can you tell us about the soundtrack?
Working with the Red Bull catwalk studios has been great and I loved working with XXXY on the soundtrack to accompany the installation as he completely captured the feeling that I was after and it is just like the type of music I listen to in the studio! In was the first time I had worked with a DJ in this way and I really enjoyed it.
What excites you about the future of London menswear?
That it’s constantly growing and the interest internationally is becoming stronger each season.