alan taylor, the tailoring trickster of MAN
Bobby Abley, Alan Taylor and Craig Green combine to form the triptych of talent that is MAN. With the autumn/winter 14 show just a few days of final touches away, we went to each of the designers at their busy East London studios and had a poke around...
Alan Taylor by Piczo
Turning jackets upside down and inside out, Alan Taylor's army from another dimension teleported onto the MAN stage for the first time for spring/summer 14. Rising to the occasion of his catwalk debut, the Dublin-born, Hackney-based, mathematically-minded designer served up a sartorial shake-up to the senses, which was mind-bending in a way that would confuse even Uri Geller's cerebrum. Traditional yet innovative, minimal yet complex, the focused frenzy was filled with tailoring trickery that left the audience questioning their eyes, gravity, and the limits of his talents. Before his sophomore MAN performance takes us on another trip, get to know him here.
What's your earliest clothing memory?
A shark-print t-shirt. I wore it all the time, mostly with jeans and a pair of Converse. It ended up being so well-worn that it changed colour.
What happened to it?
It got lost through the ages. I outgrew it, and it was thrown out. I miss it.
If you could dress a cartoon character, who would it be and what would you put them in?
Roger from American Dad! in a full tweed suit.
What's the perfect date outfit?
Tailored skinny black suit, white shirt, black knitted skinny tie and Church's brogues.
What's the best way to beat studio fatigue?
Movies while you work.
What's been the ultimate outfit in movie history?
I think I've always been a mad Bond fan.
Who's the best Bond?
It just has to be Sean Connery, with Daniel Craig as a close second.
Which TV character are you most like and why?
Ken Miller in Freaks and Geeks because no matter how stressed I get, l seem calm on the outside.
Tell us about the Alan Taylor autumn/winter adventure.
It started off from the mind of David Byrne and the Talking Heads live show 'Stop Making Sense'. The whole mood of the show and particularly the play on proportion and layering.
Like the oversized tailoring on the cover of Slippery People?
Exaxtly. I wanted to toy with the idea of proportions in the silhouette and details that could almost be ludicrously over-sized but look considered and natural. The other main inspiration was the cut outs of Henry Matisse. This came in to all the details being topstiched onto the garments from lapels and collars to jetts along with Matisee forms printed onto finished garments both giving a collaged feel to the collection.
What brought Matisse to mind for this season?
I've loved Matisse's work for as long as I can remember. His piece 'Snail' from the cut out series is one of my favorite pieces of work of all time. Its simplicity and unappreciated innovation is a constant inspiration to me. I had always wanted to use it in my work but it wasn't until this season that the proper opportunity presented itself.
Describe your mood board.
Aesthetically beautiful and seductively melodramatic.
What have you had on repeat on the studio laptop?
Arctic Monkeys' Arabella, James Blake's Retrograde, Haim's My Song 5, Jay-Z's Tom Ford and M.I.A.'s Y.A.L.A.
Finally, how do you feel looking at the collection taking shape before LC:M?
Text Steve Salter