buffalo’s barry kamen teams up with tourne de transmission
The former-model, now artist has worked on a limited edition capsule collection with the brand.
London menswear label Tourne de Transmission has worked with Buffalo member and artist Barry Kamen on a limited edition capsule collection. Tourne's Graeme Gaughan was already a friend and a fan of Kamen's "artistic signature of cut up newspaper headlines and sticky plasters." Then when hanging out in Barry's studio one day, the pair got chatting about what fires them up and inspires them. "He started pulling out loads of old work, some finished, some part finished. It blew me away," Gaughan explains. "So many amazing pieces from the analogue era, no photoshop or digital invasion. We also got to discussing our love for ethnic and particularly middle eastern clothing culture. The subject matter turned to Syria and what was going on there. These kids are creating art out of such horrifying situations and we wanted to highlight that." So Kamen painted the garments and based around Syrian kids drawings from the conflict and the collection of tees and sweats will go on sale at international concept store STORM Copenhagen from today. Here we caught up with Graeme and Barry.
How was it working with Tourne de Transmission?
Great. I really understand their aesthetic, mixing Middle East and Asian cutting with modern sportswear silhouettes
How did you manage to get your hands on the Syrian kids' drawings that adorn the garments?
The power of modern search engines was a starting point for my itinerant scribbles
Why are you so drawn to cuttings? It's become a signature of yours.
I've always loved the immediate power of headlines. As a kid I always thought that would be a great job, being a headline writer for a tabloid. Seeing how the Master Ray Petri used it in the early Buffalo images cemented it into my DNA. I've always used text in my painting and my drawing paper of choice is plain newsprint. The cut-out words sit seamlessly into this medium and give me immediate access to large print text and current popular words.
What do you think the main message of the collection is?
Awareness, seditious, mindful, non-complacency.
What direction do you think this takes Tourne de Trnsmission in?
I guess it's more directly political than the subject matter normally tends to be. The news was full of this subject for a while, then humans create a new crisis and the world moves on to the next thing.
Why did you choose Curtis Ward as the model?
I had wanted Curtis in our autumn/winter 15 presentation, but he had broken his leg or something. He has a natural look which Barry and I responded to. No make-up or hair work. Just shooting him natural.
Who chose the materials?
The tees and sweats are TDT base pieces and the rest was mainly Barry. He had picked a load of different newspaper cuttings which we scanned and then hand printed onto huge sheets of jersey. They looked amazing even before we cut them up. Once they were cut up, Barry placed them onto the pieces at his own preference. I didn't want to interfere with this process at all… he also used his signature old school sticking plasters in places, which I loved. Once Barry had hand painted each piece, we finished them all in the studio by hand. We want the pieces to be worn at the end of the day.
Text Stuart Brumfitt
Photography Mattias Bjorklund
Styling by Barry Kamen