Liam Hodges, master of the fashion mash-up

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 first stop on the...

by Steve Salter
03 January 2014, 6:20pm

Image courtesy of Liam Hodges

Liam, where are you at the moment, the studio? 
No, I'm sat in the office on my break from barwork typing this on my phone, watching the CCTV. working on planning and preparation for autumn/winter 14 installations, cookbook and film, whilst always striving to pour the perfect pint, listening to talk radio.

To introduce yourself, please write a fake dating advert for yourself.
25YO, BHM, CAN, on a road of FTA with a GSOH in a LTR.

What's the last text message you sent?
"Which myth? giant? unicorn? hercules?"

What's your favourite colour?

When did you realise you wanted to be a menswear designer?
I began to focus more on menswear after the first year of my BA. Then, whilst at RCA, I sort of realised and made a decision that I wanted to pursue my own brand rather than going for a job working around someone else's constraints.

What's your earliest fashion memory?
Mixing my Ninja Turtles pants with a Power Rangers vest.

What's your biggest design inspiration?

How did you react when you got the call from Fashion East? Where were you, what did you?  
It was a week or two before my final show at the RCA in the menswear studio, it was a pretty manic time with a lot of emotion and stress flying around. I think they kept me waiting on their decision a little while longer than expected so I was in a sort of limbo. After I got the amazing news, me and my first year helper Raj went for a drink. It was like a real weight had been lifted and i guess gave me an extra boost of conviction with what I was doing and got me focused on my work to get the MA done so i could crack on with spring/summer 14.

What does Fashion East mean to you?
My involvement with Fashion East has been amazing. They are so helpful and really help create opportunities for young designers to get started.

On to autumn/winter 14, what was the catalyst for the collection?
It was something I started thinking about in the run up to my MA show. The college didn't let us choose our show music for the first time, which really pissed me off and I was thinking about ways i could fix that which then got me thinking about roadies, bands, druids, stonehenge, DIY. I guess one thing always leads to another.

Describe your mood board. Black and white photocopies of books and objects, posters, zines and photographs. I start with piles of photocopies from when i've started researching, usually separated out into: objects, clothes/styling, graphics and mood, then I go through taking out what i feel to be irrelevant and fine tune it. I usually go through it all a few times over the space of a week or so and try to make myself justify the images until i have something that makes sense to me.

Describe your room in the Installations. Take us on a whistle stop preview tour...
Walls, floor, installation in the middle........ don't wanna give it all away.

How are you working with the Red Bull Catwalk Studio?
They have been facilitating the soundtrack project. I was already working with my friends in the Puffer on the autumn/winter 14 preview and collection films, so it was a natural progression to bring them into the studio to create the original soundtrack for me. We had spoken about what we wanted the sound to be and where it fitted in with the collection and that story.

Did you enjoy thinking about the collection in a more holistic, multi-sensory way?
When I start building an idea for a collection, I'm already thinking about the world around it, sounds, video, clothes, architecture, literature, art, footwear, food, drink, all the things that i want to have at my disposal in the future to build a really amazing representation of the collections and brand, that whole idea of presenting an experience. What was different this season, was I didn't have to compromise anything.

What excites you about the future of London menswear?
Being in it! There's so much happening and its a really exciting time for menswear, it's amazing to be able to contribute towards it.

Finally, have you made any New Year's resolutions? 
To carry on, but better.


Text Steve Salter
Image courtesy of Liam Hodges

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