james long autumn/winter 16

As the young designer prepares to take the reigns of Italian brand Iceberg, he salutes London's local heroes and the attitude who've defined his style.

by Stuart Brumfitt
11 January 2016, 11:05am

​Photography Jason Lloyd Evans

A week before he presents his first collection as the new Creative Director of Iceberg in Milan, James Long had to set out his stall for his solo brand at LC:M. "Because I'm doing Iceberg now, I had to go one way with James Long and the other way with Iceberg. It made me pull from the last 20 shows, pick the things that I love and the things that I think are really James Long," he said backstage. "So there's the denim and sheepskin, the sequins. When you take the collection apart, there are some really lightweight fab knits, puffa jackets, leather. It was really focused on what I've always done."

The collection was about his "Local Heroes", and on the front row and backstage, these seemed to be a diverse bunch, from Hercules and Love Affair's Andy Butler (who did the music) to diver Tom Daley and his Oscar-winning screenwriter fiancé Dustin Lance Black, and from legendary London DJ Jeffrey Hinton (in a South Park Mr Hankey poo t-shirt) to artists of the moment Eddie Peake, Prem Sahib and Celia Hempton.

It wasn't inspired by anyone's outfits though, but was "more about an attitude." He added, "There's so much fashion around at the moment, that you have to be true to yourself. You have to look at what's around you. London's around me, lots of creative people are around me. It's what you pick up on and how you do it yourself." He was channelling the spirit of the creatives around him who have fun with dressing, but not in a fashion-world way. "It should be fun and it shouldn't be over-intellectualised," he said. "That's the thing with Local Heroes: there are loads of creative people making, doing, writing, so it's not just fashion, it's everyone."

There was spray-painted denim, fluoro knits, vibrant sequins and iridescent blue leopard print bombers with acid trims, but on a more louche and calm note, there were sombre-coloured poppy print shirts, striped pyjama cardigans and black sheepskin coats. The styling and hair was decidedly more glam "because I was so over grunge and I really wanted to change and make everything more polished."


Text Stuart Brumfitt
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans