Us Tantrum girls were lucky enough to be invited along to James Small's AW11 collection at Sketch this LFW. Although we hadn't really seen any of the young British menswear designers work before, we went a bit crazy for James' AW collection, entitled 'Marching Band', which was inspired by the American Civil War.
Featuring classicly tailored garments which were reinvented with a contemporary, casual edge, the collection mixed together an unorthadox array of fabrics and colours, ranging from faded florals to military blues and greys. ''Marching Band' is definately a collection we'd love the boys in our life to be wearing, AND, we even spotted a few pieces (note: those floral print trousers!) that we'd be totally psyched to find in our own wardrobes!
After the show, we managed to catch up with James and get the answers to some questions his show left us dying to know...
Was the fashion industry one that you always wanted to get into?
"Not initially. I did graphic design at art college and wanted to go into fine art and textiles but couldn't really see how I'd make any money there, so I went into menswear fashion."
Your AW collection draws inspiration from the American Civil War. What it is about this that inspired you and how did you incorporate it into your garments?
"I find the American Civil War really interesting. I was really interested in how the confederates made their own uniforms. They took civilian clothes apart and dyed them to create their uniforms. It was a sort of ragamuffin look. A few pieces in my collection directly link to that theme but mainly I linked it through the fabrics and colours used."
Menswear can quite often be overlooked in the fashion industry. Do you feel like there are any disadvantages of working in menswear?
"I don't think there are any real disadvantages. If you create a good product, then you're looked after."
What are your future aspirations for the James Small brand? Are there any other areas of the creative industries that you want to branch out into?
"I'm a designer, so I like to do anything design-wise. I can apply that to anything, and I'm always up for any collaborations!"
Here's the last question, it's a tough one! What's your guilty pleasure?
"A pint & a cigarette."
Boasting celebrity fans such as Kate Moss, Jamie Hince & Alison Mosshart of The Kills, Sadie Frost, Jamie Winstone, Noel Fielding of the Mighty Boosh and T4's Nick Grimshaw (all of whom were in attendance at his exclusive catwalk show) we really did wonder why we hadn't heard of this british menswear designer before!
One thing's for sure, James Small won't be staying unheard of for much longer...
words: Navneet Gill
photos: Alex Lambrechts
thanks to Nicole Levy @ Dust PR.