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We spoke with Casely-Hayford to learn more about its upcoming Fall/Winter 2014 “Army of Me” collection.

Casely-Hayford’s signature aesthetic of sportswear and tailoring has created a recognizable fusion of sophistication and athleticism. The fall/winter collection juxtaposes the brand’s interest in cultural references with graphic minimalism — a new style emerging through influences from Hong Kong and Singapore which rejects direct references to culture’s past and instead looks to something devoid of nostalgia. As ever, sportswear forms the underpinning identity and is used this season to break down the barriers of traditional formalwear when combined with tailoring.

What are the main themes within this “Army of Me” collection? 

The main theme behind the collection stems from our title “Army of Me,” we continued an ongoing fascination with British youth sub cultures. The collection dissects the idea of future Punk and the cult of the individual in a time where social uniform more often negates identity than enhances it. Where the punks of the 70’s used their clothing to communicate a distinct message which was anti establishment, Army of Me’s post-modernist approach looks at reasserting a sense of cultural root and a sense of belonging for a new generation whose local references are simultaneously global and purposefully discordant.

What would you say was collection’s greatest source of inspiration?

This season  amongst other things our inspiration is drawn from the De Stijl design movement of the early 20th century, in contrast we also looked at the artist Cornelia Parker’s sculpture of a burnt wooden church called “Anti Mass” these two elements created a tension between the spartan and the tactile. Juxtaposition and abrasion have become recurring themes for us.

What was the deciding factor in terms of color palette?

The color palette is taken from De Stijl, in our use of black, white and red, the burnt wood print softens the tone. We also drew on colours from sportswear as re-appropriated by British sub-cultures. As ever sportswear forms the underpinning identity of a significant section of British youth and is used this season to breakdown the barriers of traditional formal wear when combined with tailoring.

What sets this season apart from past collections and how did you look to bring new ideas to the table?

Each season we approach our collections with new eyes and energy. Our core values and brand ethos ensure we retain certain key principles and aesthetic ideals. We are both heavily into music. In our studio every few months a new soundtrack will emerge organically from our different interests. We were really excited by a new generation of post grunge rock bands with soul. A number of these bands comprise just two members but their sound is big!. Groups like Drenge from Sheffield in England, Royal Blood from Brighton, Wet Nuns, Savages and also Deap Vally from LA provided the theme music for our creative process.

We keep up an ongoing dialogue discussing they way society is evolving, We hope our clothes reflect this process.

What was most difficult to overcome this season?

The fashion cycle means a designer never has enough time!

  • Photography: Lydia Garnett

Brian Farmer is Highsnobiety's Managing Editor and is based in New York City.

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