A well-established brand with an eye on the future, JOSEPH make moves in a new direction with head of menswear Mark Thomas. Now on his third season, he takes the label back to school with a uniform fit for Fall 2015.
Founded in the ’60s by the late Joseph Ettedgui, JOSEPH has been a stalwart of the UK scene for a considerable stretch. Maintaining a loyal audience over the decades whilst drawing in a new generation, Fall 2014 saw a fresh focus placed on menswear with the appointment of Mark Thomas, formerly head of men’s design at Givenchy stopping at Neil Barrett and Burberry along the way. Following his successful debut, a collection full of contemporary takes on Bruce Davidson’s Brooklyn Gangs made for an impressive Spring 2015. We catch up with Thomas as he prepares for an LC:M show with a rather different gang of boys as central inspiration.
Tell us a little about your preparation for Fall 2015, when did it all begin and what was the starting point?
We began working on the collection in September, taking inspiration from the work of the painter Sean Scully and the elegance and ease of English Public School dressing, referencing photography book Eton Days by Nicholas Barlow.
How would you summarise your Fall 2015 collection?
There is a feeling of borrowed heirlooms that are mismatched. A sense of un-fussiness; it is slightly undressed but with an air of luxury. Formal fabrications are played out in casualwear silhouettes.
Can you give us an insight into some of the details?
Sportswear detailing and zip closures, raw edges, wing tip collars and the grey-on-grey textures. Combinations of flannels, nylon blazer wool, jumbo pinstripes and glove leathers. There are also shearling bum-bags and white leather trainers.
Who did you have in mind when designing the collection? And would you say you generally design for yourself or others?
The JOSEPH Man, whilst stealing a little bit for myself. The realisation of the JOSEPH man is a continual process. He’s confident and considered.
Is there one piece you’re really excited to unveil?
A rugby shirt in glove leather.