There are many influences to one’s own personal style, but at some point in all our lives, musical cultural references – good old, swinging, head-banging nostalgia even - will play a significant part in that subconscious. From the fit and wash of our denims to the lapel width on a suit, music and its distinct artistic eras are nestled deep inside our sartorial reminiscence.
And this is very much the case for both Joe and Charlie, the father son design-duo at Casely-Hayford. Music, as Charlie told The Rake after the show, has always influenced their lives, but this season they delved deeper into the liberty of cultural expression it has provided them.
Combining the somewhat divergent stylistic musical vocabularies of London Grime’s supremely cool sense of style and that of the rebellious rock and roll culture with its ability to not only usurp the rules but to re-invent them, Casely-Hayford this season has created a collection that speaks from the heart of these two anti-establishment movements. With clashing prints of seventies rock accessorised with embellishments from the golden era of the travelling rock-star jet-set enjoying Moroccan summers, to the contemporary minimalism of urban luxury streetwear, the collection, dubbed Apex Twin, married these two worlds together in daring harmony.
And so it was on this back-drop that they presented both womenswear and an extension of their already hugely successful made-to-measure business, with not only bespoke creative options but fully bespoke fabrics, to offer as Charlie said, ‘the full bespoke wardrobe’. He mentioned the influence for this came from the fact that with the power of social media today, looks and styles can be replicated in a matter of weeks, but to create unique fabrics is something so few designers or brands have the freedom to do for their customers. Charlie explained: “even with our denims, we hand- embroidered a pair of jeans.
And the idea is that in a market that’s already saturated, in terms of ready to wear, we want to offer something that’s different, and push the boundaries of what bespoke really means. The terms can be taken out of formalwear; it doesn’t just have to apply to suiting. So things like jeans and bomber jackets in casual-wear can all be bespoke. Of course we do suiting so it’s about opening up these bespoke opportunities.” And Charlie made the very significant closing thought for the day and perhaps for menswear as a whole at the moment, “you don’t have to wear a suit everyday to enjoy the luxury of bespoke.”