It’s not easy for budding fashion designers to get a good start off the blocks. With so much talent around you have to run many laps, jump hurdles and take the odd tumble, hitting the finish line. Then you have to start the race all over again, every season. And just as you’ve made a little head way, someone wants to conscript your inspiration. It’s a bit like kick starting a Triumph Bonneville on a cold morning. Perhaps these old machines were not so functional but certainly poetry in motion, even at a stand still. Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time, be prepared.
All you budding designers get hold of a triumph photograph and pin it on your studio wall. It will be a constant source of inspiration as you delve deeper into its mechanics. This machine encapsulates all the elements of good design, in principle, proportionately perfect, mathematically correct. Shapes will emerge and you begin to hinge onto an almost forgotten era. Wretchedly poor workers stooped on cold factory floors. While the middle classes clung like barnacles to their own self importance as the light began to dwindle on class distinction.
Bowler hats, swank cufflinks, three piece suits, drab silk ties. Everything seemed to mirror the bleakness of an industrial revolution drawing to a close. When designer brands seemed as futuristic as putting a man on the moon and fashion accessories for men never heard of. And then came the Beatles and things were never the same.
Mimicking other designers will only weaken your own creativity. If all the trend setters go east, then you go west. It worked for Vivienne Westwood. There’s enough inspiration in a single triumph to create a whole wardrobe of styles, from working to upper class. And even the brand name is their, Bonneville or variations of, it sounds a little Scottish. So you could throw in some tartan. Bring back the flat cap and caw blimey trousers. All you have to do is delve deeply into its mechanics, which will reveal an era of unique styles
Here is an interesting anecdote from that era: 1969 Nutters of Savile Row opens on Valentine’s Day and unleashes the Tommy Nutter/Edward Sexton style on swinging London. Backed by Cilla Black and The Beatles’ record company Apple’s executive Peter Brown, Nutters of Savile Row dresses the entire social spectrum from the Duke of Bedford and Lord Montagu to Mick and Bianca Jagger and The Beatles. Nutters is the first shop on Savile Row to pioneer ‘open windows’ and wild displays executed by Simon Doonan. Mount Street bespoke tailor to the stars Douglas Hayward dresses Michael Caine in the infamous gangster caper The Italian Job. Caine’s skinny suits and tone-on-tone white shirt and tie combinations set a cocky, sharp tailored style that resonates today.
To dampen your enthusiasm: Fashion is business so if you don’t have business acumen amongst your skill set, then find someone who does. Otherwise you’ll jut be another little sapling struggling for light amongst all the tall trees
It’s easy for us to talk up these subjects, but we’re kind of talking from experience, because we’re at the front end of retail, online shopping, and provide an avenue for budding designers as well as a few big names like Westwood, Everest and Flaherty.
There is one name we recently that our radar system picked up. And I’ve seen some of his styles washed up by the tide. It’s easy to see where he gets his inspiration. His, name Chris Hawkins Jewellery.
If you want to be part of it you know where to find us.
Here at Patrick McMurray we do our best to bring out the best in fashion designers.