At first glance you get clean, simple design. At second you see real, rare intelligence. Scottish born and sounding Graeme Armour is on to something, you’d be silly to miss it.
Hailing from Glasgow and living in London, this supremely talented Central Saint Martins graduate has certainly done the Scotts proud. Having worked for Alexander McQueen whilst completing his Masters in Womenswear, upon graduation he was approached by Karl Lagerfeld, but opted instead to set up his own eponymous label in 2007, before being given the title of Scottish Young Designer of the Year in association with Vogue.com. With his collections now stocked by i-D favourites, the super-fab Colette and Opening Ceremony, along with several other international boutiques, Armour is at the top of his game. i-D online caught up with the designer to talk resort collections, mentors and the wicked wild west.
This is your first Resort collection. How did you find changing your style to some extent, and bringing more colour to your designs? It was a gradual development I think. I love a bit of tartan, there’s still a lot of black, and all the shapes are from previous seasons so it was more a fabrication choice. The fabrics make it more approachable and more feminine which is something that has perhaps been lacking in recent collections. We have made note for SS mainline.
The AW11/12 collection has been described by many as American Wild West. Was this your main inspiration? AW collection was inspired by protection and shielding. There were crazy SWAT team skirts and dresses, cowhide jackets, fringed dresses, Mountie hats, etc, but the cowhide jacket stood out so most picked up on this. I do love a bit of the Wild West and Annie Oakley mind you…
As a young graduate, what was it like meeting Phoebe Philo? And working at McQueen? Phoebe Philo was lovely, I only met her briefly on the MA when she was still at Chloé. She was cool – wearing jeans, sleeves rolled up, she’s someone I find insipiring no matter what her job role, just a really cool girl. McQueen was amazing, I learnt so much and even as a student it was the most valuable experience I got as it gave me a kick up the arse.
From Glasgow originally – how does it feel to now be presenting your work in New York, London and Paris? And which is your favourite city? It’s mad being from Glasgow and being present in any of these cities. Showing in NY is amazing, and with so much support from initiatives like M.A.C & Milk it’s a breath of fresh air to the American market. I’ve actually never done anything in London before, but would love to as I’m based here and work with some great people from the CFE (Centre for Fashion Enterprises), so showing here would be amazing. My favourite city, and this is purely personal and not work related at all is Paris – the landscape and history is genius and every time I arrive it’s like the first time.
Who would you most love to dress? I’m not a huge big celebrity dresser. I’m very picky about who we lend to. We did make some pieces for Drew Barrymore recently, which I did in an instant, as she’s very cool. But you can’t stop people buying! Britney Spears bought one of our jackets from OC and wore it to some event in LA, which I find funny.
What’s your earliest ‘fashion memory’? I’m not sure if it’s the earliest memory, but there was a McQueen show – I think it was called ‘It’s A Jungle Out There’ – with horn jackets, etc. AMAZING! That’s when I knew that I wanted to work there.
What keeps you up at night? At the moment, BBC news, whilst I hand tack chiffon onto my friend Yvonne’s wedding dress.