The eighth in a twelve-part series intended to change the way you buy and wear fashion. This time around we feature menswear designer William Richard Green.
This month, i-Sustain is exploring the age-old adage: share and share alike – a saying much bandied about but rarely respected, especially in the world of fashion. We wanted to revisit these hallowed words so often spoken by agitated mothers to warring children and really think about what sharing means in a modern world where every day as individuals, businesses, communities and nations we compete for space, food, attention and every other commodity you might care to mention. Mostly the concept of sharing in our day to day lives relates to publishing every second thought/action on twitter, or offering our friends (in the loosest sense of the word) a photographic insight into our weekend through Facebook but sharing the things we own, the things we treasure, how often do we do that, even in our own homes?
As we’ve mentioned before, in the developed world, we spend our time and money acquiring far more than we need and the breadth and visibility of our acquisitions is often how we define ourselves; I have a 48” flat screen TV; I have a an Audi TT; I have five Hermès bags. On the other side of the fashion fence, the designers, buyers, merchandisers and marketers jealously guard the products and promotions that define their brand and so the concept of sharing knowledge, sharing expertise, sharing innovations and sharing ownership all fall foul of an individualistic desire to be perceived as the most successful and the best.
i-Sustain is our opportunity to show that fashion, a medium through which we have always subverted the norm and challenged the status quo, can play a key role in expressing better ways of living and interacting; we don’t mean to sound trite or self righteous but in the end, a bit of generosity at a business or on an individual level goes a long way towards solving the SHARED global problems that face us all, now and in the future. To coin another well-known phrase, a problem shared is a problem halved.
The fact is, there is good evidence that sharing gives us a sense of satisfaction and wellbeing. On a micro level, if a couple can share the same jumper, or friends can share a dress, it’s a subtle statement telling the world that not everything is about grabbing and keeping as much stuff as we can for ourselves, only to carelessly discard things when they no longer hold our interest. There are so many ways that this clothes sharing concept can be communicated and integrated into our day-to-day lives. Channel 4 have just launched an app called Closet Swap and in many ways it has never been easier to embrace the notion that clothes have the potential to be handed back and forth, crossing age and gender and even owned by more than one person at the same time. We want to celebrate designers and garments that easily and impressively serve multiple users; durable, well-made clothing that effortlessly embodies style rather than trend focused fashion. We’re not suggesting a world in which one-size fits all, just that, where appropriate, we take the opportunity to derive pleasure from sharing both our stuff and our style. If the stuff is good enough, the identity of the wearer will always redefine the style.
Our featured designer this month William Richard Green creates menswear that seamlessly flows between tailoring, street and sportswear, offering a slouchy loose aesthetic that is essentially masculine and yet looks good on a woman. It’s not rocket science, it’s just well realised design with a distinctive style and a broad appeal; menswear that looks good on a girl doesn’t have to be effeminate or camp, let’s face it the boyfriend jean was invented for a reason. The fact that Will also sources and makes everything in the UK just adds an extra layer of design authenticity. In the end it doesn’t matter if it’s a girl and a boy, two girls, two boys or a whole family sharing, if the boot fits then why not wear it and that is the last cliché we are going to share for this month.
Text: Alex McIntosh
Photography: Kerry Dean
Styling: Sam Willoughby
Hair: Eamonn Hughes@Premier Hair and Make up using Kiehls stylist series
Make up: Veronica Martinez using Kiehls
Photographers Assistant: Chloe Coates
Stylist’s assistants: Gemma Butterworth and Otter Jezamin
Models: Marko B@Premier, Zhanna E@FM
Re-touching: Russel Day @Daybreak Creative
Credits: Look 1: Zhanna wears Shirt Paul Smith. Jacket Margaret Howell. Jeans William Richard Green. Belt Rokit. Shoes Beyond Retro. Marco wears T-shirt William Richard Green. Trousers Margaret Howell. Jacket Christopher Raeburn. Shoes Rokit. Look 2: Zhanna wears T-shirt William Richard Green. Trousers Margaret Howell. Jacket Christopher Raeburn. Shoes Beyond Retro. Marco wears Shirt Paul Smith. Jacket Margaret Howell. Jeans William Richard Green. Belt and Shoes Rokit. Look 3: Marco wears boiler suit William Richard Green. Shoes Rokit. Look 4: Marco wears Jacket William Richard Green. Trousers Matthew Miller. Cardigan William Richard Green. Shoes Rokit. Zhanna wears boiler suit William Richard Green. Shoes Beyond Retro. Looks 5: Marco wears Coat Rokit. Sweater Margaret Howell. Trousers Beyond Retro. Shoes Rokit. Zhanna wears T-shirt and Jacket Lou Dalton. Trousers Margaret Howell. Shoes Beyond Retro. Look 6: The same as above, swapped around. Look 7: Zhanna wears Top JW Anderson. Jacket William Richard Green. Trousers Lou Dalton. Shoes Beyond Retro. Look 8: Marco wears Top JW Anderson. Jacket William Richard Green. Trousers Lou Dalton. Shoes Rokit. Zhanna wears Suit Matthew Miller. Jumper Margaret Howell. Shoes Beyond Retro.