Bringing their autumn/winter 2013 presentation to life, Casely-Hayford share the 90s hiphop sounds that filled the studio.
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For Autumn/Winter 2013, Casely-Hayford look at the importance of Hip Hop culture and explore its changing influence on the youth cults of yesterday and today. Once more, the father and son design duo delight in duality, deftly balancing disparate worlds, mixing the past with the present and interweaving tailoring with sportswear. Entitled Kings Land Knights, the pair returned to their old favourite tracks and re-imagined the appropriated ice hockey style of the 90s. Inspired by the movement across the Atlantic, they added a London twist to their latest cocktail by introducing Suedehead and Skinhead influences alongside distinct features of the Afropunk aesthetic integral to the House DNA. Each model stood monumentalised on top of specially cut ice blocks against a backdrop that echoed the blue Rose seen on T-shirts throughout the collection, and the official insignia of the Casely-Hayford team. Everything combined to ensure that their Hackney Hockey players represent a collision between the identity of London’s street style and the changing face of Hip Hop. A fruitful faceoff. Here, Charlie Casely-Hayford shares the studio soundtrack (look right and hit play), introduces Kings Land and discusses the evolution of Hip Hop.
Could you describe Kings Land? What inspired and feeds the concept of Afropunk. How has it evolved since you first explored it? Kings Land is a term we coined to describe our Afropunk style. It’s about a collision of genres and sub-cultures, inspired by Kingsland Road in East London. Visually the collection takes reference from indigenous English subcultures – Skinheads to Teds, Suedeheads to Mods, Rudeboys to Punks. But the unique handwriting comes from juxtaposing these signifiers with traditional African, Turkish and Bangladeshi styles – all communities prevalent in our area of London. We work towards framing everything with accents of exquisite tailoring to crystallise our image.
What is it about this infamous area of East London that continuously inspires you? I guess it’s the clash of worlds that don’t necessarily naturally fit together. We call it transculturalism as it’s definitely something more than just the way people talk about London being multicultural. It’s how the disparate worlds complement each other. How for instance the youth of the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets seem to want to communicate a different message to the first generation. Nowadays in London very few people are solely from one place. A lot of people feel home is in two places, sometimes more. Kingsland Road represents a little part of what that feels like.
In addition to the studio’s surrounding area, what else inspired you this season? The changing face of hip hop culture was one of the main inspirations for AW13. The two of us talked a lot about how artists such as Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky and Zebra Katz are breaking down boundaries of what it is to be a Hip Hop artist. Their influences are so wide and varied now in comparison to 90′s hip hop, which was equally good but made a different statement, it was something we were instantly drawn to. We were also inspired by the Hip Hop artists of the mid 90s, who appropriated the Ice Hockey shirts of the NHL (National Ice Hockey League) which at that time had very few black players. These shirts were worn as a symbol of disapproval towards the disproportionately low number of black players being accepted into the league.
Finally, what was on the studio playlist this season? We listened to lots of 90s Hip Hop during the development of this collection. Hit play on our playlist.
Text: Steve Salter
Presentation Images: Rory van Millingen
Backstage Images: Courtesy of Casely-Hayford
All Clothes Casely-Hayford. All Jewellery Judy Blame for Hostem.