David Longshaw SS12: Father Said exceeds all expectations
David Longshaw is one of Britain’s most promising young designers, already having plenty of critical praise to his name – winner of the BFC/ELLE Talent Launch Pad, labeled as one of London Fashion Week’s Ones To Watch in 2010 by Vauxhall Fashion Scout and further praised by Vogue last year as being the designer to keep an eye on.
That’s all well and good, but what actually makes Longshaw stand out as a designer? According to Lauren Milligan on vogue.com, ‘You may think you know what to expect from him, but you might be surprised.’
A Central St Martins and Royal College of Art graduate, Longshaw landed a position at Alberta Ferreti before his graduate collection was even shown, and went on to receive significant press attention and nominations for international awards after graduating in 2007. Though always keen to launch his own label, he first got some commercial experience under his belt by working for Max Mara.
Now, with his own label, Longshaw is able to fully express himself through his artistic and inspired designs. His enviable talent for illustration is clear through his clothes (he won the Colin Barnes Drawing Prize in 2005), and it is from his drawings that many of his designs are born. His Spring/Summer 2012 collection is no exception – his illustrations are the basis for the collection, and they tell a story. Longshaw has previously expressed the importance of a storyline to his work: ‘Narratives help create the theme and tone of the collection – they inform everything from print and silhouette to the colour of the fabrics.’
Every season, Longshaw’s collection is inspired by a short story and accompanying illustrations that he creates. This season, the inspiration is “Father Said,” a short story about a girl called Sophie who takes her boyfriend on a doomed trip to the seaside. Longshaw has created an animation that depicts the story, with Sophie wearing pieces from the collection.
Despite the dark subject matter of the story (Sophie murders her boyfriend on the trip to Puffin Island), the clothes exude an air that is more romantic than morbid. Of course, the melancholic nature of the story is reflected in some pieces, with funereal black and white lilies evocative of death, but there are also brighter and bolder pieces, and a particular emphasis on deep blues that are reminiscent of the ocean. The illustrations become prints for dresses and each piece is as whimsical as the artwork behind them. Longshaw has also cleverly utilised the talent of his girlfriend, designer Kirsty Ward, this season, using her bold statement jewellery to give the collection even more of an iconic edge.
Longshaw is truly a man of many talents. He shines as a designer whose creations offer much more than sartorial quality and style, but also art, passion and beauty. He has managed to achieve in a very short amount of time what every designer dreams of – a style so signatory that the creator is instantly recognised.
For more information on David Longshaw, click here.