To celebrate the launch of Casely-Hayford’s newest collection, we asked Charlie, one half of the father-son designing duo, to pin down five of his heroes. Charlie then took Wonderland through SS12’S Touch, which develops the pair‘s career-long fascination with unusual fabric hybrids, bold colour formats and dandy-in-the-details craftsmanship.

Charlie’s icons:

David Lynch

Biggie Smalls

Marcello Mastroianni from Fellini’s 8 1/2

Julian Schnabel in his pyjamas

D Double E

What is it about textures and lightness-of-touch that intrigues you? How have you incorporated this idea into your SS12 collection?

It was a gut reaction to the minimalism of colour blocking that has been so prevalent in the last few years, and I think minimalism in general. We are interested in making a purposeful shift away from the idea of reduction towards contrasting textures which create a discordance.The signature patchwork polo’s a good example of this, made up of several different textural sporting fabrics – from towelling to pique, mesh to rib and Aertex to interlock. It was important for us to retain a sense of modernity, which is where the idea of lightness of touch came from. So we explored the idea of a superlight weight patchwork summer silk quilts as well which like the rest of the collection we developed in Japan.

How do you feel juxtaposing textures reflects your cultural outlook? The press release mentions how you’d be interested in exploring ‘singularity over uniformity’.

My father and I have always been interested in the influence of cultural uniforms and social signifiers on fashion and personal identity. Particularly in London where, you’re open to a world of cultures just walking down any high street. We call the mix ‘transculturalism’, and it’s about bringing together disparate elements from different cultures, we try to reflect this each season and for SS12 our main process was through texture.

Why did you chose the Savile Clifford Mill to develop the fabrics? What do they offer that other options don’t?

Savile Clifford is one of a number of English mills that we develop exclusvie fabrics with. We work with them because although the company was established over a hundred years ago, they strive to produce modernist fabrics and therefore highlight our brand ethos of innovation through tradition.

Comparing your last two collections, how do you feel your work is developing – how has it evolved through the years?

It has definitely become more relaxed as we expand on the brand’s DNA. I guess it’s a reaction to a cultural shift where our customers have gradually become more interested in the idea of luxury sportswear than when we first started. The essence of the brand has always been about making relaxed masculine clothing combined with a genuine passion for craftsmanshp.

What has the reaction been like so far?

The reaction is always really interesting to us, in part because we are father and son, the collection seems to have cross-generational appeal which is something we strived to achieve from the beginning. The mix of sportswear with satorial details has also created a new langauge that our loyal customers appreciate, we have been very fortunate to have some really positive supporters who feel they can relate to the statement we are making.

What ideas are your playing around with for your next collection?

An Englishman abroad and a foreigner in England.

Text: Jack Mills