Natural Selection’s John Park lets us into his studio for an exclusive preview of his SS15 collection, ahead of L:CM
Preview: Natural Selection
Natural Selection, inspired by the Darwinian theory of evolution, is a brand name invoking thoughts of science. The menswear brand aims to show the subtle, ornate and sophisticated ways in which fashion progresses. With heavy use of classic fabrics like denim, tartan and tweed, Natural Selection’s John Park adds a flourish of modern detail. Rotating, exaggerating and multiplying are the perfect equation in creating a garment that is timeless, yet forward thinking. We catch up with Park to talk about his AW14 collection ahead of his SS15 showcase during L:CM.
What is your creative background?
I trained as a mathematician but found my way into fashion through denim, it was an innate pull. I have always loved clothes as items, rather than as a follower of trends and I was an avid collector of denim in the ’90s leading to launch of Natural Selection in 2009. My father was in textiles and my mother was a chemical engineer in textile dyes which probably means it’s in my blood! It was my desire to define the Natural Selection man that led to RTW for AW14.
Can you explain the Natural Selection aesthetic?
We have set up a clean, uncluttered aesthetic and the design language and motifs focus on accentuating geometric silhouettes and vertical lines. Sleekness of luxury meets informal wardrobe, if you like.
What is the inspiration behind the AW14 collection?
I was inspired by Art-Deco architecture of the ’30s, in particular the sketches of Hugh Ferriss. I particularly loved how boldly and grandly the American Art-Deco architects imagined and planned. The concept drawings of the day were very inspiring – they managed to look clean and strong yet ornate at the same time.
What about the Natural Selection man, can you describe him?
Understated, quietly confident and modern with a subversive twist.
So if you could dress anyone, alive or dead, in Natural Selection who would it be?
Anyone who appreciates what we make. I am therefore quite drawn to the idea of a creative class of people, especially other designers wearing it, regardless of profile or fame.
Can you tell us what the future holds?
To raise the awareness of what we do, set up our distribution and establish Natural Selection in key major retailers globally. We would also like to interact with our consumers more directly, through digital, pop-up shops and hopefully soon our own flagship store in London.