Christopher Shannon makes his first foray into womenswear with this SS15 collection, we catch up with him to find out more
This time around Liverpool born designer Christopher Shannon, has leant his talent to new realms. SS15 marks his first foray into womenswear and after taking a first glance, the question on our lips is: “Why didn’t he do it sooner?” Continuing his trademark sports lux aesthetic, Shannon has taken inspiration from his iconic menswear archives, channelling it to womenswear whilst adding an obvious splash of femininity.
Comprising of fifteen unique looks featuring satins, bonded velvets and grosgrain skills in a variety of colour ways, the collection also includes hand drawn illustrations from John Booth, giving three looks in the collection a distinctive graphic feel. We catch up with Shannon himself to find out more.
Where did the decision to transition into womenswear come from, is this something you have always intended on doing?
I’ve drawn up collections a few times then just got distracted with the men’s side of the business or consultancies. It felt like we had piles and piles of research and also an archive that we quite fancied re-working for womenswear. I think it also felt like doing a womenswear collection would really help us inform the menswear collection too. Plus friends kept nagging, and projects would come in that wanted to see our vision of women’s.
What references can we see in this collection?
There are definite hints of ’90s club wear, driven by the girls who were older than me at school and their first going out looks. Lots of photographers we’ve looked to many times for menswear also came into it, like Tom Wood and Ewan Spencer, the references felt really familiar it’s just that we had never used them in women’s before. Also fabrics we carried over from men’s, the oversized t shirts from the men’s show became a dress for women’s, it was a really fluid way of working.
How important was it for you to channel the aesthetic from your menswear archives into womenswear?
I think it’s good to go back to nice ideas and rework them and finish them in a better way than maybe you could before, sometimes I think I drop ideas too quickly without working into them.
The illustrations by John Booth are amazing, how did this collaboration come about?
I’d loved John for ages, then one day Caitlin and I showed each other the same picture of his at the same time and it just felt right, sometimes doing in house print becomes such a nightmare, also I was keen to have a slightly St Martin’s mood to the collection. He brought in the original piece which is a drawing on white perspex, it’s really nice, I’d quite like a set of them. His work just has a good energy to it, I don’t see that a lot of that around.
The pink frill pieces are our personal favourite, what influenced the shapes?
It’s actually the men’s t shirt block, the oversized one, the frills came from the archive of AW11 mens and we just tried to make it girly in the least vomit-worthy way. It’s a party dress but one you can wear with shorts and trainers and still looks like you are really going out.
It works so well! If you had to soundtrack this collection with three songs what would they be?
Hmm, I think the things we listened to the most were…
The Slits – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
The Sugababes – “Conversation’s Over”
Panes – “Stills”