Wonderland talks to new-gen designer Kit Neale about his AW14 collection that pays homage to Elephant & Castle, British culture and London living
Since launching his eponymous label in 2012, Kit Neale has shown three consecutive seasons at London Collections: Men and each time he never fails to captivate his audience with his kooky kitsch designs, humorous themes and covetable statement pieces – we all remember the Kit Neale Perfectly Fried Chicken Sweatshirt don’t we?
Going at it alone this season, Kit Neale is presenting his tongue-in-cheek London culture heavy AW14 collection to a most appreciative and loyal client base. Renowned for his eccentric use of British youth codes, Kit continues to explore London culture and living. Whilst Neale paid homage to his hometown of Peckham for SS15, AW14 has seen him head further afield and closer to the river. The London borough in question? Run down and dilapidated but quintessentially cultural, we’re talking about Elephant and Castle.
With an eclectic mix of monochrome rat prints, luxurious materials such as woven jacquard and screen printed fabrics, this seasons collection puts a modern twist on the meaning of ‘British fashion’. We catch up with Kit to find out more…
So tell us, where do you look for inspiration?
It is rather a bit cliché but we look for inspiration from everywhere! We love trips to the V&A library and the local bookshop. We explore London and are constantly travelling to museums and art galleries wherever we are in the world. I’m particularly obsessed with the current affairs and buy tons of magazines, watch the news and spend hours trawling the internet for things of interest.
Well we love your patterned shirts, where did the rat motif originate from?
The rats came from Elephant and Castle – one of my favourite areas in London – strange because it is really nothing special. Rats are commonplace.
Your collections often reference British culture don’t they? What references can be found in the AW14 collection?
AW14 is a homage to Elephant and Castle before its regeneration. The area is dominated by a giant shopping centre that is very Martin Parr-esque – barely changed since the sixties. It’s a bit bizarre. The patterns are drawn from the area.
So, if you had to soundtrack your AW14 collection with one song what would it be?
Not really the obvious choice but I think ‘Me, Myself and I’ – Joan Armatrading could work somehow. It’s aspirational, a little cheeky, full of attitude and just a killer song.
Where do you see yourself and your brand in ten years time?
I would really like to see the brand to still be growing, engaging with our customers and developing. We’re always trying to be progressive to some extent with what we do – things feel fluid, dynamic and interesting. I hope that continues.
Finally, if you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
If I had the patience I would love to have become an architect or an artist or a writer – I’m just crap at math’s.