Wonderland.

Daniel w. Fletcher

The designer putting a political stamp on fashion’s map.

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER

Having risen from the sea of graduate designers hoping to establish themselves in the fickle world of fashion, Daniel w. Fletcher is the young talent putting a political stamp on the British fashion industry. Fast establishing himself as a designer to watch, Fletcher, who originates from the North-West but now resides in London, previously made headlines with his politically pumped anti-Brexit demonstration and respective collection, has been nominated for the LVMH prize, and counts Kendall Jenner and Karl Lagerfeld as fans. He also recently enjoyed a collaboration with architect Farshid Moussavi, who assisted Fletcher with creating a gorgeous pop-up store in Covent Garden.

For his latest collection, the designer has once again sought to make a statement – both politically and aesthetically – with a collection born out of Fletcher’s “frustration after such a politically turbulent year”. The need for unity is reflected in the collection’s aesthetic, where diverse fabrics and hues are brought together in perfect patchwork creations, with additional pinned-on detailing. Other highlights include branded sweaters and tank tops and the dreamiest sweaters ranging from checkered v-necks to classic crews with unique oversized pin details; it’s social commentary in its most abstract form.

We managed to grab a moment with the designer to find out more about his creative process, the inspo behind his latest collection and his plans for the future.

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER

When did you first become interested in fashion?

I was interested in clothes from a young age but I didn’t always associate it with fashion, it was more about dressing up, being seven years old and matching my socks to my T-shirts or going to Next kids with my Mum. I shied away from it a bit when I was older though, I think that had something to do with sexuality and the stigma attached to an interest in fashion as a teenage male at a state school in the north of England. It wasn’t until I was 18 and on foundation that I was really open about the fact that I wanted to be a designer, it was like coming out, which is ridiculous now I think about it.

And what’s your earliest fashion related memory?

I was the one who would get all the kids from the road to put on a variety show which I’d create outfits for and do a light show using torches and desk lamps, whilst compèring the whole thing with my cassette player. Good prep for my presentations now I’d say!

Tell us where the inspiration for your AW17 collection came from.

It came from a place of frustration after such a politically turbulent year. I felt like my voice as a young person had been overlooked so I wanted to send a strong message, one that said we are not prepared to accept a step back towards right wing politics and xenophobia, and a desire to send a positive message. As a result there was more tailoring, an attempt to play the suits at their own game as well as a lot of sportswear influences used to create a sense of unity, similar to that of a sports team.

What is your favourite piece from the collection and why?

There’s a patchwork leather jacket which I love, it has a strong 70s feeling which was an important element of the collection. The 70s was another politically turbulent time and it feels like we are in a similar place now so there are a lot of references to this with things like the silk checks and shearling pieces.

What inspires you?

My collections are often described as being inspired by politics but that’s not exactly how it is, my inspirations come from more visual sources, I do a lot of research, look at books, vintage, visit museums, but the politics has come in later on because of things that I’ve witnessed around me. It’s more of a motivation than an inspiration, (sadly there’s very little to find inspiring about the people who run our country) but when there is something that I feel passionate about it feels natural to speak up about that and channel my feelings through my work.

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER

And can you talk us through your creative process?

I normally start a season by working a lot with real clothes – I buy a lot of vintage, look at things I’ve made before, cut things up and turn them inside out and try them on to come up with some starting blocks for the collection. Then I see how that works with my ongoing body of research, there’s a lot of sportswear, British heritage and late 60s images in there, then I try and hone in on some more specific references and research some more. I try to keep things quite open though, often the collection only really comes together a couple of weeks before I present it as it’s a very personal process and things tend to evolve as I react to my surroundings.

You were nominated for this year’s LVMH prize – what was your reaction when you found out?

It’s a huge honour to have been nominated, I was shortlisted alongside designers like Martine Rose and Molly Goddard who I have huge admiration for, so it’s a great privilege… but I was a little surprised too, having only started my brand last year.

You met people like Kendall Jenner and Karl Lagerfeld at the showrooms – what was this like and how did they react to your collection?

They were both lovely and responded really well to the collection, it was funny to meet so many people in one go who are so recognisable and I’ve seen photos of so many times, it felt like I was at Madame Taussauds. It was mainly me talking and most of the judges just listened and asked some questions about how I started the brand but didn’t give too much away. The whole process was really enjoyable though, especially as there were quite a few of us from London and CSM and we made the most of all that free LVMH champagne!

Looking forward, what are you hoping to achieve long-term?

I’ve not got too many ideas or specific goals in my head right now, I’m just trying to approach each day as it comes. It’s been such a whirlwind year and when I went into this I knew it was going to be tough, so I said to myself just enjoy every moment and make the most of any opportunity that comes my way, which is exactly what I’ve been doing. That’s not to say I don’t have dreams about how far I would like to take this, like I’d love to have a shop one day, but right now I’m focussing on getting this right, learning from it and having fun with it; I’m optimistic for the future and I think that’s something we need in the world right now.

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER

All clothing DANIEL w. FLETCHER
Photography
Sophie Mayanne
Fashion
Kamran Rajput
Words
Ryan Cahill
Make-Up
Ksenia Galina using MAC COSMETICS
Hair
Yuko Aoi using BUMBLE AND BUMBLE
Photography Assistant
Abbie Winterford
Models
Lorens and Karlis at Bro Models
Daniel w. Fletcher

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