Presenting Charlotte Bruton’s Autumn/Winter 2015 collection for her Birmingham City University degree. Her all black menswear is said to be inspired by the study of videotapes progressing to a muse being discovered.
Showing at Graduate Fashion Week held at the Truman Brewery, East London the collection of six pieces showed details of painted matte lacquer pockets, rubber cords used as drawstring, contrasting against shiny black eyelets. Along with mixed tailoring and large snow boots capturing the essence of Patrick Bateman from the film American Psycho and of course that famous twist on the transparent raincoat.
Some fabrics used including waterproof nylon, coated denim, wool, crinoline.
First of all congratulations on your show at GFW it looked really strong and beautifully executed too, how was the whole process for you? Did you enjoy GFW and the journey towards it?
Leading up to the event the pressure was definitely on. It was a very anxious day as everything I had done in the past 10 months would be over in a 2 minute catwalk show and of course the unknown of how people would react to my designs. As soon as the models left my presence I felt so excited watching it backstage, that’s when I really got the full sense of achievement. Hearing post-show feedback has left me extremely happy and looking back I’m so glad I was able to showcase at such a prestigious event.
What made you want to delve further into fashion, what was your first encounter of fashion design that drove you to your degree?
My first encounter with fashion was aged 4. My eyes were drawn to a pair of my mums shiny tights so I put them on with a pair of knickers over the top to stop them falling down and proceed into nursery – nobody stopped me. But what really inspired me to design was through studying art at school and my GCSE piece included a painting of an advert in Vogue.
You interned at Meadham Kirchhoff, how was this experience? Although their designs are very different from your final collection, do you feel it had any influence on your journey?
Definitely, it is always great to be exposed to new ideas and things you wouldn’t necessarily encounter. It was a very fast paced environment working 12/13 hours a day in prep for their collection but seeing it all come together was amazing and reassured me I wanted this experience for myself. It was inspiring to see Ben and Edwards wall of creativity come together day by day as new images were added and fabric swatches. Their designs are the polar opposite to mine yet I learnt so much and appreciate the time spent on their intricate and delicate pieces.
Who do you have in mind when you design?
The type of man that I vision wearing my designs would be young, fashion conscious but not necessarily trend driven. They enjoy mixing tailored wearable pieces with things that make a statement.
Do you have any icons or main influences that inspire your design aesthetics?
I always find myself being inspired by films, I enjoy creating a concept based around the feeling, mood and characters translating it into a collection. Yohji Yamamoto is a designer who I love to keep up to date with, he is always reaching out to youth audiences with his Y-3 Adidas collaboration making his designs more affordable to the masses. I believe that young British menswear designers are at the forefront of the fashion industry with the likes of Astrid Andersen, Agi & Sam and Bobby Abbley being the ones to watch I love to see them grow from season to season.
Talking of influences is music/ imagery or just a feeling important to you during your design process?
I am definitely a visual person so it starts with the imagery sparking an idea. This then develops through a variety of ways such as trawling around fabric shops, scrolling through tumblr and watching films. The feeling is then developed through the design process and usually my initial ideas aren’t what the finish product ends up like.
Although the music itself isn’t my main influence to make a creative mood I always have to have something on. Depending on my mood I have a vast spectrum of musicians on my iTunes including Nirvana, A$AP Rocky, Iggy Azalea, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Lana Del Rey.
It feels like there are some more young menswear designers emerging recently, do you feel that there is more scope or something to prove being a menswear designer? Why did you choose menswear?
I started off designing womenswear however going into my second year of university I wanted to try designing for men for my first project but honestly didn’t think I would stick with it. Turns out I much preferred it and continued to develop and discover my own aesthetic.
What is it about the industry you are looking forward to, or you currently enjoy? The pace, community, pressure…?
Above everything I love the fact that I have the opportunity to be creative. The whole process of building my portfolio and discovering who I am is a designer had been a fantastic journey thus far and can’t wait to see where I end up in the industry. I like that it is fast paced and constantly changing with no two days the same.
What is it you like to personally wear and currently is your own style an extension of your own designs? Do you evolve much as a person and experiment with your own style?
I don’t think my designs are currently an extension of my own sense of style however I definitely take an androgynous approach when choosing out an outfit. It’s hard to summarise my style as I think I look different every day. Sometimes I want to follow trends and dress minimalistic taking inspiration from bloggers such as Ivania Carpio and other days I’ll mix and match vintage items.
What is next for you? As a big question for a young designer, with the world at her feet what is your ultimate goal and aspiration?
At the moment I am taking a well earned holiday! But once I’m back it’ll be job hunting, looking for any internship opportunities that catch my eye or assistant design roles. Id love the chance to work abroad wherever that may be, I think working on the continent would be a whole new approach to design as would working in the states or Asia.
Ultimately I would love to design for a prestigious fashion house however I am open to whatever opportunities come my way. If I had the means to have my own label that would be an incredible achievement too.