British product designer, Felix Conran has just launched his first fashion collection this September as a part of London Fashion Week SS18, and approaches fashion in an unconventional, yet completely fitting manner. Conran’s collection caters for the public, but also for the creators, artists and designers themselves. Based around the idea of the smock, Conran has created a niche collection of garments, which provide comfort as well a canvas-like approach to fashion. I got the opportunity to find out more about the collection from Conran himself!
What inspired you to create a collection which is focused around the smock?
I love the smock, but generally I found people didn’t know how to wear them. There was a confusion about whether you’d wear a smock as a shirt or a jacket or a jumper, so the collection is making a stand by creating the smocks from a thin linen material, and altering the fit to make them into shirts.
The name of the collection, C-L-O-T-H speaks to the simplicity and canvas-like approach of the smock more generally. Why did you choose C-L-O-T-H as the name for the collection?
I think you’ve said it there, it was a very utilitarian name a simplification of clothing, with the dashes between each letter to act like stitching in the word.
More recently, we are starting to see diversity being clearly introduced into fashion, what with supermodel and body activist, Ashley Graham launching a plus size lingerie collection and luxury groups LVMH and Kering banning underage and size zero models in catwalk shows and ad campaigns. With the collection being unisex, and the body of the garments being the same size, how do you think this collections fits into fashion currently?
I don’t want it to fit in, I didn’t use any models, the clothes at the show where all worn by artists and designers. I am not a trained fashion designer, and because of this I haven’t been taught a lot of the problems with the industry, I am in a great position to look at everything with a fresh set of eyes.
The sizing system for the garments are named after the number of pockets they have. Where did this idea originate from?
Wanting to keep things simple. So much of this stuff is overcomplicated, I though how refreshing it is when things are simply named. Like washing machine, or plant pot. There is something classic and long lasting with these things, even if it’s new you know what it does, there is an innate sense of belonging when a name is right.
It is not often that collections are created for other designers and creatives, and the smock is almost a uniform for such individuals. Why do you think it is, that the smocks in the collection act as fitting garments for creative-minded people?
It’s a simple easy to wear garment that you can throw on in the morning and there are pockets to stuff full of useful things!
As a designer, what is your uniform, so to speak, when you are designing and in a creative headspace? In what ways does your outfit impact upon your creative state?
My most creative outfit is a smock and nothing else… I quite happily sit at a table wearing only a smock and a pen. Being in the right environment and making yourself comfortable is hugely impactful to a person’s creativity and general sense of wellbeing.
The garments are all made out of 100% Irish Linen, and so I’m interested to know why Irish Linen more specifically was used for the garments?
I love its lightness, and it was important for me to minimise the miles each garment travels before it is delivered to your home.
The presentation of the collection in the heart of Shoreditch shows the collection as designed by a creative, for the creative, with creative minded people modelling the garments. Why was it important to showcase the collection in this manner?
To do the clothing justice every part of the show needed to come from a creative space, hence we collaborated with Vardaxoglou, who were brilliant at getting artists together for the show. It all worked really, really well, the mural was beautiful, the installation was fantastic, and the models were beautiful.
To see more of the collection, head to https://c-l-o-t-h.com/