ARMY OF ME
Imagista’s London-based menswear fashion director Crystal McClory teamed up with award winning photographer Uli Weber to capture Casely-Hayford’s Fall/Winter collection. Uli’s images are inspired by, and are an homage to Elliott Landy. The results, we’re sure you’ll agree, are stunning both visually and in terms of the designer’s outlook on design and life.
The Casely-Hayford unmistakable house signature of sportswear and tailoring has created a distinguished fusion of sophistication and athleticism. This season sees the father-and-son duo look at the uniform of the new age Punks of tomorrow. For AW14, Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford focus on their ongoing fascination with London street style and British sub-cultures with references to the communities that make London the antithesis of a monoculture. Army of Me addresses the missing defining youth subculture of this decade.
Casely-Hayford’s AW14 collection dissects the idea of future Punk and the cult of the individual in a time where social uniform more often negates identity than enhances it. Where the punks of the ’70s used their clothing to communicate a distinct anti-establishment message, Army of Me’s post-modernist approach reasserts a sense of cultural root and of belonging for a new generation whose local references are simultaneously global and purposefully discordant. The AW14 collection starkly juxtaposes the duo’s interest in weighted cultural references with Graphic Minimalism, a new London feeling emerging through influences from Hong Kong and Singapore, which rejects direct references to culture’s past and instead looks to something devoid of nostalgia.
Imagista: How long have you been a designer?
Casely-Hayford: Always. I have been designing as far back as I can remember. Not a dressing-my-sister’s-dolls type designer, more bleaching my dads suits in the bath as a kid.
Imagista: What do you love about being a designer?
CH: The rite of spring. I love the opportunity of rebirth every season, the constant invention and re-invention.
Imagista: What are you most proud about or most excited about to date, in terms of your career as a designer?
CH: Seeing people I admire wearing our clothes that they have bought with their own money and not procured from a press office.
Imagista: Anything coming up that really excites you?
CH: Always the next collection of course and our plans to introduce women’s wear into our offering. Up until the ’00s I designed mens- and womenswear collections under the Joe Casely-Hayford label.
Imagista: What makes you the happiest?
CH: Family. I am really fortunate to have an inspirational family and I’m happiest in their company.
Imagista: Who in the world of fashion do you most identify with or are most inspired by?
CH: In the world of fashion I identify most closely with Charlie, my son, and Maria, my wife. Together we carved out a unique vision for our brand, Casely-Hayford; fusing British sartorial style with English anarchy and subcultures. It wasn’t until we began showing on the runway that a wider audience could grasp how we bring together these disparate worlds. I am inspired by their integrity in endorsing this vision even when a lot of people felt that London designers were either sartorial or street.
Imagista: What do you like to spend your money on?
CH: For me time is more valuable than money. I am not a materialistic person. To answer your question, I guess I enjoy good food, travel, books and music.
Imagista: Who or what do you love most in the world and why?
CH: My family for their unconditional love.
Imagista: Who do you think is the most underrated designer in the world right now?
CH: The American designer Andre Walker is a genius, I was thrilled to see the very clever Adrian Joffe at Dover Street Market launch the And Re Walker collection last season.
Imagista: What is your most valued possession?
CH: Good health.
Imagista: If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing or like to be doing?
CH: If I weren’t a designer I would enjoy looking back, instead of always predicting the future. I have thought about archaeology, although fashion will always be my first career love.
To shop Casely-Hayford and Anatomic Shoes please see the following links: