Photo for The Trad by Alice Olive
It doesn't hurt to look at menswear like a European holiday. There are those who board the tour bus and never get off. They're taken where other people think they should go, see what other people think they should see and eat what other people think they can handle. Everything is taken care of and any interaction with the locals is liaised by the guide.
Here in NYC, there are a small number of people working in menswear design. Many hang out together, share ideas, move from one company to another, haunt the same vintage stores and flea markets, read the same Japanese menswear magazines and steal from each other. They love to quote Coco Chanel, "Creativity is the art of concealing your source."
Problem today --'source' is a four minute Google search open to anyone who can spell. So everything looks like everything else -- when you're on their bus.
When you get off the bus at Grahame Fowler, you'll discover a man doing his own thing. I love the bag up there. And so will some designer but by the time he picks that bag off and gets it into Capsule-2013, Fowler will have moved on to something new, intelligent, tasteful and funny. You're not gonna know anything about it riding on the bus. It's when you get off and walk up a winding street without a clue to where it ends. I somehow always seem to find a pub to liaise in.
Check out Grahame's new blog here.