Although it’s been a week since menswear day, we thought we’d let the torrent of LFW stuff slow down before we put up this Q&A with James Small. We caught up with him right after the show but he was nice enough to answer our questions. Take leap to see his answers and his look book.
So how was it?
It’s very nerve-wracking. I’ve been prepared because I obviously did sales about three weeks ago, so I’ve had the clothes ready, I’ve had my friend over to help me, it’s just that on the day it’s a bit nerve wracking. About from that everything’s been fine.
All hustle bustle?
Yes, It’s just the day. It’s the waiting. And, obviously, bad traffic, everything’s delayed. I’ve been prepared, it’s just waiting around to get everything else prepared. But it’s been cool.
And what were some of the influences?
Basically I’ve been looking at civil war uniforms, that was a major influence. I got really caught up in it, it was just amazing. Like all the confederates used to wear Yankees uniforms, they used to wear different colours, they used to dye their own, they used to wear their own clothes, they used to sew their own patches on it like a ragamuffin. And that’s how I built the collection. There’s a few pieces directly influenced by confederate jackets, but it’s more the mix of fabrics and colours. There was about 40 different fabrics I’ve used. A lot of horizontal lines going on, that’s something I like.
For those that don’t know, where are you from originally?
I’m from Canterbury in Kent. I went to Art college down there and then moved to London when I was 18, so I’ve been here about ten years.
Was there a sporty element to the collection?
The tailoring’s a lot looser and unstructured and the trousers a wider leg which can be linked to streetwear but I always base it on what you have in your wardrobe. So you have chinos in your wardrobe, I have skinny jeans, I have a jacket, I have a bit of jersey, I have some sweats, so that’s how I go about it. I wouldn’t call it street, I wouldn’t call it tailoring.
So how does it relate to your last season?
Last season it was a lot more colourful. The first season I did was all black’s and navy’s, last season I did a lot more print, so basically I pulled that into this season. Being a bit more bold with colour is the main thing.
What interests you about menswear?
Basically I’m a man and I like clothes. That’s the easiest answer and it’s probably the most truthful.
Hopefully grow the James Small business, get some nice consultancy work and get some more money out of it! (laughs)
So no diffusion lines?
I’d love to do a diffusion line. But I’m a long way off. I just wanna get some interest, get some established buyers, we’ve had some great interest this season. Just make it accessible for people, having a good price point and making wearable pieces is the main thing.