This week Fred Perry Laurel Wreath Menswear released their 2013 spring/summer collection. This season the design team looked to the British graphic art movement of the early 1980’s for inspiration.
The clothes are very nice (reflected by their quite high costs) but the context to their design is actually just as interesting as the items themselves… Here’s the background…
Neville Brody left the London College of Printing in 1979 and started working for a small record design agency that was involved with the post-punk music scene. His first piece of work can be seen int he image below; a 10” vinyl and slipcase for a band called The Motors.
Brody then went on to become Art Director of The Face; a British music, fashion and culture magazine which ran from 1980 and sadly closed in May 2004. The Face was an iconic magazine and has since been recognised as such by featuring in exhibitions at London’s Design Museum and the V&A Museum. Brody produced some of the most memorably layouts and covers for The Face, you can see them in images below.
This polo shirt from the collection seems to have something in common with Brody’s work, albeit a subtle connection. A direct translation of the layout probably wouldn’t work too well on a t-shirt.
Malcolm Garrett studied in Manchester in 1976 around the same time as The Sex Pistols and Buzzcocks were rising to prominence. Working with Buzzcocks, Garrett produced posters, record covers and logos for the punk band. Later, Garrett went on to work with Duran Duran, producing the recognisable cover to arguably Duran Duran’s biggest hit, Rio amongst other releases.
I think the below jumper is influenced by Malcolm Garett. Pink and grey is always a good combo. The design isn’t an exact reflection of the 80’s records, subtle updates make this garment more contemporary.
Peter Saville also studied in Manchester in the 70’s and met Tony Wilson, arguably an instigator of the British Punk scene and important figure in the Post Punk and New Wave movements that followed. Wilson was the mind behind Factory Records, it’s subsidiary venue The Hacienda and played an important role in the success of the bands Joy Division and New Order. Remember those super famous and very iconic record covers from Joy Division and New Order (pictured below)? Peter Saville designed those.
Check out the jumper below in comparison to Saville’s work. The press release explains that the “industrial dash print and a two colour dot pattern [are] evocative of early computer cards”. This could be mirroring Saville’s design for the ‘Blue Monday’ record sleeve from New Order, which mimics a first generation floppy disc.
Finally, Norman McLaren was an experimental filmmaker working throughout the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. McLaren is from a different movement to the other influencers in the Laurel Wreath collection but in my mind, he’s the most interesting. Check out his work in the excellent six minute video below in which he demonstrates techniques of making sound with images.
It’s a great little film. You can see nods to McLaren’s hand drawn sounds in this Colour Pop Card Wallet from Fred Perry.
So, there it is. Some nice clobber from Fred Perry with a very interesting set of influences and context. Today, I learnt something from Fred Perry. I’ll finish with this nice British Bomber Jacket in royal blue.
The Spring Summer ’13 Collection from Fred Perry Laurel Wreath Menswear is available online here now. Prices are high because all items are made in the UK.
Thanks to Fred Perry and the following for the images…
nuits sans nuit et quelques jours sans jour, Test Pressing, Simply Marvellous, The Red List, Burning the Ground, Arjo Creative Papers, Hunger TV, arkitip and carlosbela.