Designer profile: Casely-Hayford SS12

Posted on 1st January, by Colin Chapman in Designer profiles, menswear. No Comments

All this thinking about what to wear when the sun returns has got me thinking about some of the most exciting collections I saw in the autumn. So, bucking all fashion industry rules I’m talking about the Spring season just as it’s about to kick in. And of course just before we see what we’ll be wearing next winter on Menswear day in February. Confused? Oh well, with global warming who knows what season we’re in anyway?

I had the pleasure of seeing the Casely-Hayford 2012 collection twice in the fall: once a delightful walkthrough with Mr Charlie Casely-Hayford in person, and once in the refined atmosphere of The Showroom Next Door.

At the former, Charlie started out by telling me that ‘touch’ and was a key inspiration for the SS12 collection, and with this tactile theme in mind I proceeded to stroke, prod and swish the pieces in hand. The familiar Casely-Hayford lightness of touch is very evident and the unique combination of louche English gentility with the ease of sportswear made the pieces a joy to handle and easy to imagine as part of (certainly my) wardrobe.

The separate shirt collection, with polo detailing on the collar and rich, sporty colours was very pleasing to the eye (see shots above), but the absolute standout pieces for me were the JARMAN basket weave jacket, with satin tux-like trim, and the matching BASALT basket weave trousers. As you can see from the images below, the texture of the fabric is incredible, very lightweight and breathable and in the deepest indigo.

At the Showroom Next Door resee I tried the basket weave trousers on, which fitted me perfectly in sample size (alas no camera was to hand on fitting day) and I am absolutely determined to own a pair and will be waiting nose-to-window for their appearance in Dover St, Shop at Bluebird, Joseph and Hostem next season. Look out for a Spring outfit post when I finally own a pair! The jacket meanwhile features the most beautiful attention to detail, (as you can see above), featuring satin covered buttons and a shirt-cuff detail and is light enough to be worn as a casual overshirt. It looked great with a simple Breton striped top underneath. Tempting!

The jacquard jacket, and pants meanwhile were two of the pieces that best evidenced the tactile theme of the collection, the jacquard fabric, like the deep indigo basket weave, being both cool to the touch and possessing a very pleasing texture. And the strong yet subtle pattern definitely in keeping with some of the other notable collections for SS12, such as Burberry Prorsum and with beautiful matt brass buttons.

Traditional men’s slippers, known as Belgians in the U.S. I believe, are set to be a big trend for SS12. And the Casely-Hayford ones are in the softest quilted leathers. These have already been added to my wishlist for SS12 shoes (currently 5 pairs and counting!).

Expect a separate post on my top picks for new-season shoes shortly, as well as a more detailed feature on some of my favourite new shoe brands. For now: time to get packing!


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