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As part of my countdown to the Collections: Men I’ve been speaking to some of my favourite designers in London this week, capturing a quick snapshot of their thoughts leading up to the big event. First up is Sharpened Lead standard Lou Dalton. Lou recently won NewGen Men funding allowing her to develop her established salon presentation into a fully-fledged catwalk show. Lou’s last collection presentation was a triumph, not just for beatiful clothes, but in fusing a real narrative with rousing music and some rather special hats.
Four questions for Lou Dalton:
1. SL: Congratulations on the recent NewGen Men sponsorship: what difference does it make to you? What is the impact of such sponsorship?
LD: A huge difference, I have a very tight cashflow, which although we are now gaining momentum is getting slightly healthier it still only just about allows me to produce a new collection with very little to do a show / presentation, in time hopefully this will change, to have this support is fantastic & I am truly grateful, I never take anything for granted especially this, I work hard in trying to give as much of a return as possible for this support. The impact of the support to date has been great, with the support comes responsibility & the challenge to deliver on every level, you can’t just think woo hoo drinks all round, this is about building a business that will hopefully be long standing.
2. SL: Narrative has always been really strong in your presentations: what would your dream presentation be like (in terms of staging, venue, atmospherics)? Do you dream of big productions?
LD: My ultimate dream would be to show in Paris in a similar format to now, a salon show environment like all those old Parisian fashion shows, it was decadent & intimate & all things I love. Big production works for some but I never want to lose the source of what it’s about & that is the clothes, making beautiful clothes for beautiful men, the bloke who is hopefully buying my wares wouldn’t care if I was to have lasers or holograms runnning whilst the boys were coming out, I just want it to look honest & to the point.
3. Without giving the game away, can you give us a few choice words to describe what we might see on June 16 in your catwalk show?
LD:I’m obsessed with the underdog, it’s a personal thing that I’ll always touch on throughout my work. Feeling like the underdog can lead to being obsessed with the will to succeed, the flip side being that being so driven can make you border line insane, & it’s a little to do with that.
4. SL: You’ve recently been collaborating with Topman, what would you like people to associate with the name Lou Dalton? Is there an aesthetic/idea you’d like people to take away from your work?
LD:I love working with the Topman boys it was a great project to do, I loved it. I just want folk to take me as I am & hopefully see a little of honesty throughout the work that I do. It’s great working on projects for various folk it allows your work to reach a different kind of audience it also means that you don’t have to compromise on your own label which is super important.