London’s finest interviewed: Marwood
Menswear, as anyone will tell you, is all about the details, so in a break from talking to designers in the throes of creating full ensembles of clothing for the catwalk, I spoke with Becky French of Marwood, designer of a truly beautiful range of accessories. One of the great pleasures of Menswear Day (as was) has always been experiencing new talent at firsthand in the Fashion East: Men installations at Somerset House. It was there that I first met Becky and fell in love with the delicate lace bow ties she was then presenting and knew I had to own one. An order was soon placed, coinciding in our most popular post to date. Since then, I’ve continued to be seduced by Becky’s designs, which seem to transcend the ‘formality’ of tie wearing, whilst at the same time having a refined ‘evening’ aesthetic, coming especially through the glamourous fabrics for AW12. These are ties for non-tie-wearers and rule breakers, and I recommend you experience them for yourself.
1. SL: You’ve had the opportunity to showcase at Fashion East Men installations quite a few times now, what’s the best thing about that opportunity? What has it meant to you as an emerging fashion business?
BF: I showed with Fashion East for my first three seasons of Marwood. It has been such an opportunity to have an open brief to show the collection in a creative installation without the main intention being sales. I have loved working with the Fashion East team and meeting the other designers as well – it gives you energy to feel part of a bigger picture particularly when working on your own so much. As a business, this recognition has also given me the opportunity to meet influential buyers and press who have shown their support and belief in the Marwood product. This has been invaluable. I am excited to now be showing Marwood as part of the Designer Gallery Accessories this season.
2. SL: Who would you love to see wearing a Marwood tie? Is there an actor, celebrity or personality you would love to dress?
BF:Always hard to say. Ian McKellen would style up a Marwood tie pretty nicely (and naturally). Patti Smith for that iconic image. There are many personalities I like but really just someone who genuinely likes the product really. I would love to see an orchestra who wear bow ties as a uniform try out the lace en masse.
3. SL: Aside from your own work, what excites you in men’s fashion right now? Who or what is on your radar?
BF: I can’t wait to see everyone’s collections during London Collections: Men. I have been alongside labels such as Berthold, Baartmanns and Siegel and William Richard Green over the past few seasons and am looking forward to seeing them again. This major focus on UK based menswear is going to up the ante for all the designers so it will be an exciting season.
4. SL: What’s next for Marwood? What’s the next frontier for Marwood ties?
BF: This season introduces some English made scarves and braces to the collection. It feels right to broaden the range of accessories going forward but without losing focus on the details. I do miss designing clothing for men and women and I have so many ideas but for the foreseeable future Marwood will explore accessories thoroughly. Aside from designing we are currently looking for a new Marwood studio – it is time to find more space! There are some more collaboration suggestions and we are also looking to take part in a British exhibition focussing on the make of products in this country. Lots to do.