— November 13, 2012 —
London Show Rooms in Hong Kong
Dominic Jones and William Richard Green are polar opposites. While Dominic is soft-spoken, petite and an obvious city boy, William is tall, masculine and a born-and-bred country boy. The result is that the two of them have chosen drastically opposite paths in their careers. Whereas William designs heavy utilitarian-inspired menswear collections with whimsical details, Dominic designs elegant, exotic jewelry with warrior-like references. We had the opportunity to chat to them both while they were in town for London SHOW Rooms Hong Kong 2012. Read through the highlights of our conversation to get a better idea of their design aesthetic and their approach to their work.
Dominic Jones:The sculpture is made from wire and masking tape. I worked with an old friend of mine called Gary Card, who's a set designer. He's someone that I've grown up with. He used to make work like this at the beginning of his career; he would make amazing pieces like this for sets for editorials in Dazed & Confused and he worked really closely with Nicola Formichetti. Now he does things with Hermes, Loewe, Comme des Garcons. I asked him if he could make me one one of his masking tape sculptures and he was really into the idea because he hadn't done it in so long. It complements the polished, refined jewelry so well. We discussed lots of different configurations of the limbs. At first he wanted to do an octopus-like thing, but then I felt it was too symmetrical and I wanted something more abstract, intertwined and mutated. I went through every piece of the collection with him and we made sure that it would be something which complemented the collection well. The very first pieces from the collection that I had in my mind were the larger pieces. For example, the mouth piece; I wanted a piece that would be vertical on her face and I didn't want it to attached horizontally to the mouth either. It was a lot of trial and error! It's abstract, but it's quite true to my aesthetic. When you look at it off the body, it's still got real movement to it.
Dominic Jones: I don't like to be predictable. I've used a mixture of guys and girls in my lookbooks for the past few seasons and I didn't want to be identified as "that's my thing". This season, I wanted to strip it back, I wanted to do a new face that wasn't someone well-known. I didn't want it to be about a name; I wanted it to be about the images. Each season I work with a different team and I really enjoy finding a team and tailoring it to the collection and seeing how they interpret it and how different it can be. For art direction, I've been working with Jonathan Lu, who I've been working with from the very beginning. He's a very big part of my brand. He did everything from the lettering of my logo to helping me with the packaging, to the website. He's an amazing guy and one of my best friends, so it's nice that I always have to bounce things off of and to act as a filter in my work.
William Richard Green: I grew up on a farm; we had sheep, cows, chickens, a hawk, ferrets. It was really nice; the nearest neighbor is a mile away. Have you ever seen this film, Dead Man's Shoes? It's based in the countryside and most of it is really, well, horrid. That's like where I grew up. To look at it, it's beautiful, but when you actually go in to the closest town, everyone's bored and there's nothing to do. ButI very much still love going home. I like the outdoors and eventually I'd like to move back to the countryside. You know,in England, you have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life at age 17, 18. My dad's a lawyer and I live in the countryside, but still I wanted to be a fashion designer! My brother's in textiles, and my other brother's in photography. My youngest brother's studying geography and works at Domino's Pizza. He's about to win the award for "Fastest Domino's Delivery Driver"!
William Richard Green:All the fabric I use is British. We have such an amazing heritage in the apparel industry and it's dying out, so I want to use it, but not in a 'heritage brand' kind of way. I wanted to do something more fashion forward. I'm very closely tied to where I'm from and this collection was really based around the areas of England where everything was made; a lot of if was in Leicester and North London, the fabric is all from Lancashire. I was looking at those areas of Britain, which are really beautiful areas, but I was looking at the grittier "anti-postcard" side of it. I have swatches from basically every mill in England that produces fabrics! I'm slightly ADHD and if I had the choice of every fabric in the world, I wouldn't be able to decide on one, but if just have all the British fabrics, then I can just look at it in terms of working in terms of the strengths of the fabric. With the boiler suit, I used this herringbone - which is a very traditional British fabric - but it's a wool and linen blend. Only very recently have the British mills worked out that, well, not everyone wants to just by tweed! I've been doing the label for three years now and, within the last year, they've really upped their game. The whole heritage fashion scene really made them realise that people still care.