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Graduate Fashion Week Day 4- Nathaniel Thompson

Continuing the last day of Planet Notion’s Graduate Feature we look towards menswear. We chat with graduate designer Nathaniel Thompson who has before, embarking upon his Fashion Design degree at Middlesex University, worked with Gareth Pugh. During his time with Pugh, Nathaniel hand finished pieces for the A/W 2009 show at Paris fashion week. Thompson has also worked with Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard. A master in craftmanship indeed!

Planet Notion: What is the inspiration behind your most recent collection?

Nathaniel Thompson: My graduate collection ‘Tronic’ is based on the two Disney Tron films (Tron 1982 and Tron Legacy 2010). As well as being heavily influenced by Electronics. I developed futuristic prints made up of lines, geometric shapes and fast moving lights. My prints are a main component of the collection; and that actually we are more connected to machines than we know and so there’s a constant link between man and machine.

PN: How would you describe your design aesthetic?

NT: My design aesthetic is very much to do with the concept, I know in fashion the concept is not a major concern, just how a collection looks overall. But with me I would describe it as I am an artist painting my own world and how I want the people in that world to dress.

PN: Are there any particular construction/design techniques or fabrics/materials that you specialise in?

NT: Seams and panels are a major design and construction technique that continues to follow through all of my collections. I like to use a number of fabrics ranging from plastics to neo preen, and wools to silks.

PN: Are there any designers that have influenced your work or that you admire?

NT: My first is Raf Simons, I love the simplicity of his clothes and the colours he uses are so powerful and striking. Dries Van Noten, I just admire his silhouettes and the slickness he creates with his coats. Always been a huge fan of Menswear Prada. Lastly Tom Ford is a great influence I love his suits he has designed for Gucci and I also admire his passion for film making which is something I’m looking into myself.

PN: What are your hopes for the future?

NT: My hopes for the future are to work for some fashion companies and designers. I would love to work for Raf Simons! But I also have a passion for film making, and as fashion catwalk shows are becoming a thing of the past, it would be a great pleasure to film fashion films for designers and myself.

PN: In terms of employment and support, how do you feel the climate in the fashion industry is for recent graduates? Do feel it is a challenging time to be graduating?

NT: I’m not going to lie; it is a very challenging and competitive time for any graduate. There are a lot of graduates graduating worldwide, and a lot of them are brilliant at what they do. But sadly enough, jobs in the industry are limited. But in anything you do the best option is to keep on going! There will be highs and lows, but the greater the effort the bigger the reward.

PN: How do you see yourself developing and growing as a designer?

NT: I think as one develops as a person their design develops with them, constantly being refined. The more I keep on developing and growing as a person learning and experiencing new exciting things the better my designs will be for it.

PN: The British fashion industry is world renowned for its creativity and new design talent. How does it feel to be included in this exciting and respected sector?

NT: Oh it’s an amazing awesome feeling! The talent is just impeccable and it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of such a highly regarded sector.

PN: If you could work with any designer for a day who would it be?

NT: Raf Simons any day!

PN: Who would you love to dress or to see in your clothes? Your ideal customer?

NT: My collection is very unique and doesn’t follow any particular trends, therefore it is aimed at young edgy men that are interested in their style rather than following fashion. As for me, style is ones own unique fingerprint which they are known for and it holds the freedom for expression. Johnny Depp has always been an icon of mine and for me he epitomises style and I would love to see him in my clothes. During my final collection I was heavily influenced by Daft Punk and their music which embodies my collection, so I would love to dress them!

You can find more about Nathaniel Thompson at his website.


-Kathryn Duncan

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