Set in the fabulous (but faraway) confines of a lavish Carlton Gardens townhouse Tom Lipop was one of the twelve designers handpicked by the Fashion East pioneer – Lulu Kennedy – to partake in the catwalk alternative which has gone from strength to strength in its three year reign.
Tom Lipop was headhunted by Vauxhall Fashion Scout last season and his conceptual trademark for directional apparel is slowly but surely gaining ground. For SS13, Tom stood face-painted and tattooed models in open wardrobes prettied with rainbow flora complementing the colour blocking theme. Milling around fulfilling his obligatory designer duties to tweak models and chat to the onlookers we had a casual chirps with Mr. Tom.
Planet Notion: Hi Tom, it’s nice to put a face to the clothes. The room looks great as does your SS13 two cents, what was your initial inspiration point?
Tom Lipop: Mexico and its two different cultures: you have the classic Mexican man which is all loose, casual clothing and then you have its gang scene which have this L.A., street attitude. I took elements from the two and combined them. The result is what you see here today. We also looked at a lot of sugar skulls and have taken inspiration from that to use in the branding.
PN: How important do you think it is that London has its own menswear showcase?
TL: Massively so! It has taken a lot of time but I think now is the right time for it to happen. There’s nowhere else in the world like London and the other cities – Milan and Paris – are boring in comparison. London has so much to offer and it’s so important that is recognized internationally. I think it’s a great thing that British menswear is finally getting the exposure it deserves.
PN: We agree it’s about time. Where do you see London Collections: Men going in the next couple of seasons?
TL: Menswear is expanding at an alarming rate so I see it getting bigger and bigger, season after season. We have a cohort of superbly talented young designers in this city and it’s so important they have a showcasing platform available to them. London provides them with so many opportunities I think it’s only right we have something like LCM which is solely dedicated to showcasing that talent. I hope eventually we will get a whole week, like womenswear and London Fashion week, it’s only fair.
Words – Helen Turnbull
Photos – Laura Lewis