Nathan Tom Pass is also an RCA, London 2012 graduate. The designer, who studied Textiles, blew us away with his autodidactic menswear collection of outlaw style ‘functional wear’.
Nathan manages to ingeniously balance functionality, which usually destroys the sex appeal of men’s and women’s wear – see for example German trekking outfits – with fashionable menswear, which can often rob men of any sense of masculinity.
His fashions tick all three: functional, masculine, and very, very sexy. But, in a masculine way of course.
The – sorry, did we already mention this – autodidact was inspired by Antarctic expeditions by explorers Ernst Schackleton and Robert Falcon Scott at the turn of the twentieth century. His collection is defined by vintage distressed looks and muted colours.
Nathan tells GoSee : "All of my work is based around traditional techniques and how I can utilise them in my work and move the chosen techniques forward.
Hand stitch, embroidery, embellishment, fabric manipulation, are the basis of my work with much of the focus of 'pre RCA' work being accessories and textile samples.
The move to garments didn't come until early this year, around January, until then I had focused on 3 dimensional fabric objects with lent themselves to the body.
I have always wanted to make clothing but didn't have the skills, knowledge or confidence to carry it out. The RCA with my tutors Freddie Robbins and Julian Roberts gave me the confidence to reach out and do what I wanted without fear.
All of the collection has been designed and made from scratch, I am not trained in pattern cutting or collection development or fashion design for that matter, I made it up as I went along, finding my own way of working. The rule was there was no rules!
All of the basic starting points for patterns are hand drawn, mirroring sketchbook drawings of characters inspired by Scott and Shackleton’s expeditions to the Antarctic around 1910-14. There is a line of integrity running through the entire collection.
Garments were made through a trial and error, on the spot decision making ethos, by doing it this way the work is always fresh and exciting. I used friends and classmates as models to alter the shape of each piece through their movement and wearing, refining the pattern until it worked the way I wanted it to.
The garments are all hand made, from fabric dyeing, embroidery, hand stitch to leatherwork, belts, braces etc.
I use chemicals to distress the garments, metal oxidisers and acids such as nitric and hydrochloride, chemicals which I have used for more than three years now, developing how to use them in different ways on different fabrics."
What a truly intriguing approach with a huge GoSee seal of approval. Take note and stock up your wardrobes now!
10 RCA Graduate Interviews 2012
Carlo Volpi , Menswear MA
Trine Hav Christensen, Womenswear MA
Fatma Bucak, Photography MA
Daniel Pollitt, Menswear MA
Alexander Lamb , Menswear MA
Isabelle Held, History of Design MA
Simon Foxall, Painting MA
Nathan Tom Pass, Textile MA
Hal Watts, Innovation Design Engineering MA
Michael Warren, Product Design MA