When Talent Hits Home
Daniel W. Fletcher is not afraid of a political message. His autumn/winter 2017 collection shown at Men’s London Fashion Week in January spoke loudly about issues around national belonging, voting and Brexit and now the designer has taken over the mock-Tudor interior of London’s Liberty, decorating it with pennons that read “stay”, “London” and “DwF”. But besides the messages being spelled out on the flags, this new pop-up carries a strong point for young British fashion.
With a few exceptions, the relationship between British stockists and emerging designers often seems frustrating. Why is it that a designer can accumulate over a dozen international stockists before even having a single domestic one? “There's a lot of young brands that have only been going for a few seasons and the UK stores are a little more cautious, whereas internationally London is viewed as a hub for emerging talent and people want to buy into this,” says Fletcher. He continues: “This is the home of the brand, it's my home and the collections are heavily influenced by this country so it only seems right to have it sold here.”
And Fletcher’s 1970s-inspired menswear collection does look perfectly at home in the wooden halls of the basement floor of Liberty. The pieces themselves are a cross between the outfits worn by Diane Keaton in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and the kind of disco-ready attire you’d see on the dancefloor of a northern soul night. There are multicoloured boiler suits, boxy polo necks and printed neckerchiefs to spare, with the pièce de résistance being a pair of skinny patchwork leather trousers – an investment piece that could easily become a case of his and hers. Knowing that this is only the first act of this very British collaboration, we’re excited to see Fletcher’s autumn/winter 2017 collection hitting the Liberty floor in early summer, just as his next vision is unveiled at LFWM. What does Fletcher have in store for his next spring/summer collection? “After last season being a little bit more formal, I'm ready to have a bit more fun again. It is summer so there's likely to be some stripes, and some waterproofs too. We do live in England after all.”
Text by Dino Bonacic