‘This collection was an opportunity to reconnect with childhood inclinations,’ Henry Blakeney says of his BA Menswear lineup. As a young boy in the centre of London, Blakeney obsessed over the exotic oceans and rugged landscapes of the natural world, out of reach inside his city upbringing. But his design sensibilities, if not its particular aesthetic, were most definitely informed by his youth.
Both his mother and father have explored design in their careers, his mother an interior designer and his father running a branding agency. The family influence in the 23 year old’s work extends beyond his creativity; his maternal family are Mauritian, and this heritage serves as a deep inspiration. The coastlines of the island nation funnelled through the lens of his childhood compulsions for nature and archeology form a fundamental part of his designs, while tailoring techniques smarten his streetwear persuasions.
‘I recently came to an epiphany,’ Blakeney elaborates. ‘This collection is my own personal style amplified and over exaggerated to the extreme.’ An everyday black trouser is studded with Swarovski crystals, a black cotton shirt is overlaid with a splashy bib and a necklace crafted from the vertebrae of a snake. Prints, used liberally throughout the six looks, are high octane imaginations of a bioluminescent Indian Ocean: A collaboration with RCA print student Victoria Anderson, and sublimated on overstitched scuba and high shine poly-satin bomber jackets and gilets.
Jess Worth, BA Fashion Journalism