Bobby Abley SS15 inspiration, Christina Aguilera ‘Bionic’ album art

The MAN show, Fashion East’s collaboration with Topman is your go-to for tomorrow’s established names. Christopher Shannon and James Long both rose through the initiative, as have Craig Green, Astrid Andersen and J.W. Anderson. The list goes on – if we named all the talent to pass through it’d battle Kerouac’s On The Road scroll for length, and that typewriter masterpiece measured 120ft. It’s a serious proving ground.

Liam Hodges SS15

“The kibbo kift, psychedelic camp fires, kaleidoscopic patches,” says Hodges of what he’s been looking at for SS15. “Whilst researching I am always grabbed by stuff that makes me start to think about narratives within my work. Always questioning within my world how would it exist in a weird sub-dimension of Liam Hodges. I guess it all really comes into fruition, through conversation with friends when discussing ideas and playing with narratives and building an identity for a collection.

Liam Hodges SS15 inspiration, The Great Taboo from the Kibbo Kift Al-thing of 1924

Liam Hodges SS15 inspiration, The Great Taboo from the Kibbo Kift Al-thing of 1924

It’s about keeping signature pieces and developing new shapes, that build on the identity of the brand from previous seasons whilst streaming into a new narrative.

This season is more of a sense of unity and social aspects between different groups of people, to learn for better. Developing new cultural identities and tribes, taking aspects from other cultures and sub-culturals to create a new multi-dimensional vision.

And make sure I’m finished for the first England game on the 14th of June!”

Bobby Abley SS15

“After the last show I was fantasising about going on a certain type of holiday,” says Abley, “I found myself in a more upbeat, happy mood than to what I was in during the last collection. There is a song I really like [Monday Morning by Christina Aguilera] and one of the lines is “I can always find the time to lay out in the sand” so I started to absorb things around that mindset and it kind of rolled from there. But don’t let that lead you to believe this is what the collection is all about – like I said it’s just a mood I fell into after the last show. I like my mood to take me places creatively because then the work remains natural and free flowing rather than contrived, which can be a bit of a headache.

I have a bit of an addictive personality so when I’m getting inspired for the new season I really get into the theme and surround myself with it. There is a particular story that’s grabbed my attention for many years and I’ve been wanting to work with it for a long time, it’s always been at the forefront in some way but I kept dismissing it because it didn’t feel right, but this time it is and I love telling stories haha. Sorry, I can’t say more than that.

I’ve got some really special accessories that are completely new to me, they are hard to miss. I’m working with new fabrics that I haven’t used before and of course my prints.

Looking back at the FW14 show (literally looking at a picture on my wall right now) I’d have to say that what has been most inspiring is to stay loyal to myself and my vision. The last show was exactly how I visualised  it from the beginning and I stuck with my gut instincts. I could not have been happier – I guess I’m quite a selfish designer – but it definitely has inspired to always stick to my guns and stay confident in what I believe in.

Obviously Disney was a big influence on my life as a child. I love that these kind of things that can release inhibitions whether it be big or small, I realised that even more when I would watch a Disney movie with my older sister or my mum and they would enjoy it just as much as me.

I was a bit of a loner as a kid, I liked my own company and I would definitely get creative you know really use my imagination, pretend my bed was a pirate ship and so on I became a master at daydreaming and I think the daydreamer in me never went away, that feeling of carefree fun has become so important to me, because growing up, things get so serious and reality can be a bit depressing at times, so it’s nice to forget reality momentarily when I’m putting on a show.”

Nicomede Talavera SS15

Louise Bourgeois has been a big inspiration this season,” Talavera explains, “in particular her fabric works. My focus was to take my work in more of a raw direction.

I have been a fan [of Louise’s fabric works] since seeing an exhibition of them at the Hauser & Wirth gallery a few years ago. The embroidered aspects inspired the hand-embroidered florals in my BA collection, but for SS15 I am looking at the graphic patchwork side. You can expect optical, movement, texture.

Nicmoede Talavera SS15 inspiration, Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works

Nicomede Talavera SS15 inspiration, Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works

I’ve looked back to my MA collection and taken particular elements but collided them with a new palette and patterns to create a paradoxical collection.

I’m constantly working on my label 24/7 and that is the best way to learn and improve. Tailored elements have always been part of my work, with pieces such as tailored t-shirts and tailored jackets with zip fastenings; the collection continues to explore, develop and evolve.

Everything’s going to plan but there are still half of the garments left to be made, plus final styling and casting. So no chilling out yet!”

Bobby Abley, Liam Hodges and Nicomede Talavera present their SS15 collections as part of MAN on Sunday 15th June. Stay tuned to HERO for full fashion week coverage, from London, Florence, Milan and Paris