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Interview with Posthuman Wardrobe Designer Nimesh Gadhia


Julian Fuller and Jenny Holloway, Director of FashionCapital, were very impressed by the level of entrant’s designs and collections, but only two winners could be chosen. The overall winners were TOT and Posthuman Wardrobe. Please see below an interview with the designer and director of Posthuman Wardrobe, Nimesh Gadhia.

Describe your Design Concept:

My design concepts always come from questioning and experimenting with the traditional processes of garment construction. I started my career as a pharmaceutical scientist. I turned to fashion a few years after I graduated as I was always keen to apply my thought processes to three dimensional problems. I design analytically and experimentally. In that respect, pattern cutting and chemistry are philosophically similar. There is a given and expected pathway for all chemical reactions. All equations must balance and the path of construction of any compound follows a specific set of laws. As with pattern cutting, all garments are constructed with a logic that predates what one would consider “modern design” and this logic is formed of functionality, economics and style. By bending or even breaking the laws within any given system, I try to create new compounds or indeed shapes. This combination of deconstructing the laws while at the same time keeping a firm hold of functionality and wear-ability is where my concepts originate.

Tell us about your latest collection:

The new Autumn Winter collection 2012, The Observer Effect is a distillation of all the key Posthuman concepts to date. Heisenberg states: that which we observe we ultimately change. By further analyzing and deconstructing signature pieces that best embody the Posthuman philosophy and bringing them together in their own aesthetic sphere, we have developed a conclusive and physical response to the question: What is Posthuman Wardrobe. Technical outerwear with rib detailing and detachable face guards. Twist-seam technology applied to trousers to create unique 3D structures. The careful juxtapositioning of 2-fold cottons with silk jerseys to create asymmetric shirt concepts. Pure wool & cashmere suitings that retain elements of elegance and tradition. All filtered through a sober palette of science-lab white, x-ray greys and tones of clinical blues.

Where do you start your designing?

Inspiration comes less by moods and aesthetics and more by three dimensional problems in the form of questions. For me, everything starts with shape and structure.

What sort of things inspires you most?

Conflict, duality, sharp graphics, intelligent words and asking the question “why?”

Who is your favourite designer and why?

Issey Miyake – because of his long-standing tradition of experimentation with shape and structure and his remarkable ability to always innovate.

If you were not a fashion designer, what would you do?

I’d probably still be in pharmaceutics

What is your latest interest?

I don’t have much time out of the studio these days but I try and go swimming and rock climbing when I can. I’ve recently started watching Californication – which is just about one of the funniest and most intelligent shows I’ve ever seen. Also, when I can find the time, I like to read. I’ve been obsessed recently with the finer details of evolution so I’ve been reading Richard Dawkins’ “The Blind Watchmaker” which is fascinating.

What is your educational background?

Pharmaceutical Science @ the University of Aston in Birmingham 1997 (2.1). Fashion Design BA @ University of Westminster London 2003 (1st). Fashion Design and Enterprise MA @ University of Westminster 2005 (distinction).

Tell us about your career History:

After graduating in 2003, I was recruited by the menswear design team at River Island. From there I moved to the design team at Ozwald Boateng, where I became assistant design director. I left Boateng to study traditional bespoke tailoring with Vacher & Jacobs (on Savile Row). Immediately after completing my MA, I went to work for the multi-award winning impact protection technology brand – d3o, where I was recruited to head up the apparel side of the company’s development projects working with the likes of Puma, Quiksilver and Helly Hansen. I achieved success with d3o’s Quiksilver beanie, winning the ISPO snowboard product of the year award in 2007. In collaboration with American ski specialists, Spyder, I headed up the team responsible for the design of the down-hill ski-suits for the American and Canadian Olympic teams in 2007 and 2008. I left d3o in 2009 to pursue my own label. For a year I explored various extreme sports disciplines and experimented with different concepts and construction techniques in order to refine my brand identity. In 2010, Posthhuman Wardrobe was born.

Tell us about the history of the brand:

Being a new brand, Posthuman Wardrobe is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, going into our 3rd season, we showed on the Ones To Watch Stage with Vauxhall Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week this September – which went really well. Now, in an effort to secure more international stockists we’re taking the 4th collection to Paris’ new MAN trade show in January. In addition to this we recently won a contract with Debenhmans to have a diffusion range stocked in their flagship stores in London.  It’s been a busy year.

Where can we buy Posthuman Wardrobe?

Current stockists for the main line:

Wolf & Badger (on line)

NotJustALabel.com (on line)

Hunted (on line)

Hunted (Brighton)

British Designers (Bath)

Fashion Capital (online – coming soon)

Current stockists Diffusion Line:

Debenhamns (Oxford street & Westfield – coming soon)

We saw your Spring Summer collection on the Ones to Watch stage at London fashion week. It was amazing. What was your best and worst fashion week moment?

Worst: Probably the chaos backstage just before the show – it was horrific. I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed.

Best: Seeing my parents’ faces after the show and giving them a hug.

What piece from your new collection would you personally wear?

That’s an easy one – all of them! These days, I only ever wear Posthuman Wardrobe. But one piece I can’t wait to get my hands on (once press has finished with it and it has done its rounds at buyer meetings), is the Lambs wool double hooded coat with detachable face guard – The Heisenberg coat (page 1 of the look-book).

What was the latest you stayed up in the studio?

I’m not good with all-nighters. I’m usually quite organised so I don’t often find myself in that position. But last season, the night before the sample-house drop-off deadline it became painfully apparent that I wasn’t going to finish in time. I started at 6am and stayed in the studio till 10pm. I went home for a few hours for a quick sleep but then I was back in the studio working by 3:30am and I didn’t stop all day. That was a long day. Thank heavens for caffeine and sugar.

What was the soundtrack to your latest collection?

I’m a little bipolar when it comes to music. For this collection I became obsessed with the vision of angular, Icelandic bone structures, Dexter, pale skin, ethereal-soprano-falsettos, kill rooms, ice, science laboratories, clinical lines and purity: I downloaded everything by Sigur Ros including their earliest recordings and their remix albums and I listened to it all on repeat – it was mesmerising. But when I wasn’t listening to Sigur Ros, I was listening to Will Young (particularly Echoes and Let it go), The Kills, Band of Skulls, M83 and the Dirve soundtrack – amazing!

What are your plans for 2012?

Providing the world doesn’t end, this should be a good year for Posthuman Wardrobe. We’re going to Paris in January and we should hopefully return with some big orders. Getting a commercial foothold outside of the UK would be great. The diffusion line should be in stores in Debenhams in May – so that’s pretty exciting. Also, I’ll soon be selling select pieces on line with Fashion Capital. Then there’s the new collection, which I’m itching to start! At some point I think I’d like a holiday too – but I don’t see how I’m going to fit that in…

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