Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Behind The Scenes: Loden Dager

As a follower of menswear there are two things that never fail to excite: seeing a collection on a runway and meeting with a designer in their studio.

The former is pretty obvious -- there is the music, the crowd, and seeing the pieces as the designer envisioned and styled it. The latter is the most unique opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation about the line, but also to see the environment that drives their work... fabric swatches, sketches, samples.

So when I had the invitation to meet with Loden Dager designer Paul Marlow in the brand's studio, I didn't hesitate to accept. I'm a longtime fan -- smart tailoring, unique detail + function, and a well balanced infusion of color and prints.

Sitting in the studio, surrounded by the aforementioned swatches, buttons, and Fall 2012 samples (my lips are sealed), I got to dive into what the brand is up to, and where they're headed.

Marlow (right) with Oliver Helden

The customer: "They want consistency", Marlow explained. Taking key silhouettes each season and changing the fabric or the details gives men reassurance the pieces will always fit as they expect, but keeps their look updated and fresh.

The collection: "I started making the pieces I'd want to wear...", but as the brand matures it seems important to Marlow that while everyone may not identify with each piece, the entire collection fits what his customer is looking for.

The production: "It makes it really easy having most of the collection produced seven blocks away", allowing for tweaks and modifications that would otherwise take a plane ride or a month of e-mail. Certain items are done in Los Angeles, Peru, Portugal based on the core production strength of those regions.

The show: "It really takes you away from everything", commenting on the subterranean venue where they've been holding their runway spectaculars (including personal fav Clement Chabernaud).

What's next: All I can say is... it's exciting. From what Marlow described about his plans for Fall 2012, as well as some expanding categories they are looking at, there is definite growth and excitement coming from the Loden Dager camp.

Stay tuned to more news via their blog, and for my recap after their Fall 2012 show in a few weeks!

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