Synonymous for his inventive take on classics knits as well as a talent for producing some of the finest prints to hit the runway at LFW, James Long's new collection is testament to his incredible eye for detail. Signature looks included swirling impressionist prints and stylised paint splatters which were softened by lightweight knits and muted colours. Caramel mottled leather jackets were a key look within this collection, while tightly laced desert boots were the footwear of choice for the James Long man:
I always say that each collection kind of carries on from the last and as a designer, I'm always researching and picking stuff up. I went to Woodstock in New York and that inspired the whole desert feel to this collection. I remember there was this amazing guy there and he'd this great burn-out hippy look and from him to the guys coming into my studio to try things on, I'm always picking up inspiration. I worked a lot with the artist Ethan Cook on the prints for this collection and he was a regular visitor to my studio, which is very much an open place full of people I trust and together we continuously come up with new ideas for each collection.
Do you have any personal style icons?
Oh millions! I love David Bowie - he always seems to work his way back in. A lot of my heroes are from my era, so Kurt Cobain, Robert Mapplethorpe, I love Patti Smith.... Anyone can put clothes on, but I think it's more about wearing the clothes and having an attitude and knowing what you're talking about.
Your known for your knitwear, a material which is more closely related to A/W than S/S. Do you have any style tips for wearing it this upcoming season?
For heavier knits, just team them with lighter materials for a cool look, or just simply incorporate more jersey fabrics into your wardrobe.
Where do you see the future of men's fashion in this country?
When I first started at FASHION EAST, it was just crazy. There was just one show at the time and now there's so many. It's great because it's bringing the buyers in. I've done three NEWGEN shows now, so I don't really know where the support goes for me next, it's always just rolled on. But, with the BFC doing the showROOMS in Paris amongst other things, everyone is definitely behind the future of menswear.