Tweed is the emblematic fabric that one always labels as Chanel, as if the luxury dinosaur owns it. So everything for women that comes and that is made of tweed such as a jacket, a skirt or pants or even a dress, always has this Chanel-inspiration in the design. Tweed is also Scotland's legacy to fashion, inasmuch as the country produces the best samples and keeps the secret safe.
Alan Taylor, a London-based designer born in Dublin, gives a new dimension to this iconic fabric, by breaking the rules in a way, and by making it his own as being now his statement material. Taylor definitely masters and challenges this exquisite material, designing every garment in it. His AW13 collection entitled "Special Relativity" is both a dialogue and a relation between tweed and other fabrics such as wool, cotton and sheer textiles. There is a balance between the heavy tweed and other materials. Taylor 's menswear is not about classical "Harry's tweed suit". It is more than one can expect when you think of a collection about tweed. There is no deconstructive process in the design because you can easily recognise that it is actually tweed, wool and see-through fabrics, but the focus is on the mix of materials and on the volumes and shapes of his garments. All the pieces have got a Taylor cut, which is tailored asymetrical jackets, coats, and even the shirts have this unique approach. Taylor creates a new perspective to menswear traditonal suits, giving another dimension and more than another dimension, a new reality.
What is striking here is the idea of the double, especially in terms of the versality that you get when you focus on the suits and pants. At first glance, it is just a simple well-cut grey tweed jacket, but when you look at the back, it is not, it is something more. Perhaps it is like the reflection of the jacket through a mirror which is made of sheer fabric. It is the same effect, considering the matching grey pants. It is absolutely stunning what Taylor can achieve with the black breasted suit and its red see-through jacket. We love the idea of choosing the side you prefer, and we definitely opt for the see-through jacket.
If Chanel owns tweed for women then, Alan Taylor owns tweed for men. It is so modern to design with elements that are highly part of a cultural landscape. It is so daring! Taylor has created a real language with this fabric. It is bit complicated to update menswear without being too cliché. There is nothing cartoonish in the coats or in the jackets because the proportions are damn good. The "boys meet girls" aesthetics is not too much at all like the idea of the kilt (also his signature), that takes different shapes and lengths (pleated and asymetric). Taylor's obsession with the fabric suggests his relationship with his own culture and it is completely obvious in the garments.
These pictures come from Alan Taylor's website.