In recent seasons at London Fashion Week, dance has been used to showcase collections in ways memorable and dynamic. But none have been choreographed by the designer – until now. Last weekend, at the London Fashion Week Men’s DiscoveryLabs at the Truman Brewery, emerging designer and dancer Saul Nash debuted his first collection.
The east London-based designer graduated from his masters in menswear at the prestigious Royal College of Art (RCA) in June 2018, making his undoubtedly one of the youngest brands to join LFWM. His fusion of dance and design come courtesy of his education: prior to his years at the RCA, he studied performance at Central Saint Martins. “My main interest is a liberation of movement,” begins Nash. “The man in motion is a true reflection of who he really is... I’m interested in the metamorphosis from static to motion, and my clothes reflect that.”
This collection, Static|Motion: A Converversation Part 2, looks to “quietly reinvent sportswear” in an eight piece capsule. “It is a continuation of where I’ve come from, but it’s more refined,” he says. “It began as an investigation into identity, and understanding what my man wears. I was looking into how I could create a silhouette that could change to accommodate movement. As a dancer, they’re the kind of clothes my friends and I like to wear, so the collection manifested from that.”
“Saul is a leading light in menswear for the future.” Zowie Broach
Blending performance fabrics and quality knits lends a luxury quality to the brand’s interpretation of sportswear. “It’s in the fabrication, the pattern cutting and the time it takes to craft a garment,” he explains. “They’re not garments you can give to a factory and have made within two hours — they’re meticulous in their finishing and they take hours of work to get them to how they should be.”
In his first year at RCA, Nash won a three month internship with Adidas, which helped to further his exploration of movement and form. “Working at a performance wear company helped me understand that it’s a balance between function and aesthetics,” he says. “Being a dancer, it really helped me connect the relationship between dance and design, and exposed me to different ways of cutting for performance and movement.” His former course leader and head of fashion at the RCA, Zowie Broach, has nothing but praise for the young designer. “Saul is a leading light in menswear for the future,” she enthuses. “Not only does he have great aesthetic capabilities, modern cutting and an eye for purposeful details, but he represents a voice and vision that moves through our world with less attention than it should — his elegance and dedication is beyond reproach.”
Given that movement is crucial to his practice, it comes as no surprise that he communicates this vision across a variety of visual mediums. The Static|Motion collection comes with a short film, made in collaboration with French filmmaker Fx Goby. “I want to keep doing dance performances and keep making films because that’s a big part of my identity,” he says. “It’s important to be honest, and that’s what I want people to see when they see my work. It’s an honest reflection of myself.”