Menswear by British designer Carolyn Massey
View Carolyn Massey Fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
Introduction to the Carolyn Massey Brand
Just twelve months after completing her MA at the Royal College of Art, Carolyn Massey started up her namesake fashion label due to ‘frustration, boredom, and demand’. Carolyn Massey debuted her menswear collection in Paris in 2006, to critical acclaim marking the start of the Carolyn Massey fashion label.
Many labels have since taken notice of Carolyn’s talent. As of 2011, Carolyn Massey had collaborated with a varied range of brands including, British brand Slazenger and Japanese brands at the forefront of the industry, Tabio and Orihica. However, by far her biggest collaboration has been with British high street giant, Topman, creating capsule collections for Topman’s Lens designer range.
As of 2011, the Carolyn Massey mainline collection was available for purchase at online retail store ASOS and Monmouth boutique, Daniel Jenkins, in the UK. The brand is also available in US boutiques, Opening Ceremony and Juxtaposition as well in boutiques in Japan, France and Belgium
- 2005: Carolyn Massey completes her MA at the Royal College of Art in June.
- 2006: The Carolyn Massey menswear brand is launched in Paris
- 2009: Carolyn Massey, along with James Long, is selected by the British Fashion Council as the recipient of its inaugural NEWGEN MEN award, sponsored by Topshop. The recipient of the award receives business support and funding as well as showing at London Fashion Week at the dedicated menswear day. Also this year, Massey was the first ever fashion designer to receive the Craft Centrals Reflect Forward award. The award consists of a grant to go towards researching in the archives of museums of her choice.
- 2010: Carolyn Massey is selected by Vogue Italia Editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, and Chairman of Milano Unica, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, as one of the ten designers to present at the On Stage project. The On Stage project, founded in 2009, supports new fashion talent by offering designers the chance to work with some of the finest Italian textile companies. Also this year, Massey collaborates with Japanese sock specialists, Tabio, to produce a menswear line.
- 2011: It was announced that Massey was, for the third time, recipient of the NEWGEN MEN award, under which she will show her Spring/Summer 2011 collection on Men’s day at London Fashion Week.
Designer Carolyn Massey
Recent Collections of Carolyn Massey
The Carolyn Massey brand is known for her elegant English tailoring mixed with satirical nuances. A detail obsessive, her work starts with a military tailoring perspective and is inspired by how menswear has been appropriated during times of civil or social unrest; themes which run throughout each of her collections.
- Autumn/Winter 2009: Inspired by a trip through the archives of the National Army Museum in Sandhurst, The Militant Gentleman collection is reserved, strong and sophisticated. According to Massey, the collection explores the sentiment of loss and how garments can appear enhanced with nostalgia and are glorified in memory. The Autumn/Winter 2009 line saw the use of elaborate detailing, a strong use of black and masculine silhouettes to create a militant look.
- Spring/Summer 2010: This collection was inspired by a trip to the fishing village of Dungeness in Kent, which has an eerie landscape playing home to a dominating nuclear power station and imposing lighthouses. The movie, Heroes of Telemark – based on the true story of Norwegian heavy water sabotage in WWII – also provided influences to the collection. This season, accessories were heavily featured with Massey branching out into small bags, key rings and belt collections.
- Autumn/Winter 2010: The Obsolete Prototype C53 collection takes its inspiration from a body of military patterns sourced from an anonymous donor. These patterns – many from the Second World War – build on the military element that is consistent in each Carolyn Massey collection. This season, Massey experiments with printing techniques for the first time, developing a deconstructed print based on the postal art of artist Ray Johnson. Working with print designer Sam Cotton, Massey creates a print that repeats and fades, like the worn military uniforms, giving a nostalgic feel to the collection. The colour palette draws on the muted tones of the Tokyo morning sunrise, giving a rose-tinted and distressed feel to the prints.
- Spring/Summer 2011: For the Spring/Summer 2011 season, Massey was inspired by two books, Tibor Kalman’s ‘Un-Fashion‘ and Jackie Nickerson’s ‘Farm‘. Nickerson photographed the small towns and corporate plantations of Mozambique, making portraits of workers in their workplace. “Farm” is a view of Africa outside the language of photojournalism and the previous depictions of the glories of tribal culture. Massey was inspired by the essentially masculine and functional dressing portrayed in both bodies of work. The collection features original headwear created in collaboration with Justin Smith. African influences feature heavily in the colour palette of cream, stone, mustard, rust, petrol blue and navy.
Future of Carolyn Massey
In the near future Carolyn Massey will be producing a jewellery collection in collaboration with ASOS. All the jewellery pieces have been handmade in Hatton Garden and based on Masonic imagery; Massey has really enjoyed the challenge of working with new and different mediums, so keep an eye out for similar collaborations in the future.
To view the recent collections of Carolyn Massey, visit the official Carolyn Massey website
Carolyn Massey for Topman – Limited edition collections
Carolyn Massey for Topman – Limited edition collections