Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Back to June, I got an invite to Graduate Fashion Week for the first time. Not attending any show, I spent some times going back to where I started my design graduate topic - understanding the graduate through their portfolios. To be honest I did get much surprise but the print of Mark Glasgow from the Manchester School of Art attracted me once I open the look book of his graduate collection. I approached him for an interview and we did it but the interview didn't get on its right track to when it should be published. I am not working for that medium anymore but I would feel upset if I don't share this detailed interview to my readers. So here you go, Mark Glasgow!

Could you introduce yourself a bit? Where are you from and why did you apply for Manchester School of Art for the BA but not other colleges?
I am a Northern Ireland native, born and raised in Donaghadee, County Down. I initially studied sculpture at Manchester School of Art before transferring on to the fashion course there. Thankfully, both these courses are highly regarded, and I think this basis in fine art has given rise to a more lateral approach to research and concept.

How do you describe your design style?
Joyce Carol Oates, in her essay 'On Boxing', described the sport as "a celebration of the lost art of masculinity, all the more trenchant for being lost". It is this celebration - or at least exploration - that drives my interest in contemporary men's fashion design, looking back through recent dress history and using this history as a tool to continue to move forward. As a result, a lot of my work deals with elements of nostalgia and traditional or historical masculine codes of dress, such as denim, or herringbone suits, for example.

How do you usually start your collections? What inspire you most?
It varies, but generally I like to start with a strong foundation in terms of concept and as much in-depth research as I can muster. Recently, having spent the summer in San Francisco, I’ve become most inspired by my experience of American culture and their construction of history, authenticity and fantasy. For example, Disneyland, as a phenomenon, fascinates me sociologically as a completely constructed reality that we still experience in a very real way.

Tell me a bit more about your final collection. Is there any special technique for those prints as I saw some texture on the sample?
notes, things of that nature - while working abroad in San Francisco. Because of my interest in nostalgia, I wanted to commemorate this loss in some way, hence the prints featuring my drawings. This attitude to the passing of time -as well as my yearning for San Francisco and my lost sketchbook - is suggested, hopefully, in the scaled-up childrenswear and '50s proportions of some of the clothes in the collection.
Going back to the prints, as all the imagery is hand drawn and screen printed on to the fabric, I started with the traditional menswear herringbone pattern but on more casual garments such as a Hawaiian shirt. I then reinterpreted this as a tessellated ‘corndog’ print (essentially a battered sausage on a stick). Some of these prints feature a special binder during the mixing process which allows the print to expand and create a three-dimensional texture.

I would like to know more about the projects that you design for other brands. How do you feel the differences for designing womenswear and menswear? What is the biggest challenge for you when designing for other labels?
Surprisingly I really enjoy designing for other labels and genders – the first project of this kind that I did was last year for Old Navy, a hugely commercial subsidiary company of Gap. This resulted in a three-month internship in California where I was designing entirely womenswear - largely swimwear, pyjamas, sweatshirts etc. Having specialized in menswear relatively early on, this was a great experience in terms of designing outside of my realm of specialty.

Regarding the differences between the two, it is difficult to articulate – I think my approach to the design process is the same; it’s just a different customer.
In a way it’s the same for other labels, it’s important for me to get as strong an understanding as possible about the brand’s history and aesthetic, and who their customer is – or could be.

Could you tell me more about your study life?
My study life is quite intense, but in the best possible way. As I’m working in a studio atmosphere with thirty to forty other people for thirteen, fourteen hours a day, we all form close knit groups and help each other out as much as we can. I think fashion students get a reputation for being selfish or competitive, but in my experience we all have a lot of time for each other’s work. Perhaps the biggest challenge for me is juggling different projects at once, but at the end it’s very rewarding.

What do you expect for your RCA MA life?
At this stage I don’t really know what to expect, other than even more intensive work and presumably even more multitasking. I feel like my experience at Manchester School of Art has prepared me well for the RCA. From the Royal College’s reputation I am readily anticipating working alongside such a wide variety of talented people across all fields of design, and hopefully collaborating with some of them if the opportunity arises.

The biggest surprise for me about Mark is the preparation of his career. He prepared a self-made interview in the look book and it's the first one I have ever seen. Good Luck to the study in RCA Mark! x

To know more about Mark, please contact him by email or visit his page on the Manchester School of Art 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...