So most people hate Monday mornings, the weekend is over, the hangovers are still upon us and the working week has begun yet again, but as far as my Monday went this week, it was pretty epic. Myself and Yvonne (one of my favourite photographers who I met through work) went to meet Jamie, head designer and creator of the Manchester Menswear brand Je Suis Moi, the translation to English being 'I Am Me' to talk about the brand, his inspirations and to take a look at his Autumn/Winter 2016 collection for his brand new line.
"I'd say what inspires me the most, is probably the streets. I'm always looking at what people are wearing and try to figure out how I can make the pieces that I see, something a bit different or more personalised. Fashion for me is always about individuality which is what I really wanted to reflect in the brand. I had a look at your blog this morning actually and I read your article Ten Fashion Documentaries Every Fashionista Needs To Watch, so I think it'll be a quiet weekend in for me with my girlfriend just watching some fashion documentaries and looking for some inspiration". (I recommended to Jamie that he watched Bill Cunningham: New York which is perfect for street style inspiration for any of you fashion photographers reading).
"I usually buy just the basics from the high street and make all my other clothes myself, because then I always have something different and unique to wear that no one else has, I like a lot of street-wear so I like jumpers and hats" We went on to talk about how interesting it is how menswear and men's attitude towards dressing has changed over the past few years, and how it's great that men really do make an effort with their appearance just as much as women do. Yvonne told us "I can remember my parent's style from when I was growing up and remember seeing photographs of them back in the 1940s, and men really made an effort in those days with their suits and their general look, so it's great to see that come back around full circle with the style of men today. Back in the early 2000s, men didn't really care much for their appearance or style, these days everyone's getting their shoes polished and eyebrows waxed!"
"It started off really from me having my own photography studio business and then I was kind of bored with seeing people wearing the same clothes, so I wanted to create clothes that were a little different and unique for men, and that's how the line started off really. Every piece we make only ever has forty per piece, and we'll never make more than forty of each piece from each collection". I mentioned that fast fashion was a huge part of the fashion industry (particularly in the UK) so for me it's nice to see designers and creative individuals making their own clothes and redefining the way in which we style them and create our own looks. Fashion bloggers and the whole 'street style' genre, have played an unbelievable major part in influencing the way in which major fashion designers and fashion editors are making and styling their clothes for their lines on the catwalks and for the editorial spreads of major magazines like Vogue.
The clothes? magnificent. The camel tone colour mixed into luxurious leather (a full cowhide is used to make the jackets) with an earth tone shirt fitted with oversized statement pockets on the front (two of my personal favourite pieces) was magnificent. The collection really has a cohesiveness about it, and fits in perfectly with one of my favourite trends for men this season 'Way Out West'. The fabric and materials that are used to make the collection are all British made, which Jamie said: "fits in well to the area of Manchester that we're based, because Manchester is well known for its history in the cotton industry". It was also a great chance for me to try the clothes on and take part in a small photoshoot wearing the collection (which was immensely fun). Jamie mentioned that he is currently working on his next collection for Spring/Summer 2017, which he'll be bringing out sometime in the early months of next year (something that I look forward to).
One of the things I admired most about Jamie, was that I asked him if he'd been to University to study fashion and he said that he hadn't, and that he'd started his line just purely from his own back following the success of his photography studio business, because he wanted to make something different for men to wear, which for me was very relatable, very inspiring and very admirable and proof that with some determination you can get anywhere in life if you work hard enough for it. I really look forward to seeing how the brand flourishes in the future and look forward to seeing what he'll be bringing out for his Spring/Summer 2017 collection. But until then guys, don't forget to show the brand some love on their Twitter page, check out their website for the full collection and as always, let's be social: