Ahead of his new North Quarter AW16 collection launching later this month, we asked menswear designer Christopher Shannon some personal questions. Not like how regular his bowel movements are or anything, just about his favourite styles, most stylish city, the ideas behind his collection...that sort of thing.
"Marks & Spencer, Ralph Lauren, Uniqlo. There’s a new project by James Buck and Luke Brooks called Rottingdean Bazaar that I think is really fresh and witty. I also love things like old Chipie and Brooks Brothers."
What's the worst thing you've ever worn?
"I’m not sure I’d actually divulge that! I was into clothes from quite an early age; I did have a pair of tie-dye trackpants I was quite fond of as a kid. It’s probably a hat phase I’ve been through, I used to have a white bowling flat cap from Marks & Spencer that I thought was quite sharp, I saw a photo of me in to recently and only saw an apprentice butcher."
Favourite current trend?
"I quite like that slimmer trackpant silhouette that’s going around, although it can get quite dance pant. I don’t really like trends as a rule; I’ve never really been part of a gang or a movement - I mean topknots have driven me crazy for years, but people still seem to think it’s fine."
Best piece in your wardrobe at the minute?
"I have a Martine Rose T-shirt that’s a bit of a favourite. Any ideal navy sweatshirt or t shirt is always a favourite, usually from Uniqlo or Ralph Lauren. I’m trying Marks & Spencer’s new classic fit T-shirts too. I like to wear a T-shirt in the studio over summer but it has to be dark navy and not feel like a too casual fit."
Best dressed actor?
"I really like Jack O'Connell. I’m never so interested in what they wear as much as them being watchable, and he’s been great in everything I’ve seen him in."
Most stylish city?
"I do love Paris, it can be quite euro looking, but the mood is so much sharper than London. That said as much as East London can be infuriating, there’s a lot of good-looking well-dressed people."
If you were to pass on one piece of style advice, what would it be?
"Don’t base your personality on tattoos, hairstyles or fads."
What's the idea behind your new North Quarter collection?
"The idea is to develop the more tech/performance part of the brand, and to reach a new customer. It’s premium technical sportswear mixed with some of our design DNA which comes from more of a fashion angle. We had a lot of customers who followed projects we did with Eastpak for example, and we wanted to re-engage them with clothes that are more accessible maybe than our catwalk shows, but still have a lot of our design identity."
Tell us a bit more about the design process of the collection
"When a project is more commercially orientated I always think about people I know from different parts of my life and what they want in their favorite pieces. I love having a fashion brand but our mainline is quite fashion and boutique based, whereas with North Quarter I get to reach a wider audience and hopefully offer an alternative to other performance-orientated brands. I work a lot with fabric, fit and finishing. For example, we think about different ways a cycling jacket can be worn practically, but also day-to-day, and about how to make technical pieces work with your wardrobe but also feature practical details that benefit."
What’s your favourite piece and why?
"I think the print pieces, they work really well layered in the different colour ways. And the quilted shirting is really nice as a practical light weight layer."
Christopher Shannon's new collection launches 18 August at