Friday, June 18, 2010

Friedrich Gray

Today we stepped into the studio space of Friedrich Gray designer, Ben Pollitt. Having recently shown his s/s 10 collection at fashion week titled 'Refraction' Ben was all too happy to share the inspiration and ideas behind designing the range.

The entrance to the light-filled studio contains a cluster of pot plants including climbing spinach and passionfruit underneath glass doors which can open out to the buildings roof top (perfect for breezy summer days).

The studio is classic Friedrich Gray, think exposed brick, white walls and just the right amount of black paired with quirky objects sourced at markets and auction houses. The newest addition to the studio is the store which houses pieces from Ben's winter collection as well as some exclusive samples.

This season, Ben has taken inspiration from artist Banks Violet and sculpture artist Richard Sera. Looking at an image of one of Sera's installations (black shards of metal set against snow) you can see where Ben was inspired to create the dresses and jackets in black or white with the contrasting shards to break up the garment and create negative space.
Friedrich Gray has also become quite famous for their fabric innovation, the use of wool with silks and leathers keeps the collections functional but different. This season the focus is on a new blend of synthetic and natural fibres including a fabric with a soft tissue paper like feel and a chain mail/ viscose blend which creates a wool that can be scrunched and holds shape.

This season also sees Ben step away from prints and move into a black and white palette focussing on silhouettes, fabrics and textures. Putting the finishing touches on an alligator skin-feel leather jacket he is making for an exhibition in Paris, Ben discusses his fashion week show and the mirrored perspex shapes around his studio which were used to create the entrance.

It's impossible to leave this space not feeling inspired, bolts of fabric and patterns, books and collected images of artists work leave you wanting more. A big thank you goes out to Ben for letting us come and photograph his workspace and we just can't wait for summer!

The rooftop view through the doors

The studio store

Ben's inspiration board

Richard Sera's installation

Ben working on a leather jacket

A sample from the summer range

A wool dress featuring Friedrich Gray's 8 line logo

The show invitation

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