“I would be lying if I said it’s been easy,” says Reed over Zoom, who admits he’s running on two hours sleep (which to him, is a perfectly normal amount). He calls me from
Lockdown restrictions have pushed Reed to really question the purpose of his brand. His debut, off-schedule London Fashion Week collection is not ready-to-wear, but demi-couture, inspired by his love for the likes of
It’s a brave move, one that’s rooted in sheer escapism, where the pendulum has swung far in “the form of self-expression”, Reed says. The six-looks that appear here continues from where his graduate collection left off, mashing mens- and womenswear in a tongue-in-cheek manner, one that sticks a firm middle finger up to gender-fluid naysayers. (Recently, the BBC pulled down an interview with Reed from its Instagram after the post was inundated with hateful comments.)
Whilst his vision for the collection began light and ethereal, lockdown confinement caused Reed to begin feeling outraged, rebellious even. He turned his eye to the anarchy of London’s punk movement, hand spray-painting meters-upon-meters of tulle which seeps from sublime tailoring and demi-couture gowns. The look is completed with 18cm platforms made in collaboration with Roker and elaborate peacock-plumed headpieces by milliner Vivienne Lake, inspired by punk mohawks.
Reed says he designs with the final picture in mind, working with 10 Magazine contributor
Though his fashion is driven by fantasy, Reed is eager to point out that the wearer of his garments is the foremost focus, not the pieces themselves. “I’m always trying to make it so important that I’m not trying to make a creature,” says Reed. “I want the people in my clothes to embody a character, a narrative that’s within themselves.” This is a concept explored in the collection’s
“Going forward in the future, I think it will only get bigger and more expressive,” says Reed. It’s a refreshing approach, totally defying what’s expected of a young designer in this current state of fashion flux. Reed’s a leader of change, care to join him?
Photography courtesy of Jenny Brough.