Who even knows what fashion in the future is supposed to be? To discover some category-shattering answers, I’d say we should be encouraging young people like Miles George Daniel. In a year when Covid-19, Black Lives Matter and criticism about environmental destruction have toppled all the old rules, it took this locked-down final year Middlesex student – a prodigious, multi-channelling ball of spontaneity – to blow open all the parameters.

Far from being hampered by physical confinement, Daniel turned isolation into mental liberation, posting a mind-spinning stream of communication, making a collection “on zero money”, producing YouTube videos, making a digital graffiti sketchbook (Da Likkle Book of Graffiti) and sharing how-to ideas to inspire friends.

“I wanted to be a free spirit,” he says. “Three years ago, at the beginning of my degree, I was trying so hard to fit into a box of what we’re taught fashion is.” With the system of graduate shows broken, Daniel’s breakthrough came. “It was time to switch it upside down. I wanted to make my work immersive, and I didn’t want to stop at a six-look collection. What I want to do is bridge the gap between fashion, art, music and moving image, for people to see a bigger picture.”

The rules of studying menswear knitwear and even sewing were the first things he was breaking, even before students were sent home. “I built up these looks in 3D, wrapping things on myself, volumising them, adding masks. I safety-pin everything together, so it’s spontaneous, and then everything can be undone and redone as you feel like it, so there’s never any waste.” His no-sew rationale goes to quite a different level of Gen Z environmental thinking, even beyond just reusing materials. “We had classes about sustainability in manufacturing, the need to cut energy use. But I was like, how much electricity are we using with all the sewing machines at college? How can I do my part?”

Then came the YouTube videos. In Da Studio, made before lockdown, documents Daniel merging action graffiti with building a look. Style N Fashun, a DIY styling demonstration, came from his attic. Then he shared instructions for making a balaclava out of a T-shirt and, hilariously, how to create a drinking mate out of old clothes to cheer up those lockdown evenings. Finally, there was his show, In Da Garden of Dub & Energy, recorded in his girlfriend’s back garden. “I was listening to a lot of Jamaican dub. It’s positive music, emotional. I’m thinking, how can I translate that feeling – make it like singing through garments?”

Taken from Issue 65 of 10 Magazine – FAMILY, FOREVER, LOVE – available to purchase here.

@milesgeorgedaniel

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