We love a dude who is man enough to wear butterflies. The following interview has crystallized our fascination with Brian Wood, the New York designer with a bit of bad boy allure and a whole lot of heart. Here, Brian shares the secrets behind his Spring 2013 collection, inspired by the outer reaches of space and the delicate power of monarch butterflies, realized in the collection as a dynamic new camouflage print.
Please tell us the theme of the collection. Did it reveal itself in surprising ways?
‘Beauty Awakened’ represents the resurrection and metamorphis of my men’s collection seen through the eyes of a monarch butterfly.
I took a picture of an encased monarch butterfly in January of 2011. I was fascinated by the beauty of the printed wings. Months later, going through my pictures, I realized wow this could make an amazing camouflage, which later inspired my print that was used throughout the collection. I always start with an inspiration or concept before I even think about designing or fabric sourcing, with out the inspiration I would have no direction for the collection.
What does this particular collection mean to you as the designer?
When I relaunched my menswear collection for fall/winter 2012 it was entitled ‘Reborn Suicide.’ It was dark, cynical, romantic, a bit morbid but the start of something new.
It signified the death of the Brian Wood collection but at the same time a rebirth. Beauty Awakened signifies a new realm and vision for the Brian Wood collection, the brand taking on a transformation (for example a caterpillar > cocoon > butterfly) within the fashion industry.
I have always been inspired by my heart and emotions. It’s a driving force when coming up with a mood and direction for my collections. Lately I have been using non-tangible ideas and concepts as a source of inspiration. It is a challenging process but gives each design a personal connection that the customer can feel and relate to.
One look in particular is a raglan baseball jacket with an exaggerated dropped dolman sleeve and contrasting striped knit detailing. The jacket is a yarn dyed woven jacquard camo that we then digitally printed the butterfly camouflage on to add depth and texture to the jacket.
I utilized the digitally printed original artwork of the butterfly camouflage throughout the collection. I printed on many different fabrications like organic cotton jersey, cotton canvas, yarn dyed woven cotton jacquard, and cotton batiste. After printing some of the fabrics were over-dyed giving a washed-out, worn look transforming the print to a different feeling on each texture.
At first glance, one might think the silhouettes are typical menswear bodies, but I had a lot of fun manipulating the silhouettes like dropped shoulders on the outerwear, cropped jackets, slightly dropped crotch sweatpants, deep dolman sleeves and oversized comfy knit separates.
What other type of art has inspired you recently?
N.A.S.A. the National Aeronautics and Space Administration…. The unknown, everyday life have inspired me… The thirst for discovery and exploration… an escape from New York.
We’re just now getting into 2013—what are you excited about for the new year?
2013 is going to be a fun ride! I am consistently releasing the Brian Wood menswear collection and planning to design a womenswear capsule collection later this year. Also look out for my secondary line B WOOD + Panty Raiders to have increased visibility throughout the country and in Japan with an aggressive distribution strategy. 2013 I design to inspire.