Thursday, August 4, 2011

ANEW #4: Matt Nash

Matt Nash, also an honours graduate of the AUT fashion school, last year investigated the "true Kiwi menswear aesthetic" and challenged our 'perception of how we perceive original menswear in NZ" with his honours range "The Hidden View: The reclaiming of New Zealand Menswear" as seen above. Matt reinvented the work, with the help of photographer Veronica Crockford-Pound, of seminal NZ photographer Glen Busch. More exactly, he carefully reconstructed ten images from Busch's 1981 book Working Men, recreating the 'wear and tear' of the garments and drawing form the inherent style and fashions on view, with detail extending to actually replicating marks on the walls behind the subject with chalk. The models wear masks made by Nash of the original men in each photo - which he recreated the clothing from. Attention to detail and a reverence for the past and its authenticity are clearly attributes of Matt Nash.

For this year's ANEW show, Nash, who also spent time working at Crane Brothers, turned his attention to creating a range of stylish, comfortable bags that tend to "work more with the body - as clothes do, rather than creating bag shaped objects." Nash has made bags for some years but decided it was time to complete a utilitarian, functional range which he thinks is "simple, only using black military style roller buckles and hand-stitched straps, in place of 'blingy' buckles or rivets."

There is considerable attention to detail across the range: "New Zealand leather is used for all the handles, shoulder straps and a triangle corner detailing that I repeat as a motif through the range. For the insides of the bags I have chosen a fine grey and white stripe Japanese poplin shirting, which when put on different angles for the interior pockets makes geometric patterns inside the bag."

Like his honours range of clothing he also references the past, happily:"I am a big fan of an old wives' tale and myth. The myth of gifting a coin in a bag bringing luck and safety to the owner is one that I love. For this reason I have a pre-decimal New Zealand coin sewn into the internal pocket of all my bags."

ANEW, yet old concept....