Earlier this year, Charlie Casely-Hayford had been going through his father’s archive for Somerset House’s ‘The Missing Thread’, which aims to tell the untold stories of Black British designers and their influence on the wider fashion scene, from 1970s to present day. Joe Casely-Hayford, Charlie’s father, was a revered tailor and designer, who led Savile Row stalwart Gieves & Hawkes in the early 2000s, and would later – prior to his death in 2019 – establish the Casely-Hayford fashion label alongside his son.
A second collaboration between the younger Casely-Hayford and British clothing brand Sunspel, released late last month (November 2023), looks towards his father’s ‘deconstructed’ approach to tailoring for a five-piece capsule which seeks to reimagine the three-piece suit as an everyday garment. ’This season takes a lot of inspiration from the deconstruction that was prevalent in my dad’s works from the 1980s,’ he tells Wallpaper*. ‘Making the selection for ”The Missing Thread” – which features a lot of his designs from over the years – it felt very natural to incorporate subtle elements of that into the tailoring.’
Tailoring redux: Sunspel x Charlie Casely-Hayford
As such, the pieces – which were created alongside Sunspel creative director David Telfer – combine the innate elegance of tailoring with unstructured tailoring blocks and gently oversized fits. The suit at the centre of the project, for example, comprises a relaxed-fit two-button blazer and wide-legged trouser, while a sleek, collarless waistcoat can be exchanged for the blazer or worn beneath. Completing the collection is a boxy wool jacket and a longer overcoat; each piece is crafted from deep navy Italian boiled wool, reflecting Sunspel’s longtime expertise in fabric sourcing.
‘We’ve always thought of it as louche tailoring,’ says Casely-Hayford of the philosophy of the collaboration, which also centred on the suit last season. ‘It has a nonchalance about it. I like to think of Casely-Hayford designs as elevated versions of the everyday – clothes that empower but don’t overpower, and that’s what we’ve tried to create with Sunspel.’
’Sometimes the hardest thing to do as a designer is design less, by creating a small range we have put more attention to detail into the pieces, their fabric and detailing to ensure each piece earns its place in the capsule and will work in someone’s wardrobe for years to come,’ adds Telfer. The various pieces are designed to make up a concise – but nonetheless comprehensive – modular wardrobe, which can be worn with Sunspel’s vast catalogue of jersey T-shirts, shirts and knitwear.
As for the suit, Casely-Hayford calls it fashion’s ‘comeback kid’. ‘As much beef as it gets in the press, the suit is the greatest comeback kid of them all,’ he says. ‘It’s currently having a complete renaissance, viewed through a different lens and welcomed with open arms by a completely different demographic to three years ago. Its place in your wardrobe is now part of the everyday – it’s no longer this separate entity you have to put on when you need to be serious – it’s been fully integrated into the off-duty lexicon.’
That said, his favourite piece is the overcoat. ‘It’s a design which will happily be an active part of your wardrobe for a decade or more,’ he says. ’It’s a good one and we haven't made that many of them, so get one whilst you can!’
Sunspel x Charlie Casely-Hayford is available in the brand’s stores at sunspel.com.
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Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.
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