The made-to-measure magic of design duo Gučas Morgan
There is something gratifyingly green about Elena Gučas and Will Morgan, the duo behind design project Gučas Morgan. Hours are spent in discussion, solitary garments moulded to the body, fabrics chosen, cut and fitted over months. Their clothes are poetic collaborations.
The couple met whilst studying Bespoke Tailoring at The London College of Fashion and showed their debut A/W 2018 collection in the back of a van parked outside London Fashion Week Men's this January. A handful of buyers from Japanese stores were the only people curious enough to step inside.
‘All of a sudden, having had months to produce a small collection with amazing access to things at college, we had to think about how to produce ten or 12 of the same garment that was made from old French table cloths,’ Morgan says. ‘It felt like we were under pressure to make something commercial but still creative and so there was a lot of compromise,’ says Gučas. ‘I don’t really see us doing shows. Now that we are doing more made to measure, we work in a more personalised way.’
Flyer for Gučas Morgan's fabric fishmongers
It takes guts to focus on smaller productions in a time obsessed with bold statements. ‘I know from working on those shows that the high lasts for a few days but then it’s straight onto the next,’ Morgan, who spent time at Thom Browne, says. ‘We can now have that feeling every few days, every time we finish a new piece.’
This watchful approach manifests in everything they do. It’s there in the cramped workroom at the top of Morgan’s childhood home in West London. It’s there in Gučas’ nimble hands and drawings; the whimsical masks high on a bookshelf. From the fabric fishmongers they set up in Brixton Market during London Design Festival to working in the reception of creative research agency On Road, they endorse sustainability without shouting about it. At On Road they invited people to bring in broken clothing and taught them sewing techniques. ‘For the rest of the time the participants reconstructed and restored the garment they’d brought along,’ Morgan says. ‘By repairing, you add character and extend its lifetime.’
Right now they are working with weaver Hollie Ward who is making cloth from wool taken from black Welsh mountain sheep reared by Morgan’s grandparents. ‘We’ve just had the shearing season, so we can have it combed, spun and woven. It might be done by November, so we can make things for December but we’re not beholden to getting a collection out in a few months,’ he explains. ‘Everyone comes to the collaborative process. We source fabrics together, we talk. I make everything. That sustains us and the projects and installations work around it,’ Morgan says. There’s a joy in working on singular pieces that make each client happy. ‘We should probably have a nice one-liner that sums us up, but we haven’t worked that out yet.’