CQ speaks to Nathan Jenden about his LFW show
London Fashion Week might be over but it doesn't mean that the exciting news doesn't keep trickling in. We interviewed Nathan Jenden after his Autumn/Winter show sponsored by COTTON USA. He was in fine spirits and spoke to us about his love of tailoring, working with DvF and the direction of his latest collection 'Frostbite', jump through to start reading!
Isabelle: Nathan, you've just finished your show, how do you feel?
Nathan: It feels good.
Isabelle: So how many seasons are you up to now? Is it six?
Nathan: Three years, yes, six.
Isabelle: And how does it feel because I remember, did you start off at Diane von Furstenberg? (nods) You started off working there and then you started doing your solo stuff, didn't you?
Isabelle: So how does it feel now that you've had a good run, a good few years doing your solo stuff? Was it the right decision? Was it good?
Nathan: I feel tired! No, no, you know what I was saying; I wish I'd never opened my big fucking mouth! But on the other hand...
Isabelle: Is it hard?
Nathan: It's tiring, I've got two kids as well so it's not like I'm busy, two kids, two jobs! (laughs) It's not easy but you know what, it's what I do. I mean, I'm not very good at anything else! Not very good at this either, but we'll see!
Isabelle: How was it working for DvF, how do you split your time between the two?
Nathan: I go to work for her in the day and I work for myself in the evening. You know, I'm Creative Director, doing so many meetings that are not, like, linked to even clothes so you know... And a lot of people who look to me for direction, so as not exciting but on some level sales team and marketing team, everything.
Isabelle: So are your roles quite different?
Nathan: Well, it's my name on Nathan Jenden so it's strange because, you know, you get really nervous about the Diane show, I walk down the catwalk and everything with her, but at the end of the day it's not my money, it's not this, it's not that.
I've been working with Diane for seven years and I didn't know who she was when I first met her, and I was like kinda like, 'I don't know who you are really!' And I was like, not that interested when I first met her. But I kinda liked that she was an interesting woman and now it's like a huge brand. We've got like 400, 500 stockists...
Isabelle: I don't honestly think when you started working there anyone would've known the name of Diane von Furstenberg and now it's everywhere.
Nathan: Yeah, you know I feel a personal loyalty and obligation to Diane so I mean it's not a safety net.
Isabelle: So back to you and your collections, this collection was really different from your last one. Because your last collection was super colourful, super bright and this one was a lot more restrained, monochrome.
Nathan: I think last season was supposed to be like bubblegum pop, kinda like kid in a candy store and all of that but then after it, I thought it was a bit like eating too many sweets.
Isabelle: You just got a bit nauseous?
Nathan: Yeah and so maybe you just want to clean up. And also I think it's a more sober world and I wanted to react to that and I did what you couldn't see last season which was this really sharp tailoring and I think that's really part of what I'm about and so I thought it was kinda important to highlight that this season.
Isabelle: That's good. Who would be your ideal woman to design for? Celebrity icon? Is there someone you have in mind when you design?
Nathan: I'm surrounded by all that at DvF, I don't really have celebrities in mind when I design. Yeah it's great when they wear it because it's really good for press, but do I design with a celebrity in mind? No I design with women in mind that's my job. I'm not that about celebrities, I'm about women.
Isabelle: So it's much more low-key?
Nathan: No, it's not. It's like I think this season women should be like 'fuck you!'
Isabelle: Much more glacial...
Nathan: (nods) A little cold...
Isabelle: Let them come to you sort of thing...
Nathan: Yeah, let the mountain come to Mohammed!
Isabelle: And, if you were going to do a high street collaboration with anyone, who would you do it with? Or would that not be your kind of thing at all?
Nathan: No, I'd love to do that. You know what, it's like DvF are a very different price range from me and the high street is a whole other thing. You know what I'm used to designing: bold, vast collections with accessories, with the shoes, all of that so you know, I'd love to do that. But who's it with? I don't know, they'd have to let me know!