ARTICLE LARS BYRRESEN PETERSEN
Despite just having graduated from Central Saint Martins in February, Nicomede Talavera is already preparing the release of his third collaboration with the American bag giant Eastpak as well as having debuted his namesake menswear line during London Fashion Week. Although he could still be classified as a fashion freshman, Talavera has developed a strong signature look, which he’s masterfully translated from bags to a very noteworthy first collection.
“I always imagine my designs being worn when I’m designing and am always in touch with reality. I am not interested in just creating editorial pieces that people can’t wear,” Talavera says. Having been schooled by the notoriously blunt and business-savvy CSM MA Fashion leader Louise Wilson, commercial appeal is something he’s been forced to always keep in mind.
“I have always wanted my pieces to be accessible and for people to be able to buy and wear them and for them to be relevant to my customer’s lifestyle. So the price point is something I have thought about a lot.”
The 26 year old grew up South-West London in a multicultural community where style often was a mix of culture-determined style and mainstream fashion. “Young Muslim boys was something that I was surrounded by everyday growing up and my collection was the perfect time to take something that was relevant and personal to me,” he says, noting that he’s put an American sportswear twist on traditional Muslim dress.
“There wasn’t a political or social message for the combination of the two. But what appealed to me was the oddness and unexpectedness of them. With all my work I like to take elements that sit at opposite or conflicting ends of the spectrum and combine them to create something that feels modern.”
His first post-graduate collection plays on materials as well as proportions: wide-legged pinstriped pants combined with a fitted, crackled white leather jacket; flared iridescent shorts with a sleeveless leather top underneath a transparent t-shirt decorated with a bold white stripe; and a pair of baggy black pants with what could be a zippered thobe.
The sporadic color blocking – rectangles on tops and two-colored shorts and jackets – were inspired by Talavera’s color-hero Ellsworth Kelly. “What attracted me to Ellsworth Kelly’s work was how he translates the lines and shapes that he sees in everyday relatable objects and scenes, but translates them using vivid color to give them new meaning and create amazing abstracted compositions,” the designer says.