Casely-Hayford Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
Joe Casely-Hayford feels a deep alignment with W.E.B. Du Bois’ notion of “double consciousness.” He is simultaneously a Ghanaian man and an Englishman, possessor of dual identities both separate and aligned. Consider further that Casely-Hayford is co-designed by Charlie, Joe’s son, who feels similarly. So that’s two designers, from two generations, linked by blood and each inhabited by their own tugging double consciousness.
Apart and together, here and there, old and new, one vs. two—this collection hung from poles of difference. What makes the Casely-Hayford London hypotheses so uplifting, however, is that father and son seek harmony. So sensitive to shifts are they that this season was inspired by a seemingly trifling migration: the move of their studio from East London to North. The biker-inspired overcoats and bombers came courtesy of the revving gang of petrol-heads they can hear two blocks over, and some of the pattern from the large Colombian community they suddenly find themselves amongst. Less transiently, Casely-Hayford’s interplay of tailoring and sportswear was startlingly un-startling—in track blazers that combined the strictness of canvassed shoulder and the give of jersey cotton paneling, or patrician-cut overcoats in spongy, pop-primary mesh. A melting pot of a collection? For sure. What made it so notable, however, was the gentle expertise with which the Casely-Hayfords simmered their ingredients.