Sean Mcgirr

Sean Mcgirr is a London based fashion designer who specialises in menswear at London College of Fashion. Having refined his design aesthetics through his study and great internship experience such as in Burberry and Vogue Homme Japan, he finally launched his first full collection for AW11, which were inspired by children’s innocence he found in Japan and his own adolescent memories. The collection will be showed in the LCF press show on June 7th.

-First of all, can you briefly introduce yourself? Let us know about your background and what you currently do?

My name is Sean McGirr. I am a menswear designer. I grew up in Dublin, Ireland and now I live and work in London.

-How and why did you get interested in fashion and decide to study men’s fashion in London?

When I was about 13 years old I would take apart clothing and then sew it back together changing things along the way. I loved drawing and painting so I would illustrate on garments and fabrics too. Moving to London to study fashion just seemed completely necessary.

-What is the inspiration for your collections? Where do the ideas behind your collections come from?

I find inspiration in so many things. The concept behind this collection is rooted in Hiroshima, where I went to an exhibition showcasing illustrations by the children of the city. In the works they depicted the time following the Atomic Bomb disaster in 1945. I was so moved by their spirit and freeness. How their innocence came through in the colours or heaviness of the crayons they used. I realised I had to portray that pure adolescent image in this collection.

-Can you describe the identity of your creation such as style and characteristics?

With this AW 2011/12 collection I wanted to celebrate adolescent clothing – the clothing a boy loves when begins forming his identity through dressing. I went towards this teenage wardrobing direction, with denim being a key fabric along with the applique bug prints and patches. The patches were a collaboration between myself and Illustrator Viet Tran.

-Who are the designers, artists or creators you really respect at the moment? and can you tell me the reasons as well?

The creators I really respect are the ones I who I have met or gotten to know and whose work I love. I´m fortunate enough to have some really nice relationships with some people in fashion who have many more years of experience than I do. I respect them.

-What kinds of clothes do you love to buy and wear for yourself?

Well I like really well made clothes. I also love a good printed shirt!

-It seems that many female fashion icons, which are represented by amazing LadyGaga, have emerged these days, but how about males’? Is there any specific men’s fashion icon for you?

A male fashion icon… menswear is very different to womenswear in that respect. Many men are likely to buy into a brand image over wanting to emulate the appearence of a celebrity they admire. Strangely enough, branding seems to be so important now. But you could say people like David Bowie, Sex Pistols, Snoop Dogg have all influenced how designers work and how menswear changes. Growing up, my fashion icon was Marilyn Manson.

-At the moment, some people say men’s fashion is becoming more and more interesting, blurring the traditional boundaries between men’s and women’s fashion and reconsidering what masculinity is. What do you think what is fashion for men? Then what does masculinity mean for yourself and your collections?

For me, menswear is about creating a cool silhouette. That´s the most imporatant, where I start and where i finish. Then comes the textures, fabrics, colours. I remember this amazing quote from Alber Elbaz about fashion now. He said, ” As women are becoming stronger, men are getting weaker but are becoming more beautiful.” This can be echoed to back to your question about the role masculinity plays in fashion at the moment.

-I heard you went to Tokyo last Summer and did some interning at Vogue Hommes Japan. How and why did you decide to do it? And also let me know your impression of Japan in terms of fashion.

I actually went to Japan to research my collection. I assisted the brilliant Shun Watanabe, fashion editor of Vogue Hommes Japan in London and then was lucky enough to be commissioned by the magazine to design and make some accessories whilst I was in Tokyo. But I went to Japan with a very open mind, taking in the culture, visiting remote areas of the countryside like Beppu, Takamatsu, Nara. I fell completely in love with Japan.
With regards to how I feel about fashion in Japan. I think young people there have a sense of freedom about themselves which we don´t really see a lot of in the West. Over here, many people tend to follow trends wheras the Japanese don´t necessarily feel that kind of pressure, the need to fit in.

Interview & Text:Yasuyuki Asano

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