John Herrera might not be on your radar yet, but he should be. The Philippines born designer launched his brand in London just two years ago, has shown at Tokyo Fashion week and won Britain’s Top Designer award earlier this year with his Agila collection for Autumn/Winter 2017. So we caught up with John Herrera to discuss his new collection and LFW.
What is the inspiration behind your SS18 collection?
My SS18 collection is called Armada, inspired by the accidental discovery of the Philippine Islands by the Spanish en route to the spice islands (Molucas). Visually, Diogo Ribiero’s World Map provided inspiration for the prints and the linear fabric manipulation techniques I employ in the pieces. The map shows the world circa 1529 and with the help of Epson’s digital textile printing technology, I am rendering parts of this medieval map on opaque and translucent fabrics. The combination of sheer and stiff materials with soft fabrics will create new silhouettes and I hope it will remind people of sailing to new worlds.
I’m also exploring Spanish colonial heritage by integrating in design elements from the era of King Phillip of Spain, the monarch whom the Philippines was named after. Hues of sepia and brown will be combined in the digitally printed fabrics to infuse the feel and look of the historic time.
This is the second time that I’ll be working with Epson and their digital textile printing technologies. Last season I created my Agila collection with them and won the Britain’s Top Designer award! Working with Epson allows me to create totally different concepts and design in a new way.
You’re from the Philippines and have shown at Tokyo Fashion Week, how does this affect your approach to LFW?
Tokyo Fashion Week was greatly inspiring to me. Fashion is never just about clothing there. It’s about art, comment, and theatricality. I take with me the theatricality and the blurring of lines between street wear and haute couture to LFW, blended with my own heritage and it seems to really be resonating with the British market. One of my top private clients is London-based, comes to all of my shows and just really gets what I’m doing.