Clash goes up north to talk Dr. Martens, music and teapots with Agyness Deyn.

Slap bang in the middle of London Collections: Men, Dr. Martens launched their AW13 collections and invited Clash up to Manchester to immerse ourselves in their subversive and subcultural goodness. Dr. Martens has a strong connection to Manchester and the most famous one-Agyness Deyn-arrived for a Q&A about her limited edition AW13 collection with the iconic brand.

We all know the story, dedicated Dr. Martens wearer Deyn starred in the advertising campaigns, before trying her hand at designing, in probably the most authentic fashion collaboration ever. A proud owner of many pairs, with 10 currently worn on rotation, she remembers, ‘I was on a shoot and I had this pair that I envisioned. So I asked if I could make it’. The rest is fashion history.

After two Americana-tinged collections, this ‘fun, relaxed and modest’ third offering is more English. Deyn puts her own spin on late 1960s Mod uniformity; straight silhouettes, strong attention to detail, ‘the signs on the back of the parkas and twee female headscarves’. The 1960s Mod and Rocker style wars are unwittingly referenced in the playful Brighton shot campaign, and this season’s motif? A quirky teapot print. ‘Obviously I’m obsessed with tea,’ she laughs.

Deyn is genuinely enthusiastic, excited and involved with her designs. Both she and Dr. Martens Chief Executive, David Suddens stressed the two-way process each collection takes, right down to ‘the stitching, buttons and type of zips’. The collection’s starting point was Deyn’s feeling that ‘it should be more contained and feel more casual’. Then after a series of sketches, meetings, a concept decision, fittings and ‘fun’ trips to the factory, the pieces were born.

The dresses are ribbed, patchwork or checked with a matching jacket. Teapots appear on t-shirts, collars and trims, and there is a fuzzy plaid jumper. For footwear they went for an ‘androgynous kind of shoe’ with T-bar and lace up loafer styles, and a stunningly simple suede desert boot with teapot stripes that Deyn turned up wearing because they were ‘just so comfortable’. The more grown up mood is completed with suitcase bags. Guys can borrow/steal the t-shirt and jumper in bigger sizes, as Deyn recommends. Menswear is definitely a future possibility.

Unlike the previous two seasons, Deyn stepped behind the camera to creatively direct the campaign. ‘It was in the Grand Hotel and we wanted it to feel like Grace (the model) had gone on a little adventure to discover and find things and mischief. I remember going to Brighton for that same reason,’ she gushes. Styling the collection was easy for Deyn because, ‘you can wear any of these pieces together.’

Later on that day, after a series of witty anecdotes from Gavin Watson about his photographic book ‘Skins’, and before The Minx and Brown Brogues’ gig that evening, we had to ask the model about music. Her teenage obsession with The Clash actually lead to her Dr Martens discovery, ‘I heard Joe Strummer wore them while he ran the London marathon and I was just blown away’. Deyn’s current playlist includes Richard Hawley, Mazzy Star and Bat For Lashes, and the last gig she went to, apart from Coachella, was to see DIIV.

So there you have it, what to expect from Agyness Deyn for Dr. Martens AW13. FYI, the soundtrack would be Alabama Shakes’ ‘Hang Loose.’ Look out for it later this year.

Words: Felicia Pennant


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