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Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood

Your Space Or Mine

Adam Jones

As billboards of his work appear in cities across the country, we speak to the Welsh designer about his distinctive brand of pub-chic.

Adam Jones’ spiritual home is the traditional boozer. Finding the decor of these British institutions endlessly inspiring, he tells us, “When you’ve got an eye for fashion, you can’t help but notice the wood against the green pool table on top of those red, brown, orange sun-bleached carpets. It’s a lot of colour and texture for the mind. You could just sit down there and make the entire collection out of that room.”

The 30-year-old fashion designer with an eye for kitsch has made a name for himself by repurposing original beer towels and turning them into a range of (which have recently been spotted on the likes of Dua Lipa, Nothing But Thieves, and Sports Team). He even used a pub – where he had a bar job at the time – as a venue to show his first collection during London Fashion Week 2015.

In the wake of launching his latest collection, Jones is the most recent emerging designer in our ongoing Your Space Or Mine project. Shot by photographer Luke Million, this series of billboards feature Jones’ newest sartorial creations presented alongside classic archive pieces and photographed on location in a South London former-Job Centre-turned-bar – a time capsule of peak-1970s decor.

Hailing from a tiny village in north Wales called Froncysyllte, Jones’ aesthetic was informed by his hometown which, by his own admission, remains “very much stuck in the 70s and 80s”. The sweater vests, scarves, and bags he designs are – literally – impregnated with references from the world of the working-class pubs in his community. Incorporating original beer towels emblazoned with the logos of ales and lagers, Jones reappropriates the artefacts and ephemera of the classic old man pub – disappearing, endangered spaces imperiled by the threat of charmless refurbishments and encroaching gentrification.

Celebrating his roots is central to Jones’s practice as a designer. He’s excited by what he perceives to be an emerging group of creatives making work across a range of mediums that honours their northern or non-London heritage. “It feels like a movement of being proud of being northern down south”, he says. “Artists like Corbin Shaw, Mitch Vowles, Sam Nowells, and Celeste McEvoy. They’re not a collective, they’re just all mates and they’re all making art, and they all seem to be getting places.”

Before building his own brand, Jones caught the eye of the celebrated punk iconoclast, Judy Blame, who championed the Welsh designer’s extraordinary talent and idiosyncratic vision. While invoking something of Blame’s punk sensibility, the lineage of Jones’ designs lay in a more diverse, rich range of subcultures and references. From skinhead to Swinging London, from vintage tea towels to the decor of 1970s jobcentres, Jones calls upon a seemingly disparate constellation of reference points conjoined by an overarching sense of nostalgia for a more stylish, experimental past. Discussing the lure of previous decades, he tells us, “I was looking back to 1969 when everything was changing and it seemed like people were either inside watching colour television or they were at a punk gig. Or they were walking their pet leopard down the King’s Road, you know?”

He was first introduced to the transformative possibilities of fashion by his eccentric grandma – an artist with a soaring sense of glamour that transcended the unpretentious, working-class community that bound her. Thinking nothing of a trip to Tesco wearing a mink stole, she enlarged her grandson’s horizons and exposed him to the possibilities and theatricality of fashion. “She was quite excessive,” he recalls. “Living in a humble, drab, unshowy place but dressing like she was swanning around London.” Enthralled with the glamour and drama of her outfits – some of which dated back to the 20s, 30s, and 40s – his grandma’s wardrobe was an imaginative porthole to another era.

While there may be an aspect of sustainability to his work, the impetus behind his designs remains anchored in nostalgia. Jones admits that his inspired use of upcycled beer towels is due to his interest in the cultural and historical associations of these fabrics rather than any ecological imperative. “My work has been sustainable since my graduate collection, but not on purpose. It just so happens to be sustainable because the materials I’m interested in, they just happened to be sustainable,” he explains. “Which is great… But I just think if you’re that interested in saving the world, you wouldn’t become a designer.”

We talked to the acclaimed young designer about his romance with the Great British boozer, his nostalgia for the lost subcultures of the past, and his vision for the latest iteration of Your Space Or Mine hitting the streets.
Read the full interview here

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