Continuing to evolve apace over several seasons, Massey’s sizeable strides have been recognised and rewarded by the British Fashion Council, who selected the 28-year-old, London-based designer as a recipient of its inaugural NEWGEN MEN award – sponsored by TOPMAN – supplying showcase funding and the opportunity to use the official BFC show venue at London Fashion Week’s Somerset House on Wednesday 23rd September, 2009.
“The importance of re-establishing and recognising menswear in London is something I’ve always been very passionate about, so I am honoured to be one of the first designers to receive New Gen Men. This will, along with MAN, put menswear in London on an international stage, and I’m really excited to see what opportunities it brings for my brand.”
A detail obsessive, Carolyn Massey is known for her quintessentially elegant English cuts and details – her work concentrates on what it takes to be a gentleman, and how this has been appropriated during times of civil or social unrest.
This season, Massey – inspired by a recent trip to the Kent headland village of Dungeness – moves her collection towards the outdoors. Quaintly dotted with fishermen’s huts and boats, Dungeness, with its eerie landscape of stark contrasts, also plays home to a dominating nuclear power station and imposing lighthouses. “Heroes of Telemark” - a film based on the true story of Norwegian heavy water sabotage in World War Two - too helped to form the backdrop of the collection.
Accessories also feature more heavily this season, after being well received on the autumn / winter 2009 catwalk. Massey has branched out into a small bag collection, belts, key rings and troddles. Traditionally used by the German Army, troddles were employed to place, with precision, the regiment of soldiers and their whereabouts. In addition, Massey is influenced by the craft of Kumihimo, to create cotton ropes and braids.“A buyer from one of the stores that carries my collection mentioned that his customers would love to see some bags and belts from me, and as I already worked with a really good factory that also makes these, I thought I'd give it a go and see how they would be received. The idea of very specific masculine accessories fitted so well with the inspiration behind the collection, the film the Heroes of Telemark - based on the true story of Norwegian heavy water sabotage in WW2 - and a recent camping trip to Dungeness. It got me thinking of realistically when and where you would wear these garments. It gave them a sense of grounding, and of place.”