Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Ricky Wesley Harriott: Clark Kent or Superman?

“The Wesley Harriott woman is a powerhouse.” Looking through Ricky Wesley Harriott’s most recent collection it’s clear that as a designer he’s devoted to breaking down barriers. His clothes seem to provide the ability to diminish classic connotations surrounding the female sex, and instead replace them with archetypally male characteristics. His two tone, slightly sporty aesthetic with androgynous elements makes the wearer seem independent and confident in her strength and ability. In the Designer’s words “The Wesley Harriott woman is powerful to the point that her sexuality at times is blurred by the fact she’s a sheer force”

Ricky says he’s always been captivated by strong women and that he drew his inspiration for his S/S12 collection from the female superheroes he followed within comics as a child. The very collection that focused on the sheer power women can hold is what got him into Sky 1’s Styled to Rock, where he designed for some of Britain’s most influential figures in music. After talking to him though, it seems perhaps the superhero theme runs a little deeper than one would first see. “I find my character as a designer compared to how I am everyday quite different. When I'm designing I'm in the zone, I'm excited, I'm expressive and bold. In real life I'm really shy, quiet and not always so confident. Designing allows me to say and express the things I may not vocalise.” It’s almost as though Ricky is the Clark Kent of the fashion world, and Wesley Harriott his alter ego, the soon to be the superman.

His clothes inspire and solve the problems that the modern day woman faces. The now trademark monochromatic pallet – “Colour frightens me; I'm always scared that my forms and clean lines will get lost in colour and print.” – means that the clothes work effortlessly between the occasions females are expected to float between. Also, as is a requirement for the working woman, the clothes are as practical as they are stylish - “I love sports fabrics, fabrics that embody durability, utility and strength”.  

“I am so proud of that collection [Wesley Harriott SS12]. It was the collection that got me on 'Styled to rock' as well as the collection that set the tone for where I want to go next.” And where is that? “My ambitions roll further than runway fashion in the future, I would love to design costumes for characters in a video game, like Final Fantasy, that would blow my mind!” For now though Ricky’s sights are set on creating a line of sweaters that he’s hoping to have online soon, which will no doubt be a big hit among his ever growing fan base. “It's kind of a thank you to all the Styled to Rock fans who supported me, I really want them to have something from me to them.”

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