One year after his appointment as the artistic director of posh French label Faconnable, English-Turkish designer Julian Neale is now ready for his trial by fire. As his first collection — for men and women — hits stores for the label’s autumn-winter collections, The Directory caught up with the designer to talk fashion, trends and his influences for this season.
Q: Is there a specific design philosophy you follow?
A: When in doubt, keep it simple.
Q: Most designers have a particular facet to their clothes identifiable as unique to that brand – what is yours?
A: Free spirited, unpretentious, classic with a twist, at ease, honest...and I love stripes.
Q: What are the influences for autumn-winter 12?
A: The tale of a dandy who falls under the spell of the Riviera. Discovering his creative side he begins to combine the traditional with the bohemian. Its all about relaxed elegance and the incredible light of a Mediterranean winter.
Q: Many successful fashion brands have other facets to them (ACNE has a magazine, Missoni homeware and so on) – are there other areas you think that you may branch into?
A: I would love to work on a coffee table book that brings to life the incredible heritage of Faconnable — to be able to tell the story of a brand who’s first chapter began in 1950 and has been about informal chic ever since.
Q: What are the challenges when designing for men?
A: Getting guys to ease up a bit and to see clothing as something to enjoy rather than just being a uniform. I still get the odd look when I wear a pair of bermudas to the office. But it’s nice to bring a bit of the beach to work when the sun is shining.
Q: Do you have any other hidden talents?
A: I’m really proud of my garden in Greece and I make great club sandwich.
Q: Do you shop online? If so, what do you buy?
A: I do. Mostly books which I collect, unique bits and pieces such as a hand embroidered belt from Argentina that I recently found...and from time to time a treat from Mr Porter.
*Faconnable is available via mrporter.com and its store at The Dubai Mall.