matthew ames for weekday – the Prairie collection

FASHION DESIGNER (US)


Q. This collection has quite a range of colour and texture compared to your last collection for Weekday. Can you tell us a little about your design process this time around?


A. The first Prairie collection for Weekday (for SS13) was about creating a wardrobe of essential pieces that could easily be mixed and combined to suit ones personal style. There were a lot of unisex pieces, the fabrics were primarily denim, and color was limited to shades of navy blue. That was a foundation from which to build upon. For Fall 2014, I wanted to focus on the idea of a personal style, and add to this foundational wardrobe. That meant creating a series of pieces that were each 'unique' (and further developed in terms of details and finishings), but that could still be layered and combined to create a myriad of possibilities for the wearer.

Functionality is important and can be seen in the addition of zippers and closures. I looked to the Matthew Ames archive as inspiration for textures such as quilting, leather, soft wools and fake suede. I also continued the use of the lightweight denim that was used in the first Prairie collection, but brought it back in a washed black. The colors are mostly limited to shades of grey and black, but with the addition of a pale blue or pale pink oxford stripe, or beige, it softens the look. The color palette and textures in the new collection can also be easily combined with the blue denims in the first collection, which is important.




Q. How do you picture these pieces being worn?


A. The pieces are designed to be able to be combined and layered, or mixed with pieces from the first Prairie collection, to suit the wearer’s own style. The clothes are also easy enough to be worn with one’s existing wardrobe, or separately. The men's and women's sweatshirts are a perfect 'base' for any look. The 'safari' can be worn simply as a dress for a woman, or layered as an outer layer, and the large pockets eliminate the need to carry a bag. There is no right or wrong way to wear the pieces. It's all about creating a personal style with them.


Q. Has your vision as a designer changed much since we last spoke to you? Are you trying to communicate something different these days?


A. I'm always interested in creating clothes that are lasting, of great quality, and have an ease about them. There is so much of 'the same' out there in the world of fashion today. I'm excited when I see someone with their own look. It doesn't matter your style as long as you own it. That's what this
collection is about.


Q. Your design is timeless and your cuts are impeccable, do you feel that teaching fashion has made you more fastidious?


I've always wanted to make clothes that people can keep and wear for a long time. Cut, comfort and quality are a part of my vocabulary as a designer. Through my experiences teaching, I have been inspired to see the excitement, new ideas and possibilities that still exist in the future of fashion.


Q. Are you still teaching and living in Savannah?


No, actually, I have been living in Chicago the past year. I was asked to come here as a visiting designer to the fashion department at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, where I was once a student.


Q. What are your plans for the future?
Do you have a new Matthew Ames collection in the pipeline?


I'm refocusing my attention on my own work now, and I'm looking forward to taking the Matthew Ames collection in a new direction in the near future.


Q. How have you found working with Weekday?


I think Weekday and I hold a lot of the same values when it comes to design, aesthetics and creating a quality product, so it has been a wonderful experience to collaborate with them. For me, it is very exciting to be able to bring my work to a new audience, and work with new materials and techniques for which Weekday is known.



Find the first arrivals:

SHOP WOMEN'S SHOP MEN'S


Pictures by Cecile Bortoletti for Encens magazine.




Q. How do you picture these pieces being worn?


A. The pieces are designed to be able to be combined and layered, or mixed with pieces from the first Prairie collection, to suit the wearer’s own style. The clothes are also easy enough to be worn with one’s existing wardrobe, or separately. The men's and women's sweatshirts are a perfect 'base' for any look. The 'safari' can be worn simply as a dress for a woman, or layered as an outer layer, and the large pockets eliminate the need to carry a bag. There is no right or wrong way to wear the pieces. It's all about creating a personal style with them.


Q. Has your vision as a designer changed much since we last spoke to you? Are you trying to communicate something different these days?


A. I'm always interested in creating clothes that are lasting, of great quality, and have an ease about them. There is so much of 'the same' out there in the world of fashion today. I'm excited when I see someone with their own look. It doesn't matter your style as long as you own it. That's what this
collection is about.