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Preview: Wesley Harriott

Thursday 24 January 2013
Words Spindle

2013 is the year of the alpha-female and Wesley Harriott is leading the way with his powerful city super-heroines. Creating the ultimate power-dressing for the non-stop woman that doesn’t stand still, Harriott’s multi-functional monochrome pieces create the perfect costume blurring the lines of gender with androgynous forms that play with femininity and function.

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Growing up on a battlefield estate of Tottenham gangs, prostitution and drugs, Harriott’s head was in a not so far-off fictional war-zone inside comic books. Relating the strong women involved in his everyday life, with the heroic characters, based in cities shrouded in heroism, fantasy and crime, Harriott drew inspiration from these women – both real and fictional. Designing for a woman that never stands still, playing multi-gender roles on a daily basis as a mother and a successful career executive, the clothes take on a strong no-bullshit approach, never forgetting her sexuality.

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Light ivory shirt dresses detailed with a button down back are balanced with heavy crepe soled creepers. Androgynous sports luxe elasticated lounge pants, and shorts with racing stripes, are juxtaposed with dainty leather skater skirts, emphasising the shape of the hips.

Wesley Harriott 3Using a muted palette of black and white, Harriott creates the perfect paradox, whilst expressing his love for detail and form through each piece. With the seams, shapes and details more visible, not clouded by print and colour, each act as a feature, apposed to necessities. Taking the idea of the classic shirt and pushing it forward, removing it’s form the function is then played with; opting for a waterproof fabric rather than cotton and incorporating almost seamless detachable sleeves. Harriott understands the lifestyle conditions of the modern heroine, identifying with their needs and allowing her to effortlessly change from look to the next with one piece of clothing.

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After dressing the ultimate power girls Rihanna, Little Mix and The Saturdays and filming ‘Styled To Rock’, 2012 allowed Harriott to reach new levels of fearlessness. He wants 2013 to be ultra-strong in trying something new for his heroine, taking her back to her origin story and always gift wrapping the familiar in the unknown.

Words: Rachel Campbell