Aaron Esh presents AW24 collection at Sarabande

Aaron Esh presents AW24 collection at Sarabande

Since settling into the Sarabande studios last November, Aaron Esh and his team have dedicated themselves to crafting this AW24 collection, shown last Sunday within the walls of Sarabande.

The main space functions as a vibrant hub for our events program and enables artists to use the space for their practice; mounting exhibitions, rehearsing performances, and constructing sets—name it, and one of our artists has likely used the main space for it. This Sunday, all eyes in the fashion community turned towards Haggerston to see Aaron's latest creations firsthand. 

We caught up with Aaron in his studio earlier this week to discuss the collection, running through the direction for this season, and what this collection embodies for him.

So you're presenting your AW24 collection this Sunday, and you're presenting it at Sarabande, talk me through the collection.

We moved into the studios here last September, and I think for this season, we wanted to kind of keep it really authentic into how we showed the clothes. The foundation felt like a really nice way to sort of speak about and deliver the new season. I think there's something really nice about that interaction with the guests walking through the studios, walking upstairs.

I think for me, it's our second season, and I think after September I wanted to kind of just make everything smaller and much more cohesive in the way that people saw the clothes. You know, It's a small space upstairs. I want them to be close to it. I want the guests to be close to it, with the trail of dress walking past their knees and I felt like we could really do that upstairs.

You may be shooting on the canal outside Sarabande too right?

Yeah. I think that, you know, this is a exercise of content and imagery and I think Haggerston kind of lends itself well to the point of view of the brand. My brand is really about luxury, the hallmarks of luxury, amazing craftsmanship, amazing fabrics, classic silhouettes and constructions, but really seen through a London lens. I think that walk on the canal or Hagerstown, to me, it's kind of the walk home, whether it's to walk home from work or a party or somewhere I’ve been.

What was the direction for this collection?

We really thought about classicism and sort of fifties couture, Paris. I think that was the starting point. When we had done the LVMH prize, we stayed in this hotel that had like all these massive photos of these French women in the 50’s with like a little wool hat and a cigarette in their hands. I remember thinking this is so chic and felt amazing, we took a photo of it and was like, 'this would be the start of the next season'.

So we looked at old Dior, old Pierre Cardin and like really took inspiration from the silhouette of that. We looked at like these cocoon coats, lots of drapery and tried to integrate that into an Aaron Esh wardrobe. I think it's much more about taking them inspirations from that era because, you know, being inspired by 50’s Paris, like what's new about that? But we tried to do our take on that through the silhouette and the constructions into a very sort of normal London wardrobe.

I love the opening look, we've done this like cocoon free quarter length coat that’s got this great hoodie underneath - this amazing and well constructed coat with hands like in her pockets with just a pair of glasses and a hoodie - I think that juxtaposition between a shitty grey Jersey hoodie and like this amazing coat, that's almost like this evening piece in itself feels, yeah, very on brand.

The collection kind of flows between evening dresses, men's evening coats with satin lapels into like tracky bottoms and caps and jeans and putting them together, proposing something new.

Putting all of those elements into one world?

Yeah, I think for me the clothes my friends wear and how they wear them really kind of influences the fashion that we're proposing. It's like, you know, going to a party, but probably like not in a club, like probably in someone's house, you know, drinking martini in someone's flat with a bowl of cigarettes on the table and a spoon in the bottle.

It's like putting your best outfit together for that night. That feels very kind of authentic to London and you know, the places that I'm spending my time - and kind of proposing that in a very kind of luxury way, within a fashion context.

You’re known for your approach towards menswear, is your approach to womenswear the same? Or is there a difference?

I think it’s just like a very fluid wardrobe and in the most non-gendered way. It's not about gender, it's just about having one really lovely wardrobe. There's dresses that are cut for women and there's trousers that are cut for women and the same for the mens, but I really see the collection as one wardrobe, one rail, that everything can kind of sit on cohesively. It doesn't feel split off.

I think that when we introduced the womenswear, it really gave much more depth into the point of view of what we were trying to say, along with the casting and the styling and hair & makeup - all of them sort of elements that we were able to do over the girls and the boys, it made much more sense, seeing the fashion that we showing.

You’ve been here since November, how has the space, the support system and the team benefited your work and this collection?

Yeah, we moved in November and it was like probably the start of when I really built my team up in terms of like full time employees and having all of us in a space that had heating, had a community around and had the gallery upstairs and the office upstairs and someone that could deliver parcels all the time. It has really made a massive difference to our working process and just sort of being allowed to even do the show upstairs or our casting upstairs has just been amazing.

I think, we wouldn't be doing a show if it wasn't (for Sarabande), you know, it's really hard economic times for all businesses and especially as like a small business, I think that we'd struggle to deliver a show this season without that support from Sarabande.

I love that it's just the seats that are upstairs, you know, we're not like buying benches, it's the seats that talks are usually done at Sarabande and there's something quite like completely unpretentious about as just the seats, you know, we're not like overthinking, making it fancy. Yeah, looking forward to this show. 

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