Representing the creative future


As a part of the first batch coming out of Central Saint Martins’ King’s Cross campus, the charismatic Daniel W. Fletcher designed a menswear collection that discussed the recent development of London’s Peckham area, incorporating elements of British heritage clothing with contemporary streetwear to critique the socio-economical conflict of the area. He was hospitalised because of pre-show stress, but still presented a beautifully tailored collection with incorporated fur finishes – to the great pleasure of his 88 year-old grandmother, as well as much of the fashion industry.

Growing up in Chester, a small city in the North-West of England, Daniel W. Fletcher was always interested in fashion, but didn’t feel convinced that it was a career he could actually pursue. After going to Australia for a year and nearly starting drama school, he finally took the decision to begin Art Foundation at Kingston University. “By this time I was much more focussed and knew that I wanted to pursue fashion,” he remembers, “CSM was the only place I wanted to study.”

And so he enrolled to the BA Menswear pathway as the first batch at the new King’s Cross campus. “There was quite a lot of negativity from people who didn’t want to leave the history of Charing Cross Road behind,” Daniel explains, “but for us it felt like a new generation, and that this building was ours. I was lucky to be in a really talented class who all supported each other.” As a class, they would meet at Granary Square but not spend much time together outside of it, and Daniel was working part-time at Victoria Beckham and Burberry throughout his degree. “I think when you are together so much already and are all focused on the same thing, everyone needed a bit of space outside of school,” he says; much needed, his weekends and work helped him escape from the intensity of CSM, and think about something else as he was interacting with different people.

I liked the challenge of menswear; there are a lot of rules and boundaries, and I enjoy trying to find ways of bending these but also choosing which to follow”

It was at Foundation that Daniel decided to pursue menswear, after having tried to design for both sexes. “I liked the challenge of menswear; there are a lot of rules and boundaries, and I enjoy trying to find ways of bending these but also choosing which to follow, in order to come up with ideas that are new but that still have relevance to real clothes and that men will actually want to wear,” he explains. This idea of negotiating (and sometimes breaking) the rules of traditional menswear permeates the oeuvre of Daniel, which mixes contemporary streetwear and classic tailoring elegantly. Fragments of traditional British heritage clothing and the typical basic football t-shirt are paired and worn with a minimal fur collar biker jacket. His looks are fresh and always slightly askew; applying lux shaved mink collars to basic polo shirts, raw edges on fur-striped leather jackets; asymmetrically-cut coats – in other words, it makes for great outerwear for the contemporary urban individual. His incorporation of fur was made possible via a collaboration with Scandinavian fur producer, Saga Fur, who also recently sponsored CSM Jewellery graduate Felicia Swartling for her collection.

Daniel’s graduate collection is an homage to his adopted London home, Peckham in South London. Like many others, Daniel came to Peckham as a student because of its affordability and creative atmosphere, but over the course of a few years, he witnessed a huge change of the area, as gentrification kicked in and transformed it to a suddenly ‘cool’ neighborhood for London’s ever-craving middle-class. “What I found interesting was the mix of cultures and styles that could be seen in Peckham as a result of this gentrification, both in terms of the businesses that were opening up and the people who were living there,” Daniel explains. As such, Daniel’s menswear appears as the ‘fashion of gentrification’, but always maintains a slight disturbance or off-ness to the contemporary elegance that such an aesthetic promises. His ‘Peckham Pony Club’ appliqué on suitcase accessories functions as a commentary to highlight the issues of damaging re-development schemes, displacement of long-term residents and businesses. “It’s a tongue-in-cheek fictional society taking a satirical look at some of the new residents of Peckham who are less concerned about retaining the history of one of the most culturally diverse neighbourhoods in London.”


Daniel’s owes his collection’s mature cohesion and attention to detail to his internships at menswear powerhouses Lanvin and Louis Vuitton. “I designed a lot of pockets on placement year!” he explains, as he describes his time there. “Kim Jones and Lucas Ossendrijver are incredibly inspiring and give a lot of freedom and responsibility to their teams; as an intern I was amazed to have things that I designed and ideas I came up with developed and produced. Although Lanvin and Louis Vuitton are both luxury French houses, they are very different companies. Lanvin is very hands-on, making samples, whereas Vuitton was much more digital and about drawing. But what I found in both was that there was a lot of creative freedom.”

Leading up to show day of his graduate collection, Daniel Fletcher’s worked himself so hard physically and mentally that he ended up in hospital for the five days before press show. This didn’t stop him from sewing on buttons from the hospital bed however, and he was luckily discharged the night before so he could rush home and do all the styling. Although his dramatic hospitalisation meant that he had to take it somewhat easy during show day, he recalls it as being absolutely perfect: “My 88 year old grandmother was able to come to the internal show which I was really pleased about. She’s an amazing woman and has given me so much support so I was really happy to be able to take her up to studio afterwards and show her where I’ve spent the last 4 years; she’s got her eye on one of the bomber jackets!” he adds.

Daniel Fletcher is “taking things as they come” after graduation, but he has enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive response, and was last week featured on Business of Fashion as a part of their The Spotlight series. He is contemplating a capsule collection that could be produced and stocked to enable him to start his own brand, but still wants to pursue a role inside an established company. “I still feel like I’ve got a lot to learn,” he reflects. “So if I could take on a role within a company which would allow me to develop my own work, that would be my dream scenario.”