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There's nothing ordinary about Adam Marc James. He designs clothes for men, but not the kind of clothes you'd consider as every day wear. At the moment he's studying fashion in London where he creates work that is designed to challenge our perceptions.
What inspires your designs?
My work always starts with something human – an emotion or a feeling that we can all relate to. For me it's completely natural to work with the human body, the space between the body and the clothes, and the way clothes touches the body. I started the course knowing that I wanted to study fashion but I'm not blinkered by it all. So I decided to use technology and media– film and photography – as part of my work.
You say that human emotions and instinctive behaviour are important to you, are there any prominent emotions in your collection?
This year, because I lost my grandfather, I think that death plays a major part in my work and it's also a subject that's relevant to everyone. Everyone is aware that they aren't going to be around for ever, in my work I question what we leave behind. What will be our legacy once we're gone? Also, I inherited my grandfather's suits, and as he was an undertaker, I've always associated death with him.
Is this one of the suits you inherited?
This was my great grandfathers and it's an Evans and Wilkins suit, which was a well known tailor in Carmarthen. The lining is cream, although I'm guessing it was white when it was made. I don't remember my grandfather being a tall man, but looking at this suit he obviously was taller that I remember him as a child because he died when I was very young. If you look at the sleeves you can tell that it's brilliantly tailored.
There are clothes here but this piece is also an instillation. What's the significance of this work?
This is probably one of the most personal pieces I've created. I've used pieces that I've inherited to question mortality, that's why it also has arrows leading out of it to question where we go after death. I've used saw dust because I remember going to my great grandfathers' house where he would build the coffins and there was always saw dust on the floor. I used to collect it and use it for my rabbits – so this is a very nostalgic piece.
If you say that emotions play a major part in your work, how does that then get incorporated in your wardrobe?
I have a lot of suits and blazers that are quite formal in my wardrobe. I wake up in the morning and when I put something on I feel like I'm going to go out and accomplish something.
How can the clothes you design and the clothes you wear be so different?
I like the disconnection between my clothes and my work. Some designers and artists don't differentiate between themselves and their work, but it gives me a chance to step back and assess my work from a visual as well as a conceptual perspective. I'm not here to offer answers, I just want to raise questions and make people think.
Tell my about the idea behind this collection.
These three pieces are part of a collection I created for my final year at Carmarthen, and they're a showcase of the collection. I haven't hanged them because they don't have any form or shape as they're pieces of clothing, the front of one leg from a trouser or a part of a shirt – hanging them would give them shape or the illusion of a body.
Your work is quite dark, is that intentionally?
Yes it's intentional. One theme that we worked with as part of the course was the notion of absence and presence – is something there or not? I'd like to design men's clothing because I think that that's where I can make a difference. Men's clothes have always been overlooked, maybe it's because traditionally men aren't as interested in clothes as women are. I'd like to work within the context of commercial clothing but with an approachable element.
- CWPWRDD DILLAD