Designer Spotlight: Blaire Archibald

Blaire Archibald. For Gossip Girl fans the name is a combination of two of the most fabulous characters in the Upper East but for those in the fashion know, Blaire Archibald is an up and coming designer loaded with talent and could possibly pioneer a new era for New Zealand menswear. This bright young thing is fresh out of AUT and Designer Direction sat down with him for a convo that really ran the whole gamut of things.

Of course, if you have been following DD, you probably recognise the name as Blaire has been featured multiple times in our Sure Shot section and in our AUT Rookie review. Yes, he is that terrific. And, on top of it all, he finds time to write for Designer Direction. So, who exactly is Blaire Archibald and what makes this uber talented being tick?

Blaire Archibald - Winter 2010

First and foremost, it is important to dismiss and reject any stereotypes or assumptions you hold about people involved in the fashion biz because Blaire Archibald is an immensely complex and multifaceted person. He makes it clear that he strives to be open to everything and anything and resents the image of fashion designers being ‘vegetables’ lacking any life or passion outside of their bubbles. When I ask him what he would be doing if he were not designing, he ruminates for a while and then confidently answers that he would cook. Both fashion and cuisine share the beauty of creating something from scratch.

While sipping lattes and hot chocolates, we also discuss mutual interests in foreign languages as Blaire recounts his time learning Japanese at his high school in Rotorua. It is this very high school which also instigated his passion for creating and designing garments and introduced Blaire to a new “avenue of creative thinking.”

Creativity is, without a doubt, crucial in fashion design and Blaire agrees that it is doubly important in menswear, which requires an even higher degree of innovation. For Blaire, the pantheon of menswear designers include Lucas Ossendrijver for Lanvin, Jil Sander and Dries Van Noten. The latter, he remarks, is clearly a visionary. I nod in full agreement.

Blaire Archibald - Winter 2010

As for his own personal style, it cannot properly be summed into words for, according to Blaire, that would be like endeavouring to describe every individual outfit ever worn (and what an endeavour that would be!) rather than expressing the notion of style itself. He does, however, comment that there is a certain “swiftness” to his aesthetic and that he is an experimentalist. Cue mutual distaste for “how to flatter your figure” articles.

To give you an idea of how garrulous both interviewee and interviewer are, it is not until we are thirty minutes into discussion that any mention of Blaire’s most recent collection “I Shot You With My Silence” arises. The collection is based on the designer’s own family with his grandfather acting as muse. This channelling of family has helped Blaire articulate himself as a designer and the result is both visually stunning and entirely cohesive.

So, what is next in store for this deft designer? Postgraduate study in Melbourne is definitely on the table and taking a short break is also a worthy option. Ultimately, the grand plan is to set up and establish a label and by the looks of things, it won’t be too long before we start seeing a lot more of Blaire and his fabulous garments.

Written by: Kelly Jin

First header image courtesy of Blaire Archibald

Shoot Credits:
All garments from Blaire Archibalds’s final AUT collection.
Creative Director/Stylist: Jason Tapuai-Kuka
Photography: Tux Hika assisted by Calypso Paoli
Model – Ben thanks to Clyne
Make-up & Hair – Vee Gulliver using M.A.C & assisted by Tamara Eyre

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Comments
2 Responses to “Designer Spotlight: Blaire Archibald”
  1. Margi says:

    lov this boy
    he will go far

    Margi

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