Daviddavid is one of those niche UK labels that goes hand-in-hand with the rise of London’s East End as a hotspot for fashion experimentation and cottage industries complementing the main thrust of the city’s fashion production.
The brand’s fiercely geometric prints – think Frank Stella and Pucci on a blind date – have made its ready-to-wear collections something of a cult hit, popular with the trendy Nu Disco kids and more conceptual punters alike. They have also ensured that the collections have been stocked in a range of hip boutiques internationally including Colette, Harvey Nichols, Seven New York and Edition.
If the collection pieces have something of an ongoing fascination for patterns that are not dissimilar to certain schools of abstract painting, that’s probably because the designer of the collection, David Saunders, trained as a painter at London’s Chelsea College of Art. In fact, so the story goes, David’s entry into the world of fashion was almost coincidental, precipitated by moving into a house in which his new flatmate turned out to be Lulu Kennedy, the director of Fashion East. One thing led to another and before long, David was turning a painterly eye to the possibilities of fashion.
The label has also added an interesting collection of t-shirts and t-shirt based garments complementing the central capsule collections and offering something a little more informal. If anything, the t-shirts further highlight the painterly aspect since the hand-printed techniques leave enough traces of a quirky human hand to really bring home the similarities between the approach of an abstract painter or printmaker and davidavid’s approach to fashion.